Thursday, October 23, 2008

Landlord may be liable for vicious acts of tenant's dogs

Kudos to you landlords that allow tenants to keep their beloved family pet. However, you may be subjecting yourself to liability if that "pet" is a vicious animal. A landlord who 1) knows of a dangerous animal's presence and 2) has the right to control or remove the animal by retaking possession of the leased premises could find him/herself a defendant if that animal harms someone. In Underwood, et al. v. Wind, the Pennsylvania Superior Court gave the landlord a second chance after the trial court found her liable along with her niece/tenant for injuries inflicted by the niece's dog. But, only because the jury instructions were erroneous.