Compensating for tenant-repairman injuries

Rent it Right

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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.