Searching for an Apartment? Pit Bull and Bully Breed Discrimination

Searching for an Apartment? Pit Bull and Bully Breed Discrimination

Let the Rejection Begin!

pit bull and bully breed discriminationAre you a proud owner of a Pit Bull or Bully Breed dog, and are trying to rent a home? More than likely you might have to deal with some form of discrimination against your pet during your search. Trying to rent an apartment that will allow your furry friend has become more and more difficult. Especially if your pet happens to be part of the Bully Breed. Pit Bulls more often than not are stereotyped as being dangerous and aggressive animals, especially towards people. This type of breed is known for being the most popular in a dogfighting crowd and when an attack occurs dogs may be labeled as being part of the bully breed even if they aren’t. So, even if your credit is immaculate, you are a responsible pet parent and your pet is well behaved, you might still have a difficult time during your search. You might even feel the rejection when asked by the property management company, “What kind of dog do you have?” When a conversation quickly changes from possibly getting a home to thank you for your interest followed by a dial tone. For you, getting rid of your pet is not an option because you should never give up on family, right?  

There are many rental places that allow pets but who still have some restrictions that include weight, breed, and species. Finding a pet-friendly apartment is easy, compared to finding a pet-friendly apartment that allows any type or kind of pet including Pitbull’s, Bulldogs, Rottweilers, etc. There are also places you will run into that once they hear “Pit Bull” all of a sudden, they are not interested. 

But here are some suggestions to get you prepared to meet the landlord:

  • Make a resume for your pet and don’t forget to include how wonderful and awesome they are. Do you have a degree or certificate, been in a position for many years or have been promoted that caused you to move? You can create a resume through Google for $9 or do it yourself.
  • Collect all the updated information that includes your pets recommended vaccinations, proof of rabies shots, proof of heartworm testing, microchip information and registration, Neuter and Spay certifications, etc. 
  • A letter of reference from your veterinarian, groomers, neighbors, and even your prior landlord is important and can benefit you plenty.
  • Gather high-quality pictures of your dog, preferably playing with your children. This will show that they really are part of the family.
  • Information about any classes your pet completed such as obedience classes, CGC, therapy, etc. 
  • You can also bring a video that you saved on your phone of your pet being playful and sweet.
  • Offer an extra pet security deposit to ease the landlord’s potential concerns for damage.

Gathering all this information will give a better outlook of securing your new rental home or apartment.

Finding a rental home or apartment can also be difficult because many landlords don’t like to deal with the liabilities that come with renting out to someone with pets. This especially goes for Pit Bull’s or Bully Breed dogs. Most owners of bully breed type dogs unfortunately face breed discrimination, and as biased as it may be, it’s something you will need to consider. Dog bites are one of the fears many landlords face when they allow tenants with pets. Even though the responsibility of a dog bite rests on the dog owner, there are certain circumstances where the landlord can be held liable. 

Usually, if a dog harms someone the owner is held responsible. This is especially true if it’s the first time that you are aware that the animal showed aggressive behavior. As a landlord, it is best to advise your tenant to purchase renters insurance. It is also important to ensure that the policy includes injuries and damages caused by a dog, and that it does not exclude bully dog breeds from the coverage. The policy should also include at least $100,000 of personal liability coverage. 

Below are some instances where a landlord can be held liable if the tenant's dog causes harm. Be mindful that laws vary by state, but you can check locally for specific rules that may apply to you.

The landlord was aware that the dog posed a threat.

If the landlord knew or thought that the dog could be dangerous and could potentially be a threat to others. Example: If there was a prior incident where the dog attacked another tenant, and the landlord was aware, and continued to allow the animal to remain on the property knowing that it could be a threat. This liability allows the landlord to remove the animal from the property. 

The landlord is NOT allowed to remove the animal.

There are also states that will hold the landlord liable even if the landlord is aware that the animal could pose a threat if the landlord was not able to remove the animal legally. If you have tried to remove the animal but have no legal authority to do so, based on the state laws or the lease agreement, more than likely you will be held accountable for any future damages. In these circumstances, you should alert all tenants that there is a dangerous animal on the property and put up beware signs.

The landlord was allowed to remove animal, and chose NOT to.

If a landlord was aware that the animal posed a threat and could have removed the animal from the property, but chose not to, they can be held accountable if the dog injures someone. Example: The tenant signed a pet agreement that indicated that if the dog showed any malicious behavior the tenant could get rid of the animal, or that they would need to move out with the animal. The dog injured someone, and the landlord didn’t follow through with the agreement and the dog bites another person. The landlord could be held liable. The landlord allowed the dog to remain on the property even though they understood the animal posed a threat.

The landlord protects the well being of the animal.

If the landlord cares for the dog, watches over him, feeds him, etc., if the dog injures or causes damages they can also be liable as if they were the dog’s owner and would be considered a De Facto owner.

As you can see, renting a home or apartment can be a little bit of a hassle on both side, the landlord and the tenant. However, if both parties are responsible and take the right precautionary measures, it can be a pleasant experience. Renting to a tenant with a pet of any kind involves some sort of risks. There should be no discrimination when it comes to Pit Bull or Bully Breed dogs.

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