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In Massachusetts who is responsible for broken window? Landlord or tenant?

Boston, MA |

I closed front door, and window shattered.

Attorney Answers 4


It depends on the terms of the lease, and who broke it,

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Your landlord is obligated to repair/replace the window, to keep the property in compliance with the state sanitary code, and or to comply with the implied warranty of habitability. However, whether he or she can make you pay for it depends on the circumstances under which it came to be broken, and as stated earlier, the terms of the tenancy. In either case, you are obligated to notify the landlord the window is broken so he/she can fix it. If it was your fault, offer to pay for it (but you can not offer to have the amount taken out of the security deposit if there is one, nor can the Landlord take the amount out of the secdep now.)

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Generally the landlord, but the landlord can ask you to pay for it if it seems you are responsible for the damage. Read your lease to see if there is anything that speaks to property damage. In any event, notify your landlord that the window is broken so that it can be repaired. Good luck.

Melissa Levine is a licensed attorney in Massachusetts. All answers are based on Massachusetts law and should not be construed as legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is formed by Attorney Levine answering your question. It is advisable to consult with an attorney about your personal legal concerns.

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To confirm the excellent advice of the other attorneys, it is the landlord's obligation to maintain the property consistent with minimum standards of habitability. That includes repairs to missing or defective windows and doors. That being said, if the landlord believes that you have caused damage to the property, an argument may be made that you are ultimately responsible for compensating the landlord.

Christopher Vaughn-Martel is a Massachusetts lawyer with the firm of Vaughn-Martel Law in Boston, Massachusetts. All answers are based on Massachusetts law and the limited facts presented by the questioner. All answers are provided to the general public for educational purposes only and no attorney-client relationship is formed by providing an answer to a question. To schedule a consultation with a lawyer, and obtain advice and review of your specific legal issue, please call us today at 617-357-4898 or visit us at

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