Who has to pay when a burglar breaks a window in your rental
An unknown person broke into a rental property I own, shattering a
window in the process. The tenant of that property sent me written
notice of the broken window. The tenant is arguing that because the
damage was the result of a criminal act by a third person, the
landlord is obligated to pay. I think the tenant has to pay. Who is
Under Paragraph 18D(2) of the Texas Association of REALTORS (TAR) Residential
Lease, a landlord does not have to pay to repair damage
to windows and screens, unless caused by the landlord’s negligence.
Therefore, under the lease, the tenant could be found responsible
for the cost of repairing the window regardless of the fact that the
damage was caused by a person committing a criminal act. If you did
not use the TAR lease or if your written lease fails to contain this
provision, the broken window could be deemed a condition that
materially affects the physical health and safety of an ordinary
tenant, in which the landlord could be required to make a diligent
effort to repair and ultimately be responsible for payment.
There are many controversy responses about this response from
REALTORS community in our area. Many
recommend that the landlord repair at his/her cost the window as
soon as possible. Looking out for the health, safety and welfare of
the tenant should be a landlord’s responsibility and plus it would
help foster better tenant/landlord relations which is always a
help. The Tenant will already feel violated by the break in. Where
as a few suggest as a good business practice to repair the broken
window to protect the property and possibly to protect life, then
bill the tenant for the expense. If the tenant fails to pay for the
repair the cost can be taken from the rent proceeds and the tenant
would then be the arrears with rent. The tenant now owes late fees
and is otherwise in default of the lease and “may” be evicted.
Make sure you know the ins and outs of property-management contracts.
Please respond: What do you think should happen .......