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Who is responsible for damages caused by a Burglary, tenant or landlord?

State College, PA |

My brothers apartment was broken into and he contacted the police, who officially declared it a burglary. The side door was kicked in, and the landlord replaced it without asking us, and now wants to charge us 600$ for a door. Is this legal? We notified the police landlord and our renters insurance immediately after the crime was committed.

Attorney Answers 3


It sounds as though you have renters insurance so I would call the insurance company and ask them if they cover damage to the door. I believe they will not - and that the door is covered by the landlord's insurance company. In any event, unless the lease provides otherwise, the landlord should be responsible for paying the cost of replacing the door.

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I agree with my colleague. Generally, renter's insurance policies only provide coverage for the contents of the rental property (i.e., your personal belongings). Any damage to the rental property itself would generally be covered by the landlord's policy. Unless there is some provision in the lease stating that the tenant is responsible for such damage, it would usually fall upon the landlord to pay for the repairs.

Disclaimer: I am an attorney licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania and Arizona only. Any answer I provide to a question on Avvo does NOT establish an attorney-client relationship. My answers are based on the limited information provided by the questioner and are intended as a general discussion of legal issues, not as specific legal advice. Questioners are encouraged to seek a formal consultation with an attorney in your jurisdiction, who can provide an in-depth evaluation and analysis of your specific circumstances.

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As with most landlord tenant matters, you should first review your lease. If the lease is silent on this matter, the damages to the unit should be the responsibility of the landlord. That is assuming the damage was not in someway your fault.

Good luck.

If you liked this answer, please rate it "HELPFUL" or "BEST". You can contact Michael I. Werner, Esq. for further detailed answers at 412-904-5305. **DISCLAIMER** Michael I. Werner, Esq. is licensed to practice law in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. His practice focuses on Pennsylvania Landlord-Tenant Law (representing both Landlords and Tenants), Pennsylvania Estate Planning, Pennsylvania Real Estate, Allegheny County Property Assessment Appeals, Allegheny County Real Estate Tax Appeals, and General Business Matters. This answer is based on general legal principles and is not intended for the purpose of providing specific legal advice or opinions. This answer does not constitute the establishment of an attorney-client relationship. It is always recommended that you consult with an attorney prior to taking legal actions on your own.

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