If a Window Breaks in My Apartment, Is It the Landlord’s Responsibility to Fix It? - NYCM Insurance Blog

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Sep 19, 2022

If a Window Breaks in My Apartment, Is It the Landlord’s Responsibility to Fix It?

Regardless of how it happened, fixing a broken window can be an expensive hassle. When you're renting, it can be difficult to know whose responsibility is it to deal with repairs like these. Continue reading to learn more about what to do if a window breaks in your apartment and who is responsible for the cost.


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, in a situation where a renter has directly caused the window to break, it is possible the landlord may require the tenant to cover the repair costs. In cases where a landlord does ask their tenant to pay for repairs, they must have evidence to support that the tenant is responsible for the damage. Pro-tip: review your lease agreement for wording on who will be held responsible for damage in situations such as these.


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 the situation is taken care of safely and effectively.

Notify Other Members of Your Household

This will help your housemates avoid accidentally stepping on any glass shards or injuring themselves on the broken window. Be sure that children are kept away from the window and surrounding area until the space has been cleared. Don’t forget to keep pets out of the room and away from the broken window as well.


Document the Incident

Be sure to take note of the time and date that the window was broken. You’ll want to take a photo of the aftermath as well as any evidence that it might have been a burglary or vandalism. This documentation can come in handy when discussing the event with the authorities or the insurance company.


Clean Up the Shards of Glass

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 leftover 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. Pro-tip: wearing protective gloves during this process can help prevent you from getting nicked by lingering glass.


Contact Your Landlord

Let them know that the window has broken. Because 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 may also advise you 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, you’ll want to make sure that the hole is covered. You can 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

Depending on the cause of the break, you may be able to take preventative measures to help make sure it does not happen again. Once you find the source of the break, you can then 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

Unless this is something that your landlord has decided to take care of, it’s time to look for a local contractor to make repairs. It’s important that you have a discussion with your landlord to see who will cover the costs. Pro-tip: It’s always a good idea to have written agreements or written proof of what has been decided in situations such as these. Be sure to confirm the details of your arrangement with your landlord in writing or over email.


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 typically 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 may cover the repair costs.


For more information about a renters insurance policy with NYCM Insurance, follow the link below to speak with one of our trusted agents.