Is a tenant liable to fix a broken window?

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Is a tenant liable to fix a broken window?

My tenant is about to move out but there is large crack on the inside pane of the bedroom window. She claims that it was always there, however, I do not believe it was broken when she moved in nor did she ever bring it to my attention. I want to have it fixed and I think I should be able to use part of her security deposit but I know I will have resistance from her. The lease states that she would be responsible for damages above “normal wear and tear.” Who is responsible for paying for it?

Asked on September 23, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Ohio

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If you believe that the window was in working order when she moved in - and I tend to think that you are probably right as the tenant would most likely have complained to you when they moved in - then it is beyond the normal wear and tear and you should charge her for it.  But please make sure that you do so in compliance with the security deposit laws in your state.  If you have to give a detailed list and notice and an copy of an invoice with in a certain time frame DO IT.  Otherwise you could forfeit your rights.  It really depends on that state law.  Look it up on line.  Good luck. 


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