When a dog attack occurs on condo property both dog owner and condo corporation may be held responsible.
Ontario’s Dog Owners’ Liability Act states “The owner of a dog is liable for damages resulting from a bite or attack by the dog on another person or domestic animal”. Regardless of the reason, the owner of a dog is responsible for damages arising from a bite or attack from their dog.
Toronto has an estimated 230,000 dogs. During 2016, 1,372 dog bites were reported to Toronto Public Health. German Shepherds and Rottweilers topped the list of reported dog complaints.
The Occupiers’ Liability Act places a responsibility on the condo corporation which can also be found liable for damages resulting from a dog attack if it has failed to take reasonable steps to ensure those on the property are reasonably safe.
Reasonable steps may include enforcement of rules relating to dog ownership. Such rules may include limits on size and number of dogs allowed or a requirement that all dogs on the property be on a leash. When complaints arise, reasonable steps may include enforcement of rules and dealing with breaches of these rules.