As Americans, we love our four-legged companions. In fact, nearly half of all U.S. households report having a canine living with them. Of course, while dogs are undoubtedly our best friends -- and for good reason, who can resist those floppy ears and wet noses? -- allowing your tenants to have one can come with a long list of risks and liabilities to you. If you’re considering letting your tenants have a dog, there are a few important considerations that you must weigh before allowing them to bring one along with them when they move in.
Is the dog considered a “dangerous breed”?
The concept of “dangerous” dog breeds is a highly controversialone. While many people may argue that there is no such thing as a bad dog, but rather poor ownership, some dog breeds do have an unfortunate reputation as being more likely to harm a person.If your tenants have one of these breeds, which includes rottweilers and pit bulls, you may wind up assuming responsibility for the dog if it does bite somebody. Is that a risk that you’re willing to take?
Does the dog have any prior convictions?
Of course, just as many pit bulls are excellent dogs and would never attack another human being, other breeds can be surprisingly and unexpectedly dangerous. In these instances, you have a responsibility to do a background check on your potential tenants to ensure that their dog has no history of aggressive behavior. If you do determine that their dog has been shown to have bitten someone in the past, you may wind up in hot water if that dog does decide to attack again.
Do you have the proper insurance in place?
One of the best things that you can do to protect yourself is to make sure you have a proper homeowner insurance in place before you rent to a potential tenant. It’s important to note that some insurance companies do not cover certain dog breeds. In this case, it’s up to you to decide if you wish to refuse to rent to these tenants. While you may not want to deny a potential tenant the opportunity to rent your property simply due to the breed of their dog, the fact is, you could be exposing yourself to severe liability if something does occur.
Trying to manage a rental property can be incredibly stressful.With all of the various laws in place, and all the different issues that can arise when renting, it can easily become overwhelming.We here at Level Up Realty are pleased to offer comprehensive property management services, allowing you to be confident that you are fully protected when renting your property. We can do all of the necessary background checks on your behalf to make sure that you’re not exposed to unnecessary risk or liability. To learn more about how we can help you manage your rental property, please don’t hesitate to contact us today!