The Blame for a Dog Bite Could Be Placed on an Austin Landlord

If you have ever rented a property in Austin, you may have noticed that some landlords will allow you to have a dog, as long as it is not considered one of the more dangerous breeds like a pit bull or German shepherd. Why does a landlord care? It would be your problem if your dog bit someone, right?

Unfortunately, it's not quite that cut and dry. 

If your dog were to bite someone, and you have proper renter's insurance, that should be enough if the person decides to take you to court. However, many people do not have renter's insurance, and if they do, they don't have enough. When that happens, victims will often turn to the landlord for compensation. As the actual property owner, your landlord still has a duty to protect people if they know you have a dog living with you. Part of that duty to protect is not allowing a tenant to have a vicious or dangerous dog on their property, which is why many landlords won't allow certain breeds at all. You may have a very nice dog, but landlords can't be too careful. 

If a tenant's dog bites someone, certain things will be considered to determine if the landlord is at fault:

  • Whether or not the landlord knew the dog had the potential to bite someone
  • Whether or not the landlord had sufficient control over the property to protect the person who was injured
  • Whether or not the landlord took any preventative measures to avoid dog bites 
  • How the rules about the dog were outlined in the lease 
  • If the dog bite victim was trespassing on the property

When a landlord's actions prove to be negligent, they could be held accountable for a dog bite on their property. 

If you have been bitten by a dog in Austin, and you'd like to speak with a lawyer about your options, contact Attorney Earl Straight for a free consultation at 512-454-1331.