Where a landlord had told a tenant to immediately remove a pit bull who had bitten someone, had no notice that the pit bull had returned, and had given the tenant 30-day notice of eviction after the first biting incident, the landlord did not breach any duty owed to the guest of the tenant who was subsequently bitten by the pit bull after the tenant allowed it to return to the property.
In Harrill v. PI Tennessee, LLC, No. M2021-00424-COA-R3-CV, 2022 WL 1222318 (Tenn. Ct. App. April 26, 2022), defendant landlord owned and operated a mobile home park, and Gina Branch leased one of the mobile homes. The lease agreement prohibited Branch from keeping a pit bull or other dog over thirty pounds at the property. From March 2015 to February 2016, Branch’s son lived with Branch and kept his pit bull in the home. In March 2016, defendant sent Branch a letter stating that the pit bull was not allowed and that if the pit bull returned to the property, she would be evicted without notice.
Almost two years later, in January 2018, Branch’s son and his girlfriend were visiting the property and brought the pit bull, and during the visit the pit bull bit the girlfriend. Defendant learned of this attack on January 10, 2018 and immediately ordered Branch to have the dog removed from the property. Defendant also served Branch with a 30-day eviction notice. After that time, defendant did not see the dog or receive any reports of the dog being at the property. On January 31, Branch allowed the dog to return and kept him inside. Plaintiff came to the property to help Branch pack and move, and while plaintiff was inside the home, the dog bit her.