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A window broke in my apartment while I was not at home. Who pays for that?

The following is an actual conversation between an Uprise RI user and our Helping Hand chat assistant. The most helpful conversations, as determined by our editors, will be showcased on our homepage, with personally identifying details removed when applicable.

Posted April 25, 2024

User: A window broke in my apartment while I was not at home. Who pays for that?

The Helping Hand: Could you let me know if the damage to the window was due to circumstances beyond your control, and have you already informed your landlord about the broken window? It’s also helpful to know if you’ve had any previous communication with your landlord about repairs or damages.

User: I informed the landlord when I saw the window and have not had previous communication about damages

The Helping Hand: Thank you for providing that information. In Rhode Island, landlords are generally responsible for repairs that are not caused by the tenant, to ensure the rental unit remains habitable. Since you mentioned that the broken window occurred while you were not at home and you’ve already informed your landlord, it’s likely that the landlord will be responsible for the repair costs. However, the specific terms of your lease may also play a role in determining responsibility. It’s important that you check your lease agreement for any clauses related to damage repairs. If the damage is due to factors beyond your control, such as weather or accidents, your landlord should handle the repairs. If your landlord does not respond or refuses to repair the window, you may need to send a written request and give them a reasonable time frame to fix it, typically 20 days. If the issue is not addressed within this period, you might have further tenant rights, including repair and deduct options for minor repairs. Do you need assistance with drafting a written request to your landlord, or do you have any other concerns related to this situation?

User: No thank you

The Helping Hand: You’re welcome! If you have any more questions in the future or need assistance with anything else, feel free to reach out. Have a great day!

The Helping Hand is a free service provided by Uprise RI for Rhode Islanders. It uses state-of-the-art artificial intelligence technology and vast training on RI landlord/tenant law and consumer protection to provide helpful tips and resources specific to the user's needs, at no charge. Help support The Helping Hand with a donation of any kind.