Landlord and Tenant Rights and Responsibilities

questions & answers

Question: I am a landlord for a home in Queen Creek. I've been notified by 2 neighbors that the tenants in my home have 5+ dogs that are a barking nuisance and are conducting a breeding business. The rental contract only discloses 3 dogs and no breeding was ever mentioned. I want to know what my liability is as a landlord if the dogs get out and bite a neighbor. Am I required to maintain a tight fenced yard? Is the continual barking nuisance my concern or should I tell neighbors to call animal control?

Answer:

A Landlord may be held responsible for an injury caused by a pet if the landlord has knowledge that there is a dangerous animal and/or the animal attacks on the premises that is under the landlord’s authority or care. The landlord has the obligation to ensure that the premise is safe as is stated under A.R.S. 33-1324 (http://www.azleg.gov/FormatDocument.asp?inDoc=/ars/33/01324.htm&Title=33&DocType=ARS). A landlord may be relieved from certain responsibility if there has been an agreement made under the rental agreement that notifies the tenant about such events, as stated under A.R.S. 33-1325 (http://www.azleg.gov/FormatDocument.asp?inDoc=/ars/33/01325.htm&Title=33&DocType=ARS). For example, if the rental agreement states that the tenant is responsible for injuries or damages that are caused by a pet and the tenant agrees to this responsibility then the tenant will be responsible to pay for injuries or damages. However, the landlord still has a responsibility and is still liable to ensure that their premises is safe and therefore should not neglect taking proper and immediate action to ensure the safety of others that come onto the premise.

Barking animals are considered a nuisance if they are disturbing the peace of a resident. While there are variations, the city in which the barking animal resides will determine the accountability of the owner and the penalties.  For example, in the City of Phoenix’s City Code an owner of a barking animal may be fined hundreds of dollars. The City and its rules will determine the best and proper course of action. For example, In Phoenix (http://phoenix.gov/law/barkingdogs/complainant.html), it is stated that a neighbor must first speak with the dog owner before a formal criminal complaint can be filed. It is also possible to call the Barking Dog Hotline in the city. In Phoenix the number is  602.262.6466.

QUESTIONS

  • I am a landlord for a home in Queen Creek. I've been notified by 2 neighbors that the tenants in my home have 5+ dogs that are a barking nuisance and are conducting a breeding business. The rental contract only discloses 3 dogs and no breeding was ever mentioned. I want to know what my liability is as a landlord if the dogs get out and bite a neighbor. Am I required to maintain a tight fenced yard? Is the continual barking nuisance my concern or should I tell neighbors to call animal control?

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