Who is responsible for damage to apartment property?

UPDATED: Sep 6, 2011

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Who is responsible for damage to apartment property?

My apartment door was kicked in by someone I didn’t know. The police took my unit door and the front door to building as evidence. My landlord was told he would get the doors back. Now he is trying to charge me for replacement doors and damages. The downstairs neighbor had her door kicked in by someone she knew and the landlord repaired damage and replaced door free of charge. I don’t believe I am liable, do you?

Asked on September 6, 2011 under Real Estate Law, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Legally, you  would not be responsible if the person who did the damages was not a guest, invitee, family member, etc. of yours; you are not responsible for  the actions of unrelated third parties, who are not under your control. The issue may be that the landlord does not believe that you did not know this person or had nothing to do with him--i.e. it may be a factual issue. If the landlord believes you are responsible for the damage and you believe you are not, you may end up in litigation; therefore, one thing to consider is the potential cost of litigating against your landlord, and whether--even if you would turn out to be in the right--it is worthwhile risking ending up in court to save on the cost of the door.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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