Bakersfield, CA asked in Landlord - Tenant for California

Q: Can a rental property management company charge us for a vandalized window?

The request to charge us for the window repair was requested by the owner of the unit. We provided proof (police report) when the vandalism happened. At the time, we were asked to go through our renters insurance for the window repair. Our renters insurance didn't cover damage to the unit, only our personal belongings. We also did not receive anything in writing within the 21 day period. What can we do?

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1 Lawyer Answer
N. Munro Merrick
N. Munro Merrick
  • Del Mar, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Review our rental agreement. It probably lists your obligations regarding repairs or damage. It usually requires the tenant to pay for damage caused by the tenant or his guests. You have proof it was not your fault. The owner must repair the window in order to maintain "habitable" premises. His insurance will probably cover, but the cost maybe less than his deductible! You have right to demand that it be repaired within a reasonable time, and 30 days is reasonable for ordinary repairs. If not you may have it done and deduct the cost from your next rent payment.

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