I am a tenant. Recently the other tenants and I received an invoice for repair of damage to a window which we did not

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Customer: Hello! I am a tenant. Recently the other tenants and I received an invoice for repair of damage to a window which we did not break. Our landlord mentioned to us that they noticed the broken window in the summer (sometime between April and September) and failed to mention it until we had another issue regarding a plumbing situation. However, we never noticed the broken window. We have a damage report that was made by our landlord near the beginning of our lease in 2019. The damage report essentially just notes condition of floors, walls, windows, etc. There is no mention of the condition of the now broken window in the damage report that was previously written. For comparison, the damage report states all other windows in "good condition", while this window is not stated at all. We have also recently found a video from the first time we moved in, dated the same date as the damage report. In this video we now noticed that you can somewhat see the crack in the window, meaning that this crack has been present since the day the damage report was dated. We, however, did not notice this damage until our landlord brought this up to us. We have been sent a self-made invoice with one final price to send to our landlord, without any receipts of the costs of the window or labor to fix it. We are positive we did not break the window, however, we are unsure if this is a solid enough case to fight the charges. Please let me know your thoughts on this matter and, if this matter were to go to the LTB, would we have a chance of winning this. Thank you.
JA: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state the property is in?
Customer: This is actually in Ontario, Canada
JA: What are the terms of the lease? Any issues related to maintenance or upkeep?
Customer: The lease is a standard Ontario lease. Under Section 13 - Maintenance and Repairs, the following is stated, "The tenant must repair or pay for any undue damage to the rental unit or property caused by the wilful or negligent conduct of
the tenant, the tenant’s guest or another person who lives in the rental unit."
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Under Section J, also in Part III, IV, V and XIV of the Act, the following is stated, "The tenant must pay their rent, even if they have problems with the maintenance and repair of their unit or property. If the tenant
is having a maintenance or repair problem, the tenant should let the landlord know. If needed, the tenant can apply to the
Landlord and Tenant Board.
The tenant is responsible for any damage to the rental property caused by the tenant, the tenant’s guest or another person who
lives in the rental unit. This applies to any damage caused on purpose or by not being careful enough. This does not include
damage that results from normal use of the rental unit over time (“wear and tear”). The landlord can apply to the Landlord and
Tenant Board if the tenant has not repaired such damage."
Answered by Debra in 14 mins 1 year ago
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Debra, Expert

Hello and Welcome to JustAnswer. My name is***** will be working on your question today and I am looking forward to our conversation.

Customer
Hello Debra. I appreciate your help with my question.
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Debra, Expert

Please note that the experts don’t text so there may be a bit of a delay. If you don’t answer back for a while I may not be online when you do but I will never desert you and will check back often. As well, as I am working from home it is possible that I will be interrupted but I will always return back as soon as I can.

I am sorry to hear of this difficult situation.

Are you saying that you are still living there but the landlord wants you all to pay for the damaged window or have you have moved out?

Customer
We are still currently living there, our lease ends April 30, 2021, in which we have also previously signed an N11 form to confirm that.
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Debra, Expert

You are definitely not liable for this window. You didn't break it. It was broken when you moved in. We will never know but I suspect the landlord knew that.

In any event, you have the video and you have all of your testimony and you most assuredly should fight the charge for the window. It's not your responsibility.

Does that help?

Customer
The video evidence that we have however, is unreliable due to the fact that the crack is not made very evident. I am not sure if it would be credible.
Customer
We have had previous issues with the landlord and as I stated in the original question, she only provided us with the information about the broken window when we had an on-going dispute.
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Debra, Expert

But the landlord tenant board would see right through that. But don't forget you said there is a we so there is at least two if not more of you that will be able to testify under oath. And even if there's a slight hint of a crack that is additional evidence.

Customer
there is 7 of us total. However, my dad had recently told me he may remember noting a damage and telling her about it when I first moved in, however I am unsure if it was for this window or not. I personally do not remember the window being broken at the time of move in, but I could have forgotten as well for all I know.
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Debra, Expert

Well if your dad could testify about that window then that is just excellent additional evidence because not only did he see it but he told her about it!

Customer
he cannot remember specifically if he saw it and told her. It's been over a year now I'm not sure if it's just clouding our memory from the amount of issues we have had to deal with regarding our landlord. I think if this matter goes to the LTB there will be a lot of other disputes we may try and bring up as well. Thank you very much for your help today it was greatly appreciated!
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Debra, Expert

You are very welcome.

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Debra, Expert

Thank you for trusting us to help you here at JustAnswer. I am marking this post as complete. If you would like to ask me more questions please start a new post and if you do if you say “This is only for Debra” I will be sure to give your post top priority.

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