First time park owner with a question on dogs in park. We have a 54 space park within city limits and during due diligence it became apparent there were larger dogs and even vicious breeds within the park. When we talked to previous owner, he said that they have never had any issues with the dogs. We kept the current park insurance policy and there is no concern with the policy carrier regarding vicious breeds. In our attempt to engage a new policy through Kurt Kelly and Mobile Insurance, we were told they would not even give us a quote with these dogs in the park.
These tenants are stable and have lived there for years and if we come in with current policy of no vicious breeds of dogs or over 15 pounds, we will have tenants leave. Is there a way to grandfather in such dogs but not allow any new dogs while requiring owners of these breeds to show proof of liability insurance pertaining to these dogs?What have you guys done with this situation in the past? Did I mention there is only 1 POH in the park, so we are not wanting to start over with tenants leaving.
Thanks for your feedback.
I have grandfathered dogs in the past when purchasing parks. I just put it in the first newsletter that no new dogs over X lbs will be allowed.
Make sure you get a proper tally of the ones that are already in the park.
Kurt Kelly refusing to give a quote is a clear indication that you should be getting rid of all vicious/dangerous breeds in the park.
Are there children in the park, if so you will be OK until there is a incident. After that your life will change.
I have some pit bulls in one of my parks.
Park rules state no blacklisted Breeds as a “PET”.
I did explain to my insurance agent that the people with Blacklisted Dogs do not have pets. Rather they are Emotional support animals.
I would had out the blacklisted list and tell everyone they need to get rid of their dogs. You will be surprised how many “emotional support” animal Doctor’s notes you will get.
Here’s the list:
Pit Bull Terriers
I apologize for the management headache. Welcome to becoming a multi-family property manager. Mobile Insurance offers coverage via park specialty insurance companies that are agreeable to grandfathering in current animals/ dogs that are over 35 lbs and NOT any of the listed breeds and have not bitten anyone in the past. However, making exceptions for viscious breeds will turn out to be a mistake most of the time and insurers simply won’t agree to those exceptions. If a park owner allows them and an insurance inspector notices it on a routine visit, the owner will get a note requesting the animal be removed with a further note that if you don’t, your coverage will be cancelled - no hard feelings. Once your coverage is cancelled for failure to comply with insurance company recommendations, we welcome you to the Lloyds of London/ Surplus Lines insurance company world of high rates and low coverage reserved for “troubled” risks. I recommend you stay out of there.
And as Greg noted, you can’t (and your insurance company doesn’t) remove any animal (other than one that has proved to be agressive toward humans) with official emotional support animal or service dog status. To prove this status, require the tenant to sign our Affirmation
www.MobileAgency.com / Forms Tab (https://www.mobileagency.com/insurance-forms/ - Service or Emotional Support Animal letter from tenant to management - AND supply you with a annual note from their medical provider that the animal is a medical necessity.
Call or email if you want to visit more.
Thanks for all your feedback. We will be enforcing no vicious breeds of dogs.
Appreciate the input.
That’s funny! - “they have never had any issues with the dogs”. Yes, I have heard the owner from over 100 parks say that - even if they had a bite or bites they likely wont volunteer it.
I’ve only ever seen one park that had a vicious dog problem that was so bad it was a deal breaker. Otherwise, by simply being a good operator and enforcing the rules - ie letting the tenants know that the prior owner mishandled the property and that any legit insurance company and operator in the nation will not allow those breeds - will improve your tenant base over time. If you have the one out of 200 parks that has had an emotional support animal outbreak with over 20-30% of tenants owning a viscous dog breed as a support animal, then you my friend may be stuck in a very bad situation.
Interesting list of “vicious” breeds. Many of the smaller breeds that people think are adorably cute also bite and cause trips to the hospital. Jack Russels, Yorkies, and toy poodles are some with a history of biting.
Still, if someone has lived with their pet for several years without any incidences, it would be cruel to tell the owners to get rid of their pets. I appreciate the info on the insurance mandates though.
There is only ONE Dangerous Breed, HUMANS. This is a fact, not opinion. Personally, I have dealt with hundreds of “pit bull” type dogs over the years volunteering at the local shelter and training dogs. And I have fostered and owned many “pit bull” type dogs. Saying a particular breed is dangerous is no different than saying a particular race of people are bad. Dogs are individuals and all have their own personalities. If a particular dog is viscous, regardless of the breed, that situation of course needs to be dealt with. In NY, State Farm Insurance does not discriminate against breeds. I’m not sure if they are in all states though.
I think your message has some key points that come across abrasive, but they do have merit, so am putting these into contextual terms.
The insurances companies call out “vicious breeds” because the types of owners that buy them are the problem. This doesn’t mean all humans are the problem, but the owners of those dogs statistically have problems with behavior and decision making (e.g. propensity to commit crimes, among other things). It’s better business to have clients that don’t let criminals into their MHP’s.
And while this means that some truly good people with these types of dogs, that pose little risk, are rejected from housing in MHP’s based on insurance requirements. Obviously this is not the right answer, but when it comes to insurance companies getting sued you can bet the bank their risk people ran some pretty exhaustive models to come up with these requirements. Like most things in this world, it’s a money thing.
Sorry if I sounded abrasive, but when people assume that all pit bull dogs are viscous, it’s just wrong. There are of course people that have pit bull type dogs for the wrong reasons, but there are many who have them for the right reason . When my insurance company rep came to my house, he explained that they don’t discriminate against breeds, but if a dog has a bite history, that is different. Any dog can have a bite history. No one wants to get sued and we all have to protect ourselves. And we definitely need to keep criminals out of our MHP’s.
You’re right about the little dogs actually biting more than many of the big ones. But the little ones break the skin on the ankles. The big ones remove it from faces and torsos.
Count me as a dog lover. Mine goes to work with me every day. But he’s also a golden retriever and well trained, and I assume all the risk for his activity. If you can get all of that from a tenant, it would be great.
Unlike with humans, dog types can be legally discriminated against. And they usually are. I too have known and been around some wonderful pit bulls with quality owners. That said, over 60% of the dog bite lawsuits involve Pit Bulls even though they make up only a small % of all dogs. Insurance companies aren’t known for thier hearts. They are known for their ability to apply statistics - even if the brush stroke is overly broad.
In CA, ‘emotional support’ animals are not included as allowed or fall under a trained support animal. So if you have one of the breeds you listed and claim it is a E.S. animal, still a no go. Interesting enough, Shepherds will be given an ok as a guide/support animal only when specifically as such.
Yes, unfortunately dog types can be legally discriminated against, but that is slowly changing. State Farm (the largest insurance company) collects more data than the U.S. Government and makes policy decisions simply based on risks and underwriting, which is why they don’t discriminate against loosely defined groups of breeds. “Pit bull” is a loosely defined and general catagory. Visually, any block headed dog, between 35 and 100 pounds falls under this extremely broad catagory. State Farm spokeswoman Heather Paul told the HuffPost, "decisions are made on a case by case basis for those instances." “Pit bulls in particular are often misidentified when a bite incident occurs, so reliable bite statistics related to the dogs’ breed are unreliable and serve no purpose.”
When we purchased our last turnaround, there were quite a few “vicious dog breeds” in the park. We made it clear that animals on the list would need to be removed. We felt like the tenants had complied as none of these dogs were seen in the community after the first month. However, a year later later I received a call from the local police because two large pit pulls were running loose all over the community and scaring everyone.
Long story short, a tenant had been keeping two pit bulls in her house for some amount of time and apparently she rarely took them outside. We ended getting her evicted several months later. When we went inside the home, it looked like downtown Beruit. I’ve never seen a home that turn apart in my life. And, the entire home was covered in dog poop…some of it was really, really old dog poop.
The moral to this story, at least for me, was that even when you make those rules, some crazy tenants are going to break them anyway. Thank God those dogs didn’t bite a child or hurt anyone. At least I had the documentation to show they were banned breeds and I had copies of the letters to the tenants that notified them to remove the animals.
The reality is that regardless of what indivulaes may feel personally about dogs certain breeds have a reputation and park owners would be wise to act accordingly. You can never trust people to be responsible and therefor must mitigate your risks. Never allow your personal feelings to interfere with making business decisions.
Granted, I am not in CA, but a client of mine definately needed an emotional support dog and it’s a pit he found for free (he is on governmental subsidies, and therefore extremely low income). A sanctioned “emotional support “ animal is allowable by law. And the breeds nor type of animal are not specified (unless you are flying).
You must be careful not to discriminate against someone with an invisible disability because you perceive they don’t need a “Service dog.”
What you can do is check where they got their therapy pet certification from…if it’s from a local doctor, psychologist, therapist, clinic, etc it’s REAL. If it’s from an online site, it is a bit more suspect…however, in very rural regions, access to mental health resources are scant. You must not judge someone’s needs by visual assessments.
If you don’t understand what an invisible disability is, let me know and I will explain.
Regrettably the scammers have ruined it for all those genuinely needing emotional support animals. The idea that a landlord can “trust” that someone actually needs a emotional support animal is, or should be, zero. They must provide pre existing proof from a legitimate and local doctor and if they want acceptance they must avoid breeds that are deemed high risk. This is a no brainer.
Anyone claiming they need their high risk breed as a emotional support animal is lying. Any breed is capable of providing emotional support and “free” dogs are a dime a dozen. There is no valid excuse for needing a high risk breed as a emotional support dog…it is a personal decision and a bad one if they intend to be a tenant.
When it comes someone’s personal choice, by breed, for a emotional support dog I 100% judge by visual assessment. It has zero to do with their medical requirements.