AgentRentals

Compensating for tenant-repairman injuries

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Q: When I rented the house we live in from the landlord, I agreed to do certain repairs if needed. Last week, a windstorm broke a window, and I said I'd replace it. While removing the old glass, I accidentally cut myself and had to go to the emergency room for stitches. The bill is several hundred dollars -- shouldn't the landlord pay for it? I don't want to make a claim on my own insurance policy. --Dave R. A: It's not unusual for landlords to offload some repair responsibilities to tenants in single-family rentals. Several states provide for this, but require that any agreement be entered into "in good faith." This is to prevent landlords from foisting repair duties onto unwilling tenants. Some states do not allow landlords to assign repair jobs that are needed to cure housing code violations. But even in states that address the tenant-repairman scenario, you won't find statutes telling the parties what should happen if the tenant is injured while undertaking t...