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Why Do Breed Restrictions Exist?

63 million people in the United States own at least one dog, so it can come at a shock that there are often strict pet policies within housing. One topic of frustration among dog owners is the restriction of certain breeds, often identified as “aggressive breeds.” This strikes a nerve with pitbull owners in particular, who think the breed is widely misunderstood. 

Why does your landlord place breed restrictions?. 

The biggest reason for these restrictions are actually due to liability issues– believe it or not, dogs are a huge liability. In fact, one-third of liability claims against homeowners insurance are because of dog bites. 

Insurance companies not only track how many dog bites a year, but they also take into account the breed of the dog and how much the claim will cost policyholders. Due to the fact that some breeds have more bites recorded per year than others, this causes these breeds to be excluded from coverage by property insurance carriers. 

Legally, a landlord can be held responsible if their tenant’s dog bites someone. This is because they allowed a “dangerous dog” to remain on the premises of the multi-family residence. 

Based on studies conducted by the Center of Disease control, pitbulls and rottweilers were responsible for more than half the deaths caused by dog attacks between 1979-1996. Although most people recognize this statistic is outdated, landlords still aren’t willing to take the legal and financial risk of allowing these breeds. 

Are breed restrictions a good thing?

There are pros and cons for both sides. On one hand, it ensures all tenants are safe and it protects the landlord from liability costs. On the other hand, it limits the amount of people who can live on the premises, which can make searching for a new home harder for tenants with these breeds of dogs– even if they are well behaved and trained. But don’t fret! There are still plenty of pet-friendly rentals that welcome all breeds. 

If you need help searching for a pet-friendly rental, please contact our brokerage for assistance at (773) 572-0880 or browse our available listings here:


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