Since the April 2012 Maryland Court of Appeals ruling which ultimately defined purebred pit bulls as inherently dangerous and held property owners strictly liable for injuries caused by them, landlords have insisted that we dog owners work with them to remove their strict liability lest purebred pit bull owning tenants be forced to choose between their dog and their home.
Throughout this unfair ruling, dog owners have held up their end of the bargain and have assumed that, by helping to nullify strict liability for landlords, they will be able to keep their homes and their beloved furred family members.
It now seems landlords never intended to play fair.
In each of the almost 23 months since the Solesky ruling was handed down, tenants have been receiving their renewal leases. Usually the only thing a tenant worries about at renewal time is the inevitable rent increase. Tenants may not even notice, but for the majority of them there might be a new, devastating prohibition to peaceably keep the beloved family dog — a clause that says “no pit bulls”. In other words, a breed discriminatory lease.
So, despite dog owners tirelessly lobbying for HB73 that would protect landlords from strict liability, landlords still want the option to force them out because of the kind of dog they love. So, why won’t the landlords support HB422, a bill that would end breed specific law and housing discrimination for dog owners? A bill that helps dog owners stay in their homes because it prevents landlords from deciding what kind of dog YOU can own?
Landlords STILL want to be able to write breed specific leases even if the Solesky ruling is nullified. Even though we’ve been told by the Attorney General’s office there’s no vestigial breed specific case law to be concerned about.
Did landlords ever intend to cooperate with their dog owning tenants?
We’ve done what the landlords wanted us to do. We pulled out the stops to help them get rid of their strict liability. Why are they still trying to throw out dog owners out based on the kind of dog they own?
Please support HB422. Because we want landlords to play fair and nullifying the Solesky ruling for them isn’t enough.