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  1. #1
    fowth is offline Junior Member
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    Tenant broke Sliding glass door who pays?

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? California

    Our tenant broke the sliding glass door (it has 3 windows) It was not broke 10 months ago when they moved in.
    The glass company has stated we MUST replace ALL three panes as the glass is not tempered.

    Who pays?

    Do the tenants pay for all? Or they only have to pay for the broken window ?
    Do we incur the cost of the additional windows to bring the property up to code?

    Your advice is appreciated
  2. #2
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by fowth View Post
    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? California

    Our tenant broke the sliding glass door (it has 3 windows) It was not broke 10 months ago when they moved in.
    The glass company has stated we MUST replace ALL three panes as the glass is not tempered.

    Who pays?

    Do the tenants pay for all? Or they only have to pay for the broken window ?
    Do we incur the cost of the additional windows to bring the property up to code?

    Your advice is appreciated
    You should charge him 1/3 of the cost - he's not responsible for your property improvements.
  3. #3
    Gail in Georgia is offline Senior Member
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    Personally, considering the tough laws in California that tend to strongly favor the tenant, if I were you I'd pay for the two panes (the tenant can pay for the one they broke) to make sure the glass door is up to code.

    If local code requires tempered glass in sliding glass doors, the tenant could argue that breaking untempered glass isn't their fault and that your failing to provide such glass is a serious safety issue.

    Gail
  4. #4
    tranquility is offline Senior Member
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    They are responsible for the damage, you are responsible to bring it up to code. In fact, I'm not sure they would need to pay the entire amount of the broken panel to bring it up to code and, if I were them, I'd argue a discount.

    Be thankful no one was hurt. While the landlord may not be strictly liable (depending on the facts), if a kid got his neck sliced open because of non-tempered glass in a door you can bet the landlord would be included in a lawsuit.
  5. #5
    Cvillecpm is offline Senior Member
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    Charge the entire bill. They have custody, care and control of the property and the glass was broken by them.
  6. #6
    thedoctorisin is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cvillecpm View Post
    Charge the entire bill. They have custody, care and control of the property and the glass was broken by them.
    Yes, it's clearly the tenants fault that the property was not up to code, what with them having custody, care, and control.
  7. #7
    Antigone* is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by thedoctorisin View Post
    Yes, it's clearly the tenants fault that the property was not up to code, what with them having custody, care, and control.
    Sometimes I think Cville posts ridiculous comments just to get a rise out of people
  8. #8
    Alaska landlord is offline Senior Member
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    Ignore the glass company and find one that will replace the glass. If none is found, have them cut you a new glass to your specifications and do it yourself. You can also have a local handy man do it for you.

    Tenant should pay for everything.
  9. #9
    justalayman is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cvillecpm View Post
    Charge the entire bill. They have custody, care and control of the property and the glass was broken by them.
    BUT, they would not have to replace the other two panes IF they were code compliant.

    Your suggestion would be akin to making the at fault driver liable for a no insurance ticket the other party received when the police found out they had no insurance because they investigated the accident.

    landlord should charge, at most, 1/3 and be glad the tenant broke that one pane or the LL would be liable to pay for all 3 panes, regardless of them being broken or not if the code inspector discovered the code violation.

    Tenant could argue (if they are good with engineering) that they are not liable IF the reason the pane broke was not great enough to have broken a pane of tempered glass.

    Really tough (read: damn near impossible) to prove though.
  10. #10
    justalayman is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaska landlord View Post
    Ignore the glass company and find one that will replace the glass. If none is found, have them cut you a new glass to your specifications and do it yourself. You can also have a local handy man do it for you.

    Tenant should pay for everything.
    yep, and then tenant calls code enforcement and LL pays to replace all 3 panes out of his pocket.

    Normally I'm with ya alaska but advising the LL to break the building codes is simply not acceptable.
  11. #11
    Cvillecpm is offline Senior Member
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    It was CODE when it was built and did not have to be replaced until BROKEN....had tenants not been negligent, the window could have lasted for decades....tenants pay the entire cost for their negligence
  12. #12
    tranquility is offline Senior Member
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    Justalayman, all three? If building code enforcement comes out, won't they look for all violations in the entire building? Heck, now that the landlord is on notice they don't have tempered glass where it needs to be, doesn't *he* now have the *duty* to seek out and repair *all* such instances or be STRICTLY liable if an injury occurs? (Please see: Peterson v.Superior Court (10 Cal. 4th 1185, 43 Cal. Rptr. 2d 836 1995)

    Is the tenant now liable to replace all the glass which is not up to code in the building?

    Snarky edit:If a landlord cheesed me off and demanded I bring all the glass up to code, here's what I'd do. I claim him in breach of habitibility for not having the unit be weather tight. I'd call building inspection for the rest of the glass in the units. I'd tell him to sue me for what he perceives is my negligence and which I would use the negligence of him in not discovering the glass sooner as a defense and show how tempered glass is stronger than ordinary glass and, mabe my error would not have caused the damage. Landlord is in a bind here. He starts getting all "demandy" he might find himself in a bad place.

    Heaven forfend if the property is in a city with an additional set of ordinances on the matter like Berkely or Hayward.
    Last edited by tranquility; 08-19-2009 at 06:57 PM.
  13. #13
    justalayman is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cvillecpm View Post
    It was CODE when it was built and did not have to be replaced until BROKEN....had tenants not been negligent, the window could have lasted for decades....tenants pay the entire cost for their negligence
    how do we know it was code? How do we know that it was not replaced by an owner at some time?

    We don't and unless the LL can prove it was, LL pays.

    I don't know how old the building is but tempered glass has been code for doors for many many years in most areas.
  14. #14
    justalayman is offline Senior Member
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    =tranquility;2335639]Justalayman, all three? If building code enforcement comes out, won't they look for all violations in the entire building? Heck, now that the landlord is on notice they don't have tempered glass where it needs to be, doesn't *he* now have the *duty* to seek out and repair *all* such instances or be STRICTLY liable if an injury occurs? (Please see: Peterson v.Superior Court (10 Cal. 4th 1185, 43 Cal. Rptr. 2d 836 1995)
    good point. at this point, LL might simply want to eat the cost and replace with tempered glass as required out of his pocket.

    Is the tenant now liable to replace all the glass which is not up to code in the building?
    if it is not grandfathered in as alaska LL is suggesting, unless there is no grandfather allowance in the code, yes.

    Snarky edit:If a landlord cheesed me off and demanded I bring all the glass up to code, here's what I'd do. I claim him in breach of habitibility for not having the unit be weather tight. I'd call building inspection for the rest of the glass in the units. I'd tell him to sue me for what he perceives is my negligence and which I would use the negligence of him in not discovering the glass sooner as a defense and show how tempered glass is stronger than ordinary glass and, mabe my error would not have caused the damage. Landlord is in a bind here. He starts getting all "demandy" he might find himself in a bad place.
    that last part is what I was suggesting but unless the OP is a glazing engineer or has a lot of money to spend on the deal, he isn't going to be able to prove if it was likely the window would not have broken if it were tempered glass. And that only makes a difference if it is not grandfathered in as Al LL suggests.
  15. #15
    justalayman is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cvillecpm View Post
    It was CODE when it was built and did not have to be replaced until BROKEN....had tenants not been negligent, the window could have lasted for decades....tenants pay the entire cost for their negligence
    actually, after re-reading the thread, you are wrong, based on what the OP posted. The ONLY reason the two unbroken panes need to be replaced is tempered glass is required by code. IF there were a grandfather clause that allowed non-tempered glass to be used until such time it was replaced for some reason, those 2 panes would still not have to be replaced, even now.

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