The tenant of a property I manage told me someone shattered a window while trying to break into his unit. He then sent me written notice of the broken window and is arguing that the landlord is obligated to pay for the repair because the damage was the result of a criminal act by a third party. I say the tenant has to pay for the repair. Which of us is right?
The answer depends on your lease. If you used Texas REALTORS® Residential Lease, then you are correct that the tenant must pay for the repair. Under Paragraph 18D(2) of the Texas REALTORS® Residential Lease, a landlord does not have to pay to repair damage to windows and screens unless the damage is caused by the landlord’s negligence. Therefore, the tenant is responsible for the cost of repairing the window, regardless of how the damage was caused (e.g., a break-in, an accident, or a tenant who deliberately broke the window because he or she was locked out).
However, if you didn’t use the Texas REALTORS® lease or if your written lease doesn’t address this situation in the manner required by the Property Code, the broken window could be deemed a condition that materially affects the physical health and safety of an ordinary tenant and the landlord could be required to make a diligent effort to repair the window and ultimately be responsible for payment.
This is such a good example of why a Landlord needs to hire a Property Manager who knows how to use the right forms for a lease. So many owners think they are going to save a few dollars by leasing to a tenant without a manager. And then, bingo, they get sued over something as simple as replacing a broken window.
There are a thousand ways that a Realtor earns their commission.
I agree 100%. I am the founder and Broker of Rent Check Property Mgt.Inc., and for years issues such as this are highly litigious. Plus, if the tenant has renters insurance it “should” cover the broken window. Thank you for supporting Property Mgt. companies.
Sir. i am not being litigious,unfortionately i do not have apt. insurance.With all due respect if I broke,or damaged the screen,I would pay.i was a victim of crime?
actually a responsible landlord would take personal responsibility to know the law regarding their investment.
some of you property managers crack me up with that self serving logic
I would think a burglary invasion of property should be fixed by landlord. If at a time of inspection before moving in that is different. Landlord should have ethics and have the house in order for the tenant. Tenant should not be at mercy with the landlord.
Your answer makes no sense. The home was in order and tenant moved in. The tenant should have insurance to cover burglary. Why should landlord be responsible? If my apartment gets burglarized, the apartment owner nor management are responsible. I have insurance for that.
in rebuttal a potention home invasion is a criminal act.Why all the emphasis on the tenant.I asked in writing to have a security camera placed on that side on the building,asthis has happened before.
My rental apt window was damaged in an attempt to break in to my unit.the screen was cut.how should I proceed regarding getting the landlord to fix the damage.
my window screen was cut in an attemp to break into my apt.how should I approach the landlord,as he denies any responsibility. thank you