28 April 2012 ~ 0 Comments

Pets and Liability: Advice for Toronto Renters

“Even the tiniest Poodle or Chihuahua is still a wolf at heart.”
Dorothy Hinshaw Patent, Dogs: The Wolf Within

Your gorgeous spaniel ‘Snoopy’ shares your Toronto rental and is your best friend in the world. But what if he bit one of the neighbors, or someone making a delivery? Would you be liable and do you have insurance to cover you if anything like this should happen?

pets and liability, toronto rentals, advice for rentersThe statistics are sobering. According to the Canada Safety Council, there are 42 Canadians bitten every hour by a dog and statistics show that around 500 Canada Post delivery personnel are bitten each year.

In Ontario, if a dog bites you, you may bring a civil action against the dog’s owner for damages. The Dog Owners’ Liability Act (DOLA) states that the owner of a dog is liable for damages resulting from a bite or attack and that liability does not depend on the owner’s “fault, negligence or knowledge of the propensity of the dog to bite or attack”. This means that, if Snoopy bites someone in your Toronto apartment block, you cannot avoid responsibility by saying that he had never bitten anyone before and that you had no idea that he could be dangerous.

Under the Act, the person who was bitten by Snoopy can start court proceedings. During the proceedings, the victim could ask for a court order demanding that Snoopy should be muzzled or leashed or even destroyed. A terrible prospect!

Renters’ insurance policies typically cover dog-bite liability. If you keep a pet, do make sure that you are covered up to a reasonable amount. Limits usually start at $1,000,000 although lower and higher limits are often available. Remember, if you do not have insurance and an incident involving your pet occurs, you will become personally liable.

Don’t take the risk. Check your Toronto renter’s insurance today. Your dog may be the sweetest creature in the world, but humans can be cruel and irresponsible. There may be someone in your Toronto rental who has no respect for animals and taunts Snoopy to the point where he snaps.

More Information

Landlord and Tenant Board


Living in Toronto


Responsible Dog Owners of Canada (RDOC)


Image By:  Tobyotter




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