What to do if our landlord states that we owe $525 for a cheap glass partition in our bathroom that spontaneously cracked or our lease will be terminated?

Building codes require tempered glass (which I thought would shatter, not crack). The glass cracked spontaneously likely due to temperature/pressure, since there is no ventilation system and we sometimes leave the window open. Landlord says since it was not cracked upon move-in inspection, we owe $525 for replacement. We did nothing to physically cause the damage. It is a partition above the faucet connected to the tile and extending to the water damaged ceiling and wall behind shower. Again, we did not cause the damage, but moreover this seems like a ridiculous price for replacement.

Asked on December 8, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Minnesota

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Your landlord is banking on your lack of knowledge of landlord tenant laws. You need to (before any contact with the landlord) have the building code officer come to your apartment and check things out. You are right about these shower doors. The lack of ventilation can also be a building and safety code violation so the best bet is to meet with building code officers and then begin the process from there to show a) you do not owe the money and ) he can't evict you in retaliation. If you have an agency like HUD or similar that handles or specializes in landlord tenant matters (even try legal aid in your neighborhood), you might be able to file a complaint against him to stall his antics.


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