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Richard, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 55717
Experience:  Attorney with 29 years of experience.
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I spoke with via this website a day or 2 ago about an

Customer Question

Hi Richard, I spoke with via this website a day or 2 ago about an aggressive dog situation in which my daughter's roomate has a "dangerous dog" that has bitten 3 people. My husband has asked a couple more question that we to get answered. Before I get
to those, I wanted you to know that the roommate has the dog in the appt illegally; i.e. when asked the landlord if she could have the dog there he was hesitant but eventually said OK but she had to pay a $350 pet fee. She never paid the fee and has just kept
the dog there anyway. So, there's that. Also, in both kids situations, they are both college students and since the little bit of money they have my daughter's father and the roomates father are both (can't remember the term) the "backup lessees to prove the
kid has a source of income"). You mentioned that if the dog bit again, both the roomate (who's dog it is) AND my daughter could be sued. Since the kids themselves have virtually just an allowance they each get every month for expences; i.e. no real money,
if they were sued directly the person sueing wouldn't be able to get any $. HOWEVER, since both kids have father backups, would the suit roll back to them? Also, since the dog belongs to the roomate is the dog's owner and has refused to make the dog "legal"
in the apt, how is it that my daughter could also be sued? She, my daughter (and I) have talked to the roomate until we're blue in the face about getting the dog returned to roomate's father, she still makes excuses and doesn't do it. Since I sent your legal
info to my daughter (since you are the legal expert), we gave 3 days to have her roomate get the dog out, including an immediate vet visit to get the dog's medical problems fixed. Sorry about the multiple questions, hope you can pick them out of this giant
run-on sentence. Hope to hear from you soon. Many thanks
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Richard replied 2 years ago.

Hi there. What happens when someone gets hurt is that the victim names every possible defendant in hopes of finding one with insurance and/or deep pockets. That means the victim would sue the landlord, both roommates, and likely their parents and the parents' insurance company. Even if the roommates have no money, it's terrible at that age to have a big judgment against you because it lasts for years and to discharge it you have to file for bankruptcy. There are certainly levels of culpability, but the thing is that everyone knows this dangerous dog is there and no one is taking any affirmative action to get the dog out. I would suggest you or your daughter or the landlord tell the roommate either removes the dog or one of will call animal control and report the dog's biting history and have animal control take the dog forcibly.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
That's pretty much what we've told her so if she doesn't comply that is our plan. The other hiccup is the dog being in the apt illegally (in the sense that roomate never paid the pet deposit), PLUS neither the roomates's father (who is the REAL owner of the dog) nor the landlord know what's going on. My husband and I told the girls that is they don't comply that we would call roomate's father AND landlord, which will probably at the very least get the roomate evicted or may both of them. Do you think what I am saying is legally true? Thanks.
Expert:  Richard replied 2 years ago.

I agree with you. Both her dad and the landlord need to be informed. I would do it in a format where you have documentation that you you did formally notify them so they can't later claim ignorance. I would do it by email or by certified mail and give them a very short specified period of time to take action. In the meantime, your daughter could move out claiming that her roommate, by keeping the dangerous dog, has actually constructively evicted her.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
OR, could the landlord ONLY evict the roomate and let my daughter stay. I'm pretty sure they have separate leases.
Expert:  Richard replied 2 years ago.

Yes.....he could do so.

Expert:  Richard replied 2 years ago.

I just wanted to let you know that I will be logging off for the evening. Should you have a further follow up before I return in the morning, I will address it immediately upon my return. Thank you in advance for your patience. I apologize for any inconvenience.