Am I responsible for weather damage to a leased property?

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Am I responsible for weather damage to a leased property?

We are leasing a house. After moving in we notified the landlady that a window sill was leaking and seemed to have caused water damage to the wood floor under the window sill. This window had a window A/C unit at the time provided by the landlady. When a repairman came he cleaned out some drain holes in the window sill that had stopped up and probably caused the leak. I just got some estimates for the damage to the wood floor from my landlady- she wants me to repair the wood flooring. This does not seem like something we should pay for as it was not caused by our negligence. Also, she has put the house on the market. I signed a 1 year lease but noticed a clause in the contract that says if the house is sold we must vacate within 30 days. Can this be enforced prior to the one year?

Asked on April 14, 2012 under Real Estate Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

1) A tenant is only responsible for damage the tenant, or the tenant's family, friends, guests, or pets, cause. The tenant does not have to pay for damage caused by ordinary wear and tear, the landlord's failure to provide proper negligence, the action of third parties not under the tenant's control, or "acts of god"--e.g. the weather.

2) A clause in a written lease terminating tenancy in the event the premises is sold is legal and enforceable.


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