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Can a Landlord Be Responsible If My Dog Bites Someone?

Michael Agruss

Written and Reviewed by Michael Agruss

  • Managing Partner and Personal Injury Lawyer at Mike Agruss Law.
  • Over 20 years of experience in Personal Injury.
  • Over 8000+ consumer rights cases settled.
  • Graduated from the University of Illinois Chicago School of Law: Juris Doctor, 2004.


Generally, landlords in Illinois would not be held responsible if a tenant’s dog should bite someone. Instead, the liability would fall onto the dog’s owner under the Illinois Dog Bite Statute 510 ILCS 5/16 which states:

If a dog or other animal, without provocation, attacks, attempts to attack, or injures any person who is peaceably conducting himself or herself in any place where he or she may lawfully be, the owner of such dog or other animal is liable in civil damages to such person for the full amount of the injury proximately caused thereby.

To prove that the owner is liable for their dog attack, the victim would need to show that the attack met these three parameters:

  • The dog or other animal attempted to attack, attacked, or injured the victim.
  • The victim had the legal right to be in the place where the attack occurred.
  • The dog or other animal was not in any way provoked into attacking.

However, there are cases where a landlord could potentially be held liable for a tenant’s dog biting another person. These cases would include:

  • The landlord knew the dog had a history of attacking, biting, or being aggressive.
  • The landlord could have had the dog legally removed from the property.
  • The landlord had rules in place that required the dog to be leashed or restricted to certain areas of the rental property.
  • The landlord cares for the dog while the owner is at work, thus becoming a de facto owner.

Never assume the insurance company will take care of you following a dog bite. It is important to discuss your case with an experienced personal injury lawyer to fight for a fair recovery.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a dog bite attack, we at Mike Agruss Law are here for you every step of the way to ensure that your rights are protected and you are fully compensated for your injuries and losses, and this includes working on your behalf to ensure a favorable settlement.

We at Mike Agruss Law are proud to serve our fellow citizens in personal injury cases, including when you or a loved one has been injured in a dog bite attack, and we are fully committed to protecting your rights and ensuring that the other party is held legally accountable when negligence occurs. We will fight until the very end to ensure that you are fully compensated for all injuries and losses resulting from the accident, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering, and you won’t owe us a dime for our services.

We see you as a person, not just a client – and that makes us better at what we do. We listen. We learn your story. And, as we help you get the money you deserve, we go above and beyond in a way most law firms never could and never would. Because we’re not just lawyers. And you’re not just a client. We’re friends, neighbors, family. We’re all people and here at Mike Agruss Law, we put People, First.

Helping our clients is about counseling, advocating, and ultimately solving problems. With years of experience successfully representing the people, not the powerful, we will take care of the insurance adjusters, your medical bills, your property damage, your lost wages, and monitor your treatment so you can focus on healing and getting your life back to normal. Our unique formula has earned us over 900 outstanding client reviews on our website, an A+ BBB rating, and over 120 five-star reviews on Google. Call 888-572-0176, e-mail us at [email protected] or schedule a meeting with us here. We’re here 24/7. 


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