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Landlord & Tenant: Related Cases

Case Name Citation Summary
Auster v. Norwalk United Methodist Church   894 A.2d 329 (Conn.App., 2006)   The plaintiff, Virginia Auster, brought this action pursuant to General Statutes § 22-357FN1 to recover damages for personal injuries alleged to have been caused by the dog of an employee of the defendant, Norwalk United Methodist Church.  Ms. Auster was a visitor who was on the premises to attend a meeting in the parish house when she was bitten by dog of church employee, who lived in an apartment in the parish house.  After a jury trial, the verdict was returned in favor of the plaintiff, and the defendant appealed.  (See summary judgment appeal, 2004 WL 423189).  The Appellate Court held that church was not a “keeper” of the church employee's dog for purposes of statute which imposed strict liability on the keeper of any dog that did damage to the body or property of any person.  The court reversed the judgment and remanded the action for a new trial on the issue of common-law negligence  
Auster v. Norwalk United Methodist Church (Unpublished)   2004 WL 423189 (Conn.Super.,2004) (only Westlaw citation available)   In this unpublished Connecticut opinion, the defendant-church owned property and leased a portion of the premises to one of its employees, Pedro Salinas.  The plaintiff was attacked by a dog, owned by Salinas, while lawfully on the defendant's premises.  The plaintiff appealed a summary judgment ruling in favor of defendant.  On appeal, the court found that a genuine issue of material fact existed as to whether defendant-church was a "harborer" of the dog under Connecticut law.  Because Salinas and the church had no formal lease agreement, dispute existed as to the exact parameters of Salinas' exclusive control of the premises where his dog roamed.  There also existed a material fact regarding the church's knowledge of the dog's vicious propensities because it had twice previously attacked a person. (Note the jury trial decision in favor of plaintiff was later overturned in Auster v. Norwalk United Methodist Church, --- A.2d ----, 94 Conn.App. 617, 2006 WL 797892 (Conn.App.)).  
Bal Harbour Village v. Welsh   879 So.2d 1265 (Fl. 2004)   Defendant owned four dogs prior to the enactment of an ordinance prohibiting municipality residents from owning more than two dogs in one household.  The municipality brought suit against Defendant for failing to comply with the ordinance.  The trial court denied the municipalities prayer for permanent injunctive relief, but the Court of Appeals overruled the decision holding the ordinance could constitutionally be enforced under the police power to abate nuisance.  
Batra v. Clark   110 S.W.3d 126 (Tex.App.-Houston [1 Dist.],2003)   In this Texas case, the appellant-landlord appealed a verdict that found him negligent for injuries suffered by a child visiting a tenant's residence. The lower court found the tenant and landlord each 50% liable for the girl's injuries. The Court of Appeals, in an issue of first impression, if a landlord has actual knowledge of an animal's dangerous propensities and presence on the leased property, and has the ability to control the premises, he or she owes a duty of ordinary care to third parties who are injured by this animal. In the present facts, the court found that Bantra had no duty of care because there was no evidence showing that Batra either saw the dog and knew that it was a potentially vicious animal or identified the dog's bark as the bark of a potentially vicious animal. The judgment was reversed.  
Benningfield v. Zinsmeister   367 S.W.3d 561 (Ky.,2012)   An 8-year-old boy and his sister were walking down a street when they were approached by a Rottweiler. Scared, the boy ran and was attacked by the dog, which caused the boy to suffer serious injuries. As a result, the mother of the child sued the owner of the dog and the landlord of the house where the dog resided under a Kentucky dog bite statute. The landlord won at both the trial and the appellate court level. Upon granting discretionary review for the case, the Kentucky Supreme Court investigated whether or not a landlord could be held strictly liable under the dog bite statute. The Court ruled that a landlord could, but only if the landlord permitted the dog to stay on or about the premises. Since the attack did not occur on or about the premises, the landlord was not found liable under the dog bite statute.  
Bjugan v. State Farm Fire and Cas. Co.   --- F.Supp.2d ----, 2013 WL 4591111 (D. Ore. 2013)   After a house was damaged by a tenant’s 95 cats and 2 dogs, a landlord sought to recover expenses through State Farm Insurance. State Farm, however, denied the landlord coverage due to a provision in the insurance policy that excluded damages caused by domestic animals. In a diversity action brought by the landlord, the district court found the damage caused by the tenant’s cats fell within State Farm’s policy exclusion and therefore granted State Farm’s motion for summary judgment.  
Bronk v. Ineichen   54 F.3d 425 (7th Cir. 1995)   Plaintiffs appealed decision of district court denying their claim that defendants violated the Federal Fair Housing Act for failing to allow a hearing dog in their rental unit as a reasonable accommodation for their hearing disability. The landlord denied the request, alleging that the dog was not a "hearing dog," and that the tenants did not have a legitimate need for the dog because the dog lacked professional training. The Court of Appeals held that if the dog was not necessary as a hearing dog then the plaintiffs were not entitled to the dog as a reasonable accommodation under the FHA. Also, the court held that a disabled person must meet two standards in arguing that an accommodation be made: (1) the accommodation must facilitate the disabled person's ability to function; and (2) the accommodation must survive a cost-benefit balancing that takes both parties' needs into account. The court vacated the decision of the lower court and ordered a new trial because of misleading jury instructions.   
Chee v. Amanda Goldt Property Management   50 Cal.Rptr.3d 40 (Cal.App. 1 Dist., 2006),   Plaintiff, Lila Chee, a resident and owner of a condominium unit, appealed from a judgment entered in favor of all defendants on her complaint seeking damages for personal injuries she suffered when a dog belonging to Olga Kiymaz, a tenant of another unit in the same complex, jumped on Chee. In affirming the lower court's award of summary judgment, this court held that the landlord had no duty in absence of landlord's actual knowledge of dog's dangerous propensities. Further, the landlord was not liable to owner for nuisance. Finally, the condominium covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&R's) did not impose vicarious liability on landlord.  
Crossroads Apartments Associates v. LeBoo   152 Misc.2d 830 (N.Y. 1991)   Landlord brought an eviction proceeding against tenant with a history of mental illness for possession of a cat in his rental unit in violation of a no pets policy. Tenant alleged that he needed the cat to alleviate his "intense feelings of loneliness, anxiety, and depression, which are daily manifestations of his mental illness." The court held that in order to prove that the pet  is necessary for the tenant to use and enjoy the dwelling, he must prove "that he has an emotional and psychological dependence on the cat which requires him to keep the cat in the apartment." The court denied the housing authority's motion for summary judgment, stating that there was a triable issue of fact as to whether the cat was necessary for the tenant to use and enjoy the dwelling.  
Davert v. Larson   209 Cal.Rptr. 445 (1985)  

On April 6, 1982, plaintiffs sued defendant Thomas Larson and others owned by defendant and others as tenants in common, for damages for negligence after plaintiffs' automobile collided with a horse.  On October 21, 1983, the trial court granted defendant's motion for summary judgment finding he owed no duty of care to plaintiffs as a landowner because his 1/2500th interest in the property was small and he exercised no control over the management of the property.  The Court of Appeal reversed, holding that tenants in common of real property who delegate the control and management of the property to a separate legal entity should not be immunized from liability to third parties in the case of common area torts.  The Court found that it was clear that considerations of public policy require that any departure from the common law rule of liability of individual owners of property in common cannot operate to the substantial detriment of third parties. 

 
Ellertson v. Dansie   576 P.2d 867 (Utah, 1978)  

In this Utah case, plaintiff sued the defendants for personal injuries he sustained in attempting to untangle the defendants' horse from a chain that he alleges the defendants negligently tied it to a post in their yard.  The Supreme Court held that plaintiff who, at defendant's request, entered upon defendants' land to help free horse which had become entangled in chain because of defendant's alleged negligence in tying the horse to the post, could not recover for his injuries since it was his knowing and voluntary conduct in going into a "plain-to-be-seen" danger.  The dissent found that defendants did owe a duty to plaintiff to exercise reasonable care under the circumstances in the manner in which they tied the horse.  The dissent found this case more analogous to those under a "rescue doctrine," where recovery is not barred based on the doctrine of assumption of risk or intervening cause. 

 
Faraci v. Urban   101 A.D.3d 1753 (N.Y.A.D. 4 Dept.)  

In this New York case, the plaintiff sought damages for injuries his son sustained after the child was bitten by a dog in a house owned by defendant Urban, but occupied by Defendant Buil (the dog's owner). Defendant Urban appeals an order denying her motion for summary judgment dismissing the complaint. Defendant Urban failed to demonstrate as a matter of law that the dog did not have vicious tendencies because defendant's own submissions showed that the dog had previously growled at people coming to the door. However, summary judgment was appropriate here because the evidence failed to show that defendant knew or should have known of the dog's alleged vicious propensities.

 
Farrior v. Payton   562 P.2d 779 (Hawaii, 1977)  

This Hawaii case involves a suit against owners of dog to recover for injuries sustained when the plaintiffs, in an attempt to avoid what was believed to be an imminent attack by dog, fell off a natural rock wall.  Defendants' property abutted this rock wall and defendants considered those people who used the rock wall "trespassers."  After defendant's motion for a directed verdict were granted, the plaintiffs appealed.  On appeal, the Supreme Court observed that, in an action against an owner or harborer of a dog for injury inflicted by such animal, defendant's scienter (i. e. actual or constructive knowledge) of the vicious or dangerous propensities of the dog is (except where removed by statute) an essential element of the cause of action and a necessary prerequisite to recovery.  The evidence in the record established the fact that the Payton family not only knew of their dog's propensity to run and bark at strangers utilizing the 'short-cut' via the human-made seawall and the natural rock wall, but also expected such activity from their German shepherd dog.  Indeed, it was predictable that Mrs. Farrior would become frightened and would retreat to a precarious position.

 
Flint v. Holbrook   608 N.E.2d 809 (Ohio App. 2 Dist.,1992)  

In this Ohio case, Lorraine Flint was bitten by a pit bull dog owned by Carl Holbrook (Flint was bitten and injured by Holbrook's dog in the alley between her residence and Holbrook's).  Flint then brought suit against Holbrook and Turner Patterson, as the titled owner of the premises where the dog was kept.  Patterson was essentially selling the property to Holbrook on land contract.  In this case, the court held it was evident that the land contract agreement effectively transferred the ownership and equitable title to the property to Holbrook.  Holbrook had exclusive possession and control of the premises upon which he kept his pit bull.  While Patterson maintained the bare legal title as security for his debt, he exercised no control over the property; no clause affording him possession or control of the property was included in the land contract agreement.

 
Gallick v. Barto   828 F.Supp. 1168 (M.D.Pa.,1993)   In this Pennsylvania case, the parents of a 7-month old child sued the landlords of tenants who owned a ferret that bit the child on the face causing injury. The court stated that the resolution of this motion for summary judgment depended first on whether the ferret is deemed a wild animal. In ruling that the ferret is indeed a wild animal, the court noted that ferrets have been known to return to a feral state upon escaping and people have kept ferrets as house pets only in recent years. In Pennsylvania, the general rule is that a landlord out of possession is not liable for injuries caused by animals kept by tenants when the tenant has exclusive control of the premises except where the landlord has knowledge of the presence of the dangerous animal and where he or she has the right to control or remove the animal by retaking possession of the premises. The court found that since a ferret is a wild animal, the landlords were aware of the presence of the ferret, and plaintiffs may be able to prove that the landlords had the ability to exercise control over the premises prior to the incident, the landlords may be held liable under a theory of negligence. The motion for summary judgment was denied.

 
Giacalone v. Housing Authority of Town of Wallingford   --- A.2d ----, 122 Conn.App. 120, 2010 WL 2365559 (Conn.App.)   In this Connecticut case, a tenant, who was bitten by a neighbor's dog, brought a common law negligence action against the landlord, the housing authority of the town of Wallingford. The tenant then appealed after the lower court granted the landlord's motion to strike the complaint. On appeal, this Court held that the tenant properly stated a claim under common law negligence against the landlord. Relying on Auster v. Norwalk United Methodist Church, 286 Conn. 152, 943 A.2d 391 (2008), the court concluded that a common-law negligence action brought against a landlord in a dog bite case should not be striken simply because the landlord was the the owner or keeper of the dog.  
Green v. Housing Authority of Clackamas County   994 F.Supp. 1253 (D. Oregon, 1998)   Plaintiffs were tenants of a county housing authority and alleged that the housing authority violated the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Federal Fair Housing Amendments Act, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, by failing to reasonably accommodate their request for a waiver of a "no pets" policy to allow for a hearing assistance animal in the rental unit to reasonably accommodate a hearing disability. The housing authority argued that the dog was not a reasonable accommodation for the tenant's specific disability because the dog was not certified as a hearing assistance animal. The court granted plaintiff's motion for summary judgment, holding that the housing authority violated the federal statutes when it required proof from the tenants that the dog had received hearing assistance training.    
Hanrahan v. Hometown America, LLC   90 So.3d 915 (Fla.App. 4 Dist.)   While walking his dog one evening, the plaintiff's husband was attacked by fire ants. In an attempt to remove the ants off his person, the plaintiff's husband collapsed in the shower. Two days later, he died. As a representative for her husband's estate and in her own capacity, the plaintiff filed a negligence suit against her landlord. After the trial court granted the landlord's motion for summary judgment, the plaintiff appealed. Affirming the lower court's decision, the appeals court reasoned that since the landlord did not harbor, possess, or introduce the fire ants onto the premises, the landlord owed no duty to the plaintiff.  
Holcomb v. Colonial Associates, L.L.C.   2004 WL 1416659, 2004 WL 1416659 (N.C.) (Only Westlaw cite available)  

This North Carolina case involves the issue of whether a landlord can be held liable for negligence when his tenant's dogs injure a third party where a landlord has agreed by contract to remove "undesirable" dogs.  Under the terms of the lease, the tenant, Olson, could keep one Rottweiler dog on the property.  It was also stipulated that the landlord could require removal of any "undesirable" pets with 48-hour's notice.  The dogs in the instant action attacked a contractor who was making an estimate on some of the rental homes, and, according to testimony, had committed two prior attacks.  The court concluded that the Court of Appeals erred, in that the plaintiff was not required to show Colonial was an owner or keeper of the dogs in order to show Colonial was negligent; that requirement is limited only to strict liability actions.  As a result, the court found Colonial failed to use ordinary care by failing to require the defendant Olson to restrain his Rottweiler dogs, or remove them from the premises when the defendant knew, or in the exercise of reasonable care, should have known, from the dogs' past conduct, that they were likely, if not restrained, to do an act from which a reasonable person could foresee.  Of particular importance to the court, was the lease provision, which the court felt contractually obligated the landlord to retain control over defendant's dogs. 

 
Housing Authority of the City of New London v. Tarrant   1997 WL 30320 (Conn. 1997)   A mother renting housing alleged that her son was "mentally challenged" and required the companionship of a dog pursuant to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. The court rejected the tenant's allegations that her son had a qualifying mental disability, reasoning that the son received high marks in school prior to the commencing of the eviction proceedings. The court held that without evidence of a mental or physical disability, no reasonable accommodation is required.  
Howle v. Aqua Illinois, Inc.   2012 IL App (4th) 120207 (Ill.App. 4 Dist.)  

As the result of a dog bite on the defendant’s rental property, the plaintiff suffered a torn cheek and irreparable damage to her ear. The plaintiff therefore attempted to recover damages from the defendant on the common law theory of negligence and through Illinois’ Animal Control Act. The trial court, however, dismissed the Animal Control Act claim and, later, granted the defendant’s motion for summary judgment on the negligence claim. Upon appeal, the appellate court affirmed the lower court’s decision, though it stated a motion for summary judgment was more appropriate then the motion to dismiss for the Animal Control Act claim.   

 
In re Kenna Homes Cooperative Corporation   557 S.E.2d 787 (W.V. 2001)   The owners of a cooperative unit kept a dog in their dwelling despite a no pets policy. There was, however, an exception in the policy for service animals, and the Jessups argued that the small dog they kept was necessary due to various medical problems they had, including arthritis and depression. The housing authority denied the request, stating that only animals certified for the particular disability qualify as a "service animal." The West Virginia Court of Appeals held that a housing authority may require that a service animal be properly trained without violating federal law.  
Janush v. Charities Housing Development Corp.   169 F.Supp.2d 1133 (N.D. Ca., 2000)   Tenant brought action under the Federal Fair Housing Act alleging that her landlord failed to reasonably accommodate her mental disability by refusing to allow her to keep companion animals in her rental unit. Tenant put forth evidence establishing that the animals lessened the effects of her mental disability by providing companionship. The housing authority argued that only service dogs are a reasonable accommodation. The court rejected the housing authority's argument, holding that animals other than service animal can be a reasonable accommodation for a disability. Also, the court noted that whether an accommodation is reasonable is a fact-specific inquiry, requiring an analysis of the burdens imposed on the housing authority and the benefits to the disabled person.  
Klitzka ex rel. Teutonico v. Hellios   810 N.E.2d 252 (Ill.App. 2 Dist.,2004)  

In this Illinois case, the Appellate Court considered, as a matter of first impression, under what circumstances does a landlord owe a duty of care to his tenant's invitees to prevent injury from an attack by an animal kept by the tenant on the leased premises?  A minor invitee (Alexus) of the tenants was bitten by tenants' dog and brought a negligence action against residential landlords.  It was undisputed that the tenants held exclusive control over the premises and paid $700 a month in rent to the landlords.  The Appellate Court held that even if landlords knew tenants' dog was dangerous, the landlords had no duty to protect the tenants' invitee because landlords retained no control over the leased premises where injury occurred.  "Here, the tenants' affirmative conduct of bringing the dog into the living space of the home, an area over which the landlords had no control, is what might have been the proximate cause of Alexus' injuries."

 
Lundy v. California Realty   216 Cal.Rptr. 575 (Cal.App.4.Dist.)   The Court of Appeals held that an owner of a dog may be held liable for injuries inflicted by it on another person without any showing the dog had any especially dangerous propensities or that the owner knew of any such dangerous propensities. However, to impose liability on someone other than the owner, even a keeper, previous knowledge of the dog's vicious nature must appear. Aside from the rental agreement, the property owners knew nothing whatever about the dog. Thus, the facts before the trial court fell far short of creating a triable issue of fact as to defendant property owners' knowledge of any dangerous propensities on the part of the tenant's dog. "Neither do we believe judicial notice may be taken that all German shepherds are dangerous. Nor can defendants' knowledge of any dangerous propensity of the dog be inferred simply because they knew his name was Thunder."  
Majors v. Housing Authority of the County of DeKalb Georgia   652 F.2d 454 (5th Cir. 981)  

Tenant had a history of mental illness and kept a dog in her apartment despite a "no pets" policy. The housing authority refused to waive the "no pets" policy and brought an eviction proceeding. Tenant filed a complaint in federal district court alleging violation of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act for failure to waive the "no pets" policy as a reasonable accommodation for her disability. The district court granted the housing authority's motion for summary judgment and the tenant appealed. The court of appeals held that the housing authority deprived the tenant of the benefits of the housing program by enforcing the no pets rule, reasoning that waiving the no pets rule would allow the tenant to fully enjoy the benefits of the program and would place no undue burdens on the housing authority.

 
Morehead v. Deitrich   932 N.E.2d 1272 (Ind.App.,2010)   Postal carrier sued landlord for negligence after tenant's dog bit her.  The Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment for defendant, holding that landlord did not have a duty to keep dog from biting postal carrier absent control over the property.  
Muela v. Gomez   343 S.W.3d 491 (Tex.App.-El Paso, 2011)   Defendant Samuel Muela appeals a judgment for damages in the amount of $30,279.45 after plaintiff was attacked by a pit bull. Samuel contends that the evidence is legally insufficient to establish that he owned or possessed the pit bull and thus had no knowledge of its vicious propensities. The court concluded that there is no evidence that Samuel lived at his parents' trailer or owned the pit bull. Additionally, while Samuel did visit his parents' house to feed their pet dog, there was no direct evidence that he had ever seen the pit bull or knew of it. The court reversed and rendered judgment that Gomez take nothing against Samuel.  
Nason v. Stone Hill Realty Association   1996 WL 1186942 (Mass. 1996)   A tenant with multiple sclerosis took in her mother's cat when her mother became ill. The housing authority had a no pets policy and requested that the tenant remove the pet from the premises. The tenant in turn offered a letter from her physician stating that "there would be serious negative consequences for her health if she was compelled to remove the cat." The court held that the tenant did not meet her burden of proving a nexus between the cat and her multiple sclerosis, reasoning that the physician's note does not state that the cat is necessary to alleviate her symptoms and that a more reasonable accommodation may be available.  
Nutt v. Florio   914 N.E.2d 963 (Mass. Ct. App., 2009)  

This Massachusetts case involves an appeal of a summary judgment in favor of the landlord-defendant concerning an unprovoked dog attack. The dog, described as a pit bull terrier, was kept by a tenant of Florio's. The court found that, while the defendants cannot be held strictly liable by virtue the dog's breed, "knowledge of that breed and its propensities may properly be a factor to be considered in determining whether the defendants were negligent under common-law principles." Reviewing the record de novo, the court held that this question and the defendant's knowledge of the dog's propensities, created a genuine issue of material fact. The order of summary judgment for defendant was reversed and the case was remanded.

 
Portillo v. Aiassa   32 Cal.Rptr.2d 755 (1994)  

In this California case, the plaintiff delivered beer to Race Street Liquors.  As he was leaving the store, he was attacked by a German shepherd owned by the tenant.  The jury found appellant-landlord did not have actual knowledge of the dog's dangerous propensities prior to renewing the commercial lease.  However, the jury found that he would have learned of the dog's dangerous propensities if he had exercised reasonable care in the inspection of his property and that he was negligent in failing to eliminate this dangerous condition. 

 
Prindable v. Association of Apartment Owners of 2987 Kalakaua   304 F.Supp.2d 1245 (D. Hawaii, 2003)   Condominium resident filed a complaint alleging the housing authority violated the Federal Fair Housing Amendments Act by failing to waive the "no pets" as a reasonable accommodation for his handicap. The court held that where the primary handicap is mental or emotional in nature, an animal "must be peculiarly suited to ameliorate the unique problems of the mentally disabled," and granted the housing authority's motion for summary judgment on the issue of the housing authority's failure to make a reasonable accommodation under the FHA.  
Ranwez v. Roberts   601 S.E.2d 449 (Ga. 2004)   Plaintiff brought claims against her tenant neighbor and the property owner after she was viciously attacked by her tenant neighbor's four pit bulls.  The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the property owner.  The Court of Appeals affirmed the decision holding the property owner was an out-of -possession landlord.  
Ranwez v. Roberts   601 S.E.2d 449 (Ga.App., 2004)   In this Georgia case, after sustaining severe injuries inflicted during a vicious attack by four pit bulls, Helene Ranwez sued her tenant neighbor and the owner of the rental property, Scott Roberts.  The crucial question in this case was whether an out-of-possession landlord has liability for a tenant's dog bite.  Roberts contended that because he had relinquished possession and control of the premises to his tenant, Glenn Forrest, he could not be held liable for Ranwez's injuries as a matter of law.  In affirming the trial court's decision, the appellate court held that an out-of-possession landlord's tort liability to third persons is subject only to the statutory provisions of OCGA § 44-7-14, which makes it clear that a landlord who relinquishes possession of the premises cannot be liable to third parties for damages arising from the negligence of the tenant.  
Salinas v. Martin   166 Cal.App.4th 404  

Construction worker brought negligence action against homeowner for injuries sustained by another contractor's pit-bull dog, after homeowner had given the contractor permission to allow the dog to run loose on homeowner's property. The Court of Appeal, First District, Division 1, California, held that a landlord does not generally owe a duty to protect third parties from injuries by his or her tenant's dangerous dog without actual knowledge of the dog's dangerous propensities and ability to prevent or control the harm. However, a homeowner, who maintains possession of and control over the premises, and thus is not acting as a landlord, is not required to have actual knowledge of a dog's dangerous propensities to owe a duty of care to his or her invitees. 

 
Sarno v. Kelly   78 A.D.3d 1157 (N.Y.A.D. 2 Dept.. 2010)   A dog bite victim sought damages against absentee landlords after the tenant's bull mastiff dog bit him in right thigh. The deposition testimony of one landlord indicated that he visited the rental house approximately once per month to collect rent and check on the house in general, and only on two of those occasions did he see the dog. During one of these visits, he petted the dog without incident. Thus, the landlord established that he neither knew nor should have known that the dog had vicious propensities, and that he did not have sufficient control over the premises to allow him to remove or confine the dog.  
Scott v. Donkel   671 So.2d 741 (Ala.Civ.App.,1995)  

In this Alabama case, there was an injury to a non-tenant child by a dog bite, and the defendant was a landlord.  The attack occurred off the rented premises in the public street.   The action was based upon negligence, that is, a failure to protect against a dangerous condition.  The key to such a claim is the knowledge of the landlord. Plaintiff presented no evidence of the landlord being aware of the dog let alone that he knew of its vicious propensity.  The court did not find a duty to inspect the premises and discover this information.  The court did not reach the point that the attack occurred off the premises.  The granting of the motion for summary judgment for the landlord was upheld.

 
Smith v. Kopynec   --- So.3d ----, 2013 WL 2476543 (La.App. 1 Cir.,2013)   The plaintiff appeals the lower court's dismissal of her claims against defendant-landowners and their insurers. The plaintiff was injured (for the second time) by the defendant-landowners' son's pitbull while walking past their home. While it was undisputed that the landowners did not own the dog, the issue was whether they had a duty to prevent the attack via "custodial liability." Here, the defendant-landowners asserted that they thought the son had gotten rid of the dog after it was confiscated and quarantined by animal control after it first attacked the plaintiff. Thus, this court found that defendant-landowners did not know of the dog's presence on their property and affirmed the trial court's order of summary judgment.  
Southeastern Community College v. Davis   99 S.Ct. 2361 (1979)  

Applicant to nursing program brought suit against the college alleging discrimination under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act for denying her acceptance to the program based on her physical disability of being deaf. The college alleged that the applicant was not "otherwise qualified" under the statute because, even if provided accommodations for her hearing disability, she would be unable to safely participate in the clinical training program. The court held that "otherwise qualified" under the statute means that a person is qualified for the program "in spite of" the handicap, and that the applicant here was not otherwise qualified for the program. The court also held that a program authority is not required to ignore the disability of the applicant when determining eligibility for the program. Rather, the statute only requires that the disabled person not be denied the benefits of the program solely because of the disability.

 
Tran v. Bancroft   648 So.2d 314 (Fla.App. 4 Dist.,1995)  

In this Florida case, a tenant's next-door neighbor, who was bitten by tenant's dog when it leaped over fence and then attacked the neighbor on property not owned by landlord, brought a personal injury suit against the landlord.  The appellate court upheld a motion of summary judgment in favor of the defendant non-owner.  The court found that the existence of a duty in a negligence action is a question to be decided as a matter of law.  Although the so-called "dog bite" statute, section 767.04, Florida Statutes (1993) controls actions against a dog's owner, actions against a non-owner must be brought upon a theory of common law liability.  Essentially, a landlord has no duty to prevent injuries to third parties caused by a tenant's dog away from leased premises.

 
University Towers Associates v. Gibson   846 N.Y.S.2d 872 (N.Y.City Civ.Ct. 2007)  
In this New York case, the petitioner, University Towers Associates commenced this holdover proceeding against the rent-stabilized tenant of record and various undertenants based on an alleged nuisance where the tenants allegedly harbored pit bulls. According to petitioner, the pit bull is an alleged “known dangerous animal” whose presence at the premises creates an threat. The Civil Court of the City of New York held that the landlord's notice of termination did not adequately apprise the tenant of basis for termination; further, the notice of termination and the petition in the holdover proceeding did not allege objectionable conduct over time by the tenant as was required to establish nuisance sufficient to warrant a termination of tenancy.
 
Ward v. Hartley   895 A.2d 1111 (Md.App., 2006)   In this Maryland case, a dog bite victim filed a negligence and strict liability action against the dog owners and their landlords.  In plaintiff's appeal of the trial court's granting of defendant's motion for summary judgment, the appellate court held that the landlords had no control over the premises where the "dangerous or defective condition" existed and thus had no duty to inspect.  The court found that first, no statute, principle of common law, or provision in the lease imposed upon the landlord the duty to inspect the leased premises to see if a vicious animal was being kept.  Second, there was no evidence presented that, at the time the lease was signed by the landlord, he knew, or would have had any way of knowing, that a vicious animal was to be kept on the premises.  
Whittier Terrace Associates v. Hampshire   532 N.E.2d 712 (Mass. 1989)   Defendant was a person with a psychiatric disability and living in public housing. Defendant claimed to have an emotional and psychological dependence on her cat. The court held that the housing authority discriminated against defendant under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act for failure to waive the no pets policy as a reasonable accommodation for the mental disability. The court noted that there must be a narrow exception "to the rigid application of a no-pet rule, involving no untoward collateral consequences," because the handicapped person could fully receive the benefits of the program if provided the accommodation.  
Woodside Village   1993 WL 268293 (Conn. 1993)   A tenant was unable to adhere to the complex rules requiring that dogs be walked in designated areas and that the animal's waste be cleaned up. The court held the landlord made a reasonable accommodation by allowing the pet but requiring that these rules be followed, reasoning that the tenant's failure to adhere to these rules, despite his mental disability and emotional dependence on the dog, placed other tenant's health and safety at risk.  
Yuzon v. Collins   10 Cal.Rptr.3d 18 (Cal.App. 2 Dist.,2004)  

In this California case, a dog bite victim sued a landlord, alleging premises liability in landlord's failure to guard or warn against tenants' dangerous dog.  On appeal from an order of summary judgment in favor of the landlords, the Court of Appeal held that the landlord owed no duty of care, as he had no actual knowledge of dog's dangerous propensities and an expert witness's declaration that the landlord should have known of the dog's vicious propensities was insufficient to warrant reconsideration of summary judgment ruling.  The landlord's knowledge that tenants may have a dog because it is allowed through a provision in the lease is insufficient to impute liability where the landlord has no knowledge of any previous attacks or incidents.

 

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