Real R OI
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A Legal View TIPS FROM AN ATTORNEY TO PROTECT YOURSELF AND YOUR INVESTMENT.
by Michael Johnston
hen it comes to leasing prop- erty, sometimes it’s inevitable
can result in significant injury. There- fore, virtually all dogs present some risk of harm. When renting a home to a tenant, a decision needs to be made as to whether dogs will be allowed at all on the property. Obviously, a rental property that allows for dogs is more marketable than one that does not. However, the landlord can be exposed to liability caused to third parties from animals that live at their rental property. To lessen that exposure, we suggest taking these precautions: 1. Make sure that fencing is in very good condition and that it forms a complete enclosure; 2. Exclude the more dangerous breeds, such as Pitbull Terriers, Dobermans, German Shepherds, and Mastiffs; 3. Require that the tenant main- tain tenant liability coverage that includes coverage for in- juries caused by animals, and make sure that the landlord is an additional insured under that policy; and
includes injuries caused by animals.
that legal issues will arise in the landlord-tenant relationship. Often, being well-informed can help ensure legalities don’t limit your investment earnings. Here is a common landlord question and advisable answer from an attorney’s point of view.
Having a pet is part of the home occupancy experience. For many peo- ple, their pet is a part of their family. However, as with almost anything, there is a risk of liability. The purpose of this column is to provide conceptual legal answers to questions that owners of residential rental property may have. Please un- derstand that any opinions set forth in this column are extremely gener- al. We strongly urge you to consult with your own attorney because real estate law varies from state to state and is always in a constant state of flux due to changes in statutory, regulatory, and case law. •
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Can I be held responsible for injuries caused by my
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There has been a surge of popularity for dog owner-
ship. Dogs are instinctive animals capable of inflicting significant injury or death; of course, their behavior is largely dependent upon their training. Hunting breeds will behave differently from herding breeds, for example. Some breeds will try to avoid encounters while others are fiercely protective of their territory. Some people do not realize that “friendly” breeds such as Golden Retrievers can also be dangerous to small children. The danger comes in that these breeds want to actively en- gage by jumping onto children, which
Michael Johnston has 39 years’ experience as a civil litigator and has represented property owners in numerous landlord/tenant cases. Mr.
Visit www.realpropertymgt.com/optimize to learn how we can put our experience to work for you, giving you real commitment, real ROI and real peace of mind.
Johnston is board certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in the field of Civil Litigation as well as Consumer Law, which includes landlord/ tenant litigation. Mr. Johnston regularly serves as an arbitrator in consumer and commercial cases as well as insurance-related cases. He can be reached at (800) 771-6946 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
4. Make sure the landlord’s own liability insurance coverage
28 | think realty housing news report :: august / september 2019
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