If I’m renting and a burglar broke a window, who is liable for the damages?

UPDATED: Nov 4, 2011

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If I’m renting and a burglar broke a window, who is liable for the damages?

Window was broken and landlord is taking it out of our deposit. Are we liable for these damages?

Asked on November 4, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Oregon


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

As a general rule, unless your lease specifically states otherwise, the basic principle governing responsibility of damage to rentals is that "normal wear and tear" is the landlord's responsibility, while the tenant has to pay for any damage caused by their negligence or deliberate action.  Sometimes, however, figuring out where a particular item lands between the 2 isn't easy. Yet since in this case the window was not broken through any fault of your own and, in fact was damaged from the outside, your landlord should assume responsibility for the repair. 

Note:  This rule applies to just about everything regarding rented property, unless the lease specifically says otherwise. 

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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