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Old 10-31-2011, 11:36 AM
 
4 posts, read 11,937 times
Reputation: 10

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Just yesterday, an alleged fight broke out between my tenant's dog and my neighbor's dog. Apparently, the neighbor's dog suffered a severe bite during the altercation, after which she took him to the E.R., hoping to stitch him up before he was gone for good. Unfortunately, things did not go well, and my neighbor came crying to me this morning, with paperwork showing he'd died. I was not present yesterday to see this event happen, so I can't fully vouch for either's story. According to my tenant's girlfriend, their dog was bound to a leash, but the neighbor's was not; the neighbor's dog likely approached and provoked the tenant's dog (which btw, according to my tenant, is "trained to kill") and that was where and when the bite was delivered.

Anyway, who did what is not what I'm concerned about. From what I can see, both parties are at fault in their own way, my tenant should have taken a more active role in sustaining his dog, and the other dog had no business not being bound to a leash.

My question to you is this. If my neighbor decides to press charges, how will I, the landlord, be affected? Will I face repercussions for choosing not to get involved? My father who lives with me, suggests we notarize a letter demanding my tenant to get rid of the dog, or just plain leave. We had another event a few months ago where his dog jumped out the window (they live upstairs), to chase down a raccoon. The dog injured itself and was sent to the E.R. (but not before killing the raccoon). This dog is violent, and the last thing we want is it to attack a bigger target, like a human child.

So to summarize, from anyone who may have dealt with something similar, I'd really appreciate your advice. I have no doubt my tenant's about to get into a whole mess of trouble,and while that sucks for him, I can't help but wonder if I'll end up paying in any way for his misgivings.

Thank you for listening.

NOTE: I live in Nassau County, just in case the landlord-tenant rules here are different
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Old 10-31-2011, 11:46 AM
 
1,235 posts, read 1,429,864 times
Reputation: 2169
Read this, it references several New York cases: Landlord Liability for Tenants' Dogs - Landlords and Dogs - Every Dog's Legal Guide - Nolo

Looks like if there is evidence that you knew this dog was aggressive in the past, you might have liability. If not, you are fine. You still might have to deal with the hassle of being dragged into court though.
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Old 10-31-2011, 11:52 AM
 
322 posts, read 799,373 times
Reputation: 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1pissedlandlord View Post
Just yesterday, an alleged fight broke out between my tenant's dog and my neighbor's dog. Apparently, the neighbor's dog suffered a severe bite during the altercation, after which she took him to the E.R., hoping to stitch him up before he was gone for good. Unfortunately, things did not go well, and my neighbor came crying to me this morning, with paperwork showing he'd died. I was not present yesterday to see this event happen, so I can't fully vouch for either's story. According to my tenant's girlfriend, their dog was bound to a leash, but the neighbor's was not; the neighbor's dog likely approached and provoked the tenant's dog (which btw, according to my tenant, is "trained to kill") and that was where and when the bite was delivered.

Anyway, who did what is not what I'm concerned about. From what I can see, both parties are at fault in their own way, my tenant should have taken a more active role in sustaining his dog, and the other dog had no business not being bound to a leash.

My question to you is this. If my neighbor decides to press charges, how will I, the landlord, be affected? Will I face repercussions for choosing not to get involved? My father who lives with me, suggests we notarize a letter demanding my tenant to get rid of the dog, or just plain leave. We had another event a few months ago where his dog jumped out the window (they live upstairs), to chase down a raccoon. The dog injured itself and was sent to the E.R. (but not before killing the raccoon). This dog is violent, and the last thing we want is it to attack a bigger target, like a human child.

So to summarize, from anyone who may have dealt with something similar, I'd really appreciate your advice. I have no doubt my tenant's about to get into a whole mess of trouble,and while that sucks for him, I can't help but wonder if I'll end up paying in any way for his misgivings.

Thank you for listening.

NOTE: I live in Nassau County, just in case the landlord-tenant rules here are different
While it is sad that your neighbor's dog succumbed to his injuries, the neighbor should have had her dog properly contained (leashed, fenced-in, put in house).

However, it sounds like your tenant's dog is a huge liability. If you want to avoid problems all-together, I would get rid of your tenant and his pet. If the guy cares about the dog at all (even though he claims it's a killer), giving him away just to stay in your residence will not even be an option.

In fact, don't even give him the chance to negotiate. Tell him you're a huge animal lover and you wouldn't even consider him getting rid of the dog just so he can stay.

I don't think you should be responsible for what happened. While you are responsible for your tenant because he is living on your property, the dog is the tenant's property and therefore his responsibilty. The only legal action your neighbor may be allowed to take is to get you to remove the tenant or else be sued. Any hospital fees or punitive damages should be brought to your tenant's attention.
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Old 10-31-2011, 11:53 AM
 
Location: Nassau, Long Island, NY
16,408 posts, read 28,886,666 times
Reputation: 7268
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1pissedlandlord View Post
Just yesterday, an alleged fight broke out between my tenant's dog and my neighbor's dog. Apparently, the neighbor's dog suffered a severe bite during the altercation, after which she took him to the E.R., hoping to stitch him up before he was gone for good. Unfortunately, things did not go well, and my neighbor came crying to me this morning, with paperwork showing he'd died. I was not present yesterday to see this event happen, so I can't fully vouch for either's story. According to my tenant's girlfriend, their dog was bound to a leash, but the neighbor's was not; the neighbor's dog likely approached and provoked the tenant's dog (which btw, according to my tenant, is "trained to kill") and that was where and when the bite was delivered.

Anyway, who did what is not what I'm concerned about. From what I can see, both parties are at fault in their own way, my tenant should have taken a more active role in sustaining his dog, and the other dog had no business not being bound to a leash.

My question to you is this. If my neighbor decides to press charges, how will I, the landlord, be affected? Will I face repercussions for choosing not to get involved? My father who lives with me, suggests we notarize a letter demanding my tenant to get rid of the dog, or just plain leave. We had another event a few months ago where his dog jumped out the window (they live upstairs), to chase down a raccoon. The dog injured itself and was sent to the E.R. (but not before killing the raccoon). This dog is violent, and the last thing we want is it to attack a bigger target, like a human child.

So to summarize, from anyone who may have dealt with something similar, I'd really appreciate your advice. I have no doubt my tenant's about to get into a whole mess of trouble,and while that sucks for him, I can't help but wonder if I'll end up paying in any way for his misgivings.

Thank you for listening.

NOTE: I live in Nassau County, just in case the landlord-tenant rules here are different
I think your father's suggestion is about right. Also, a pet dog is only valued at how much it cost. So the most the tenant whose dog could sue for is the vet bills and the cost of the dog (if he bought it). The person he would be suing is the owner of the dog who attacked his dog.

It's too bad your other tenant had to make a dog vicious and on top of that, is such an IDIOT he has no control over the dog he trained to be vicious! This is why so many landlords won't allow dogs and why so many dog are put to sleep: owners like him.
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Old 10-31-2011, 11:55 AM
 
Location: Nassau, Long Island, NY
16,408 posts, read 28,886,666 times
Reputation: 7268
Quote:
Originally Posted by LIGuyandGal View Post
While it is sad that your neighbor's dog succumbed to his injuries, the neighbor should have had her dog properly contained (leashed, fenced-in, put in house).

However, it sounds like your tenant's dog is a huge liability. If you want to avoid problems all-together, I would get rid of your tenant and his pet. If the guy cares about the dog at all (even though he claims it's a killer), giving him away just to stay in your residence will not even be an option.

In fact, don't even give him the chance to negotiate. Tell him you're a huge animal lover and you wouldn't even consider him getting rid of the dog just so he can stay.
I agree. Sooner or later the tenant will probably get another dog ... to train to be vicious ... and the cycle will start over again. Sounds like a bad tenant.
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Old 10-31-2011, 11:56 AM
 
10,777 posts, read 13,673,547 times
Reputation: 6277
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1pissedlandlord View Post
(which btw, according to my tenant, is "trained to kill") and that was where and when the bite was delivered.

Your tenant is an Moderator cut: language removed moron and should be evicted immediately. The fact that he's retarded enough to say something like this when he's in hot water with you speaks volumes of what an idiot he is in itself.

Last edited by nancy thereader; 10-31-2011 at 04:43 PM..
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Old 10-31-2011, 12:17 PM
 
Location: Planet Earth
1,474 posts, read 2,524,702 times
Reputation: 1479
I agree with all the posters who said you should evict him unless he gets rid of the dog....I just wouldn't do it in person, you don't want him to sic his dog on you.
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Old 10-31-2011, 12:23 PM
 
Location: Long Island
8,743 posts, read 12,185,528 times
Reputation: 5048
do it before a child gets hurt
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Old 10-31-2011, 12:28 PM
 
Location: under the beautiful Carolina blue
16,785 posts, read 25,858,657 times
Reputation: 12714
NY has a "one bite" rule but I'm not sure how it works for landlords. A dog owner whose pet has bitten once, is going to be held negligent per se, which is a legal term that basically means now there is no defense - you are automatically liable. As the owner of the home where the dog lives I am honestly not clear on how this applies to you, if at all. Is your apartment legal? How is your house insured - as a one family, or two?

PS do yourself a favor and if the law or a process server comes knocking, don't mention that your idiot tenant told you the dog is "trained to kill" - not sure why you let him stay there after that little comment, but now would be a good time to evict.
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Old 10-31-2011, 02:55 PM
 
398 posts, read 722,530 times
Reputation: 176
I'm no lawyer, but shoulds like this is an incident waiting to get your home owners insurance to drop you. God forbid this dog bites a stupid child that decides to walkup and pet it. I know I wouldn't want that on my concious if I already knew the dog was violent.

Even if not legally speaking, do you really want to be a landlord that rents to people like this. I agree with DMAN on his opinion of your tenant.
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