Is a tenant liable for repair costs if they accidentally cause damage to the premises?

UPDATED: Aug 24, 2011

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Is a tenant liable for repair costs if they accidentally cause damage to the premises?

I have been a resident of my apartment for 2 years now with out issue. I fell cleaning the tub/shower and put my knee through the fiberglass tub. Luckily, I only had minor scratches and fiberglass on and in my knee. I do not have insurance to go to the doctor but feel okay. I called the apartment manager about the repair, and told them I would split the cost. However, they are telling me I have to pay the full price of a replacement tub which is $2,000.

Asked on August 24, 2011 Texas


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Read the terms of your written lease for the apartment that you have assuming you have one in that its terms control the obligations and duties owed by you to the landlord and vice versa in the absence of conflicting state law. If your written lease has a provision concerning damages and repairs to the rented unit, its provisions would control concerning your situation.

If there is no provision in your lease concerning repairs, the law of most states in this country will hold that if you were negligent and caused the damages to the fiberglass tub, you would be responsible for its repairs. If you were fortunate enough to have "renter's insurance" you should consider making a claim to your insurance carrier for the damages.

Based upon my experience, $2,000 for replacement and installation of a new fiberglass tub in a rental seems excessive. You should shop around for the cost of a replacement tub and get some estimates for its installation.

Good question.

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