Q: Who is responsible for a broken window. We (renter) did not cause it, but noticed it was broken and reported it.
When cleaning the home, prior to vacating after lease termination, we(renter) found one of the exterior windows(double pane) had a diagonal crack from one corner to the other. We did not cause it and the window frame as well as window appear to be old.
Could you please provide a statute to back up advice? Thank you.
A: You probably need to say the city or county to answer this question, because it appears to depend on local housing codes that impose duties on landlords that tenants may enforce. In Albuquerque, the local codes state: "The windows and doors are reasonably weather-tight and, and are kept in sound working condition (ACO §14-3-4-8 (A)).
That link is to the The Renter's Guide, which was originally published by NMPIRG at the University of New Mexico in 1977 and is now in its 9th edition.
Also, the landlord must provide working windows or other ventilating equipment (ACO §14-3-3-2 (A)(3)). A crack doesn't seem weather-tight and could be unsafe.
A state statute that applies, according to the guide, "the cost of wear and tear is the landlord's responsibility. If something needs repair simply because it is old or worn, the landlord should make the repair (NMSA §47-8-20 (A) (2))."
Also check out this link: http://www.lawhelpnewmexico.org/content/obligations-landlords-and-tenants-safety-maintenance-and-repairs
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