Windows and Doors/Broken glass in window


QUESTION: I am renting my townhome. The carpet on the first step leading upstairs was damaged. I asked my tenants about it.  They said their dog did it. After that reply, she said a window was broken several months ago and the screen was bent so she threw it away.  I asked why she didn't inform me when it happened and secondly why throw the screen and frame away. Well I haven't received an answer yet. My question is how can I tell if the window was broken from the inside or outside?  This was the storm window that wad broken.  She advised me that they picked up the glass outside so no people or animals would step on it and get hurt. If the window is broken from the outside shouldn't the majority of glass be on the outside? If broken from outside by a burglar ( which she thinks was how it was broken) the majority of glass would be on the inside and inside the window sill? I don't know that I can determine that since it happened months ago and I was informed yesterday and all the glass has most likely been cleaned up.

ANSWER: Ok...well I have three houses that I have been renting out for several years now. I have dealt with situations similar to yours. It is her dog...she is responsible for any damage the dog does to your town home. I had a tenant's dog pee on hardwood floors that caused a stain that would not come out. I deducted the cost of repairing the floor from his security deposit. Is there a pet clause in the lease saying you agreed to let her keep a dog in your town home? Take pictures of the damage her dog caused just in case you end up in court with your tenant. Deduct the cost of replacing or repairing the rug out of your tenant's security deposit. If she goes to small claims court to try and get all of her security deposit back from have the photos of your ruined carpet. The broken window far as where the glass would land,,inside or all depends on how hard and what object broke the glass. A baseball or rock coming thru a window at a good speed will almost always the glass from the outside to the inside. When I have taken out old windows from a house to put in new windows...occasionally one of the windows has a crack in it and breaks out of the frame as I am taking it out. Sometimes the glass goes inside, sometimes outside. As far as the burglar story she told you...did she call the police and report an attempted break in? A burglar can easily open a storm window with two screw drivers without breaking the glass. Most people would have told their landlord someone tried to break in the very next day, not three months later. It sounds like she locked herself out and broke the window trying to open it to get in. I had that happen to me when I went to one of my rentals and notice the door frames broken. I found out the tenants teenage son locked himself out and didn't want to wait for her to come home with the key and broke the door to get in.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: There is a clause allowing her to have a dog. I'm like you, if someone tried to break into a house I was renting I would call the landlord ASAP. I certainly wouldn't throw away anything that wasn't mine, like the screen. No police were called and no report was given. She can't narrow down the month,  at the very least that the window was broken.  It just happened months ago.  This is not the first time they have said someone broke in or attempted to.  The first time they said someone broke into her husband's car took money from the business he worked for. He was to take the money that day/night and deposit it.  The outlandish part of the story was that the burglars smoked pot in his car. They knew this because they found some scattered around in the car. I'm sorry but if I was going to break into a car I sure as heck wouldn't hang around.  I'd leave as quick as I could.  I lived in that home for 6 years and never had any crimes or attempted crimes occur when I lived there.  Funny how my townhome has become popular with thieves.  Again,  they told me months later even though they claimed they sent me a text message informing me.  The police were not called and no report was ever given.  I'm informed them that I will be up there either Thursday or Friday to measure the window for the new frame and screen and make sure nothing else was damaged during the alleged break in attempt. I hope I can remember to check and see if that window is locked.  I never thought about them locking themselves out of the house. That could be true. I really appreciate your help and your time.

To me it sounds like this couple are scammers. The car break in story sounds very suspicious. Did the break in happen while his car was parked outside your town house?  My first thoughts are ...did the husband take the money and claim someone broke into his car? Who leaves money sitting in the car like that. How would a stranger know there was money in the car? The reason to call the police is to make them aware that someone is trying to break into homes and autos in the area. This way the police will purposely keep an eye out on your town house and the homes around you. One more comment on the screen issue. Way would a burglar bend the screen frame when all he has to do it cut it. If I were you I would get rid of these people the minute their lease is up.  

Windows and Doors

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Russell Spataro


Construction, home repair, tile, cabinets, flooring, framing, windows, siding, concrete, new construction, remodeling


14 years as a custom home builder

25 years as a carpenter

©2017 All rights reserved.