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Can I sue my landlord in Maryland for a dog bite?

If you are bitten by a dog while in an apartment or other rental building, you may be able to sue the landlord who owns the building. Generally, a landlord can only be held liable if he knew, or should have known, that the dog was dangerous and might injure someone

It is easiest to hold a landlord liable if the attack occurred in a “common area” such as the lobby, elevator, or laundry room of an apartment building. These areas are the responsibility of the landlord because they are not rented out to tenants. If an area has been rented by a tenant, it is usually not a common area.

When an attack happens in a rented area such as the inside of an apartment, it is more difficult to hold the landlord liable. For the most part, the tenant, and not the landlord, is responsible for what happens inside the apartment. In order to recover compensation from the landlord, the victim needs to prove that the landlord had the power to remove the dog from the apartment or take other adequate precautions.  For example, a landlord might be liable if the lease prohibits dogs and the landlord can refuse to allow the tenants to keep the dangerous dog in their apartment.