Can I refuse to lease a property to a pit bull owner?

Reblogger Wallace S. Gibson, CPM
Property Manager with Gibson Management Group, Ltd.

PETS ARE NOT A PROTECTED CLASS FOR FEDERAL or STATE DISCRIMINATION complaints and this is issue is TOTALLY directed by property insurance underwriters' list of DANGEROUS BREEDS of dogs.

  1. Pit Bulls & Staffordshire Terriers
  2. Doberman Pinschers
  3. Rottweilers
  4. German Shepherds
  5. Chows
  6. Great Danes
  7. Presa Canarios
  8. Akitas
  9. Alaskan Malamutes
  10. Siberian Huskies
  11. Wolf-hybrids

(Note: Insurance companies tend to deny coverage for the first four breeds on this list most often, experts say.)

Original content by Tracy Lee Parker 0534986


Question: A prospective tenant wants to lease a property that I manage, but he owns a pit bull. May I refuse to lease to the tenant, who is otherwise qualified? If I do lease the property to him, what type of precautions should I take?

The article says this : A landlord may refuse to lease properties to those who own animals (unless the tenant qualifies to have a service animal under the Fair Housing Act), or who own certain types of animals (for example, pit bulls). The landlord must be careful to consistently enforce such a policy.

The issue of a dangerous pet or animal on a property can impose liability issues both for the tenant and the landlord. There have been a few reported cases in which dogs with allegedly vicious propensities have bitten neighbors, including children. The liability in such cases typically turns on the issue of control. Which party—landlord, tenant, or both—exercised control over the property and pet? The tenant may be liable, as he exercises control over the pet and the property. Many times, however, landlords retain certain rights to enter the property and exercise some degree of control, although minimal.

Briefly, the liability issue for the landlord may depend on what the landlord knew related to

  • The pet’s history and propensities
  • Any requirements the landlord imposed on the tenant related to the pet
  • What the landlord knew of the tenant’s care of the pet.

For situations in which the landlord is contemplating leasing to a tenant with a dangerous pet, the landlord should seek the advice of an attorney to draft a specific addendum to the lease to address issues such as containment requirements, signage, locks, and insurance.

Due to this situation and this article, we are now requiring a picture of your pet upon application. And we are changing our application criteria to reflect this decision.

We manage properties all over Dallas, Collin and Rockwall Counties.

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Russell & Tracy Lee Parker 

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Conrad Allen
Re/Max Professional Associates - Webster, MA
Webster, Ma, Realtor

Hi Wallace.  I explain it is my insurance policy that prohibits the dangerous dog.

Jul 03, 2013 08:07 PM #1
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

Thank you for the information about the insurance issues . I will bookmark this post  for reference.

Jul 03, 2013 08:58 PM #2
Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley,, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

I believe that the wolf-hybrid should be at the top.  

That's just opinion.  If German Shepherd is up there, and it is, surely a WOLF would be up there.   Why wouldn't a wolf-hybrid be at the top??? 

I suspect that it's just a matter of numbers.  I wouldn't rent to a consumer with a wolf-hybrid.

Why do people want to believe that dogs are human??? 

Dogs can be a wonderful pet, friend, companion, protector, etc. 

Human??  They are NOT. 

To this day, I have never seen a sign "BEWARE OF CHILDREN" or "BEWARE OF HUMAN" on a fence. 

The German Shepherd is my breed of choice and I've owned them for many years.  They are wonderful.  They are NOT human.

Jul 03, 2013 09:30 PM #3
Roger D. Mucci
Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092 - Euclid, OH
Lets shake things up at your home today!

Great information to put out there Wallace.  Glad you re-blogged this one too.  

Jul 03, 2013 10:11 PM #4
Wallace S. Gibson, CPM
Gibson Management Group, Ltd. - Charlottesville, VA

My "dog of choice" is the English Springer Spaniel and sometimes I wish I was a dog and not a human....water, food and rubs/pats is all they need!  I just need to Google Ciciandpico and there they are!

Jul 03, 2013 10:22 PM #5
Susan Haughton
Long and Foster REALTORS (703) 470-4545 - Alexandria, VA
Susan & Mindy Team...Honesty. Integrity. Results.

Too bad there is not a list of humans to whom we should not rent!  There are plenty of folks who do more damage than any of these dogs could ever imagine.  ;-)

Jul 03, 2013 10:50 PM #6
Rob D. Shepherd
Windermere/lane county - Florence, OR
Principal Broker GRI, SRES

I don't allow ANY pets except for a fish in NO MORE than a 2 gallon container.

Jul 03, 2013 11:41 PM #7
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