VIC Broken Glass Door - Who should Pay under Property Law?

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5 August 2015
I was taking the rubbish out the other day and when I opened the door a gust of wind came through the house and slammed the hallway door shut. The glass panel that runs basically the entire door shattered everywhere. Do I have to pay for this?

I have said to the property manager that surely the landlord insurance the landlord would have would cover this but she thinks it is unfair that the premiums would go up or something. To add to this, the glass was obviously not safety glass but now I am required to fit safety glass which is going to cost me $600. Who should pay for this under property law? And is the landlord required to fit all the glass panels with safety glass by law?


Hi Windydoor,

What does your lease say? That would be the first port of call, to determine who pays for what. In the absence of some indication of the lease as to who should pay for damage caused by tenant, then it is up to you to negotiate this with the landlord. The real estate agent is probably trying to avoid having to hassle the landlord with the issue, however if you persist they will contact the landlord on your behalf and request that the landlord consider claiming on their insurance policy.

Generally if a building was built prior to building codes requiring it, then it will generally only need to be installed when it requires replacement i.e. now. Provided it had not had to be repaired prior to this, after the codes required safety glass - then I don't think it would have been illegal for them to have the original glass in the door. Perhaps since you need to replace with safety glass and it is in the landlord's best interests to have the safety glass installed as it is required to comply with building codes and important for his or her duty of care to residents in teh house, then you could negotiate he or she should pay what safety glass costs over and above the normal cost of glass door replacement.

Check out this article on landlord's duty of care with respect to injuries arising from glass doors and the need for safety glass: Court ruling spells trouble for investors and rental agents