If someone tried to break into a house that I was renting, am I responsible for the damage they caused?

UPDATED: Aug 14, 2011

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

If someone tried to break into a house that I was renting, am I responsible for the damage they caused?

While I was at school, someone tried to break into my house as well as several other houses on the block. I filed a police report and an officer came to the house to make sure everything was alright. I also contacted my insurance company that informed me that they only covered things inside the house and not the domicile itself. After doing all of this, I emailed my landlord to let him know what had happened so that he could contact his insurance company and get the door fixed. He never responded and never fixed the door and is now trying to charge me for the repairs since I have moved out.

Asked on August 14, 2011 Washington


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The general rule regarding rental repairs is that: any damage caused by the intentional act or negligence of the tenant is the tenant's responsibility; any damage that could be categorized as  "normal wear and tear" or something random like storm damage, is the landlord's responsibility. A door that was broken as the result of an attempted break-in would constitute random damage; accordingly your landlord should pay for its replacement.

Note: In a situation that is not clear-cut, judges typically side with the tenant; consequently a landlord must prove that the responsibility to repair should lie with the tenant.

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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption