If a Window Breaks in my Apartment, is it my Landlord’s Responsibility to Fix It? - NYCM Insurance Blog

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Jun 19, 2020

If a Window Breaks in my Apartment, is it my Landlord’s Responsibility to Fix It?

Broken windows can be a hassle and expensive to fix. Read on to learn more about who is responsible for fixing a broken window in your rental property.

Who is responsible for fixing a broken window?

In most cases, if something breaks in a rental property, it is the landlord’s responsibility to make sure it gets fixed. However, if one of the renters of the building is to blame for the broken window, it is likely that the landlord will require that specific tenant to pay the repair bill. If a landlord plans on requiring a tenant to pay for repairs, they must have evidence to support their claim that the tenant is responsible for the damage.

What do I do if a window breaks in my apartment?

If you have a broken window in your apartment, follow these steps to ensure you are taking care of the situation safely and effectively.
       Notify other members of your household to make sure they steer clear of the window and the area around it until everything is cleaned up and taken care of. This will also help you to make sure that your housemates do not accidentally step on any glass shards or injure themselves on the broken window. You will also want to keep your pets out of the room and away from the broken window to make sure they are safe.
       Clean up the shards of glass that are scattered around the break. You will want to begin your cleanup by picking up larger shards of glass and disposing of them first. Next, use a broom and dustpan to pick up smaller pieces. You may then want to use a vacuum cleaner to pick up the even smaller, less visible pieces. There may also be smaller pieces that you cannot see with the naked eye. Even the tiniest pieces of glass can injure someone or get stuck in their foot. For these, you will want to take a damp paper towel and wipe the floor around the area of the broken window.
       Contact your landlord and let them know the window has broken. Since your landlord is in charge of your building’s upkeep, they will want to be informed of any damage that the building has sustained. They will also likely give you advice on how to best go about taking care of the issue.
       Cover up the hole in the window until you can have it properly repaired. First, use masking tape to cover the cracks and hold the remaining window glass together. Then, take a tarp and tape it around the outside of the window to keep people, animals and precipitation from entering your home.
       Identify what caused the window to break and take preventative measures to make sure it does not happen again. Broken windows can be expensive and a hassle to deal with. Find the source of the break and work with your landlord to decide what the best course of action is. If you believe someone from outside your household purposely damaged your window, you may opt to contact local law enforcement.
       Call a contractor to have the window repaired. Ask your landlord if they will be taking care of the repairs, or if you should call the contractor yourself. If it is your responsibility to have the window fixed, search online for nearby contractors or ask your landlord if they have any recommendations.

Does my renters insurance cover broken windows?

Renters insurance policies generally do not cover broken windows on the policyholder’s property. Since damage to a rental property is seen as a landlord’s responsibility, broken windows are often covered by the landlord’s policy. However, if you accidentally break a window on someone else’s property, the liability portion of your renters insurance policy will likely cover the expenses. For example, if you throw a baseball in the wrong direction and it goes through your neighbor’s window, you are liable and your policy will cover the repair costs.

If you are interested in a renters insurance policy, follow the link below to find an agent and to learn more about what coverages and discounts are included.