When animal bites happen at rented properties

On Behalf of | Apr 11, 2019 | Animal Bites

Not all rental properties throughout Massachusetts allow their tenants to have pets. While dogs, cats, and other domestic animals can make wonderful companions for Worcester residents, they can also do a lot of damage to homes and apartments when they are not properly under the control of their masters. Those landlords who do allow their tenants to have pets may elect to collect deposits from their renters to cover any costs that the pets cause over the course of their tenancies.

However, property damage is only one of the threats that pets may introduce into the landlord-tenant relationship. Another issue that can become a complicated legal matter is when a pet bites or attacks another person while on the property of the landlord. While in Massachusetts pet owners are strictly liable for their pets’ actions, landlords may also be sued under certain circumstances.

For example, if a landlord knew that their tenant’s dog was dangerous and elected not to have that pet removed from the property, they may face liability if that dog bit or attacked someone. Additionally, when pet owners do not carry enough renters’ insurance to cover the damages their pets’ cause, victims may choose to include their landlords in the litigation due to their ownership of the premises where the attack happened.

The victim of a dog bite or attack should take their time as they prepare their pleading, so that they include all of the responsible parties whose negligence led to their injuries. This can include landlords who allow their tenants to keep pets on their properties and who fail to take action when they learn that those pets may be dangerous.