Who pays for a broken window, the tenant or the landlord?

I live in a rental and my window had a slight rack on the glass at one point, and then it completely broke (this is the inside pane). I haven’t done anything out of the ordinary, hardly even opened that window. Should I inform my landlord (a building management agency)? Will they pay for it or will they ask me to pay?

Asked on June 9, 2012 under Real Estate Law, New York


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The general rule is that normal wear and tear is the landlord's responsibility, while a tenant is responsible to pay for any damage caused by their negligence or intentional act.  That having been said, sometimes figuring determining liability between those 2 choices isn't easy. A broken window can be one of those. However, if you were merely shutting the window (assumably with appropriate force) or it just completely broke of it own accord, then your landlord would be liable to replace it.  

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