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After an apartment fire: Tenants rights explained

Living in a habitable home is necessary even if you don’t own the property. In case of an apartment fire, it’s the landlord’s responsibility to repair the damage and pay for your injuries. But before asking for compensation, it’s necessary to know some of your rights as a tenant after a fire break, which was not your fault.

Repairs After Fire Damage

When a fire occurs in an apartment or any other rental, landlords must repair damages as the landlord assumes full responsibility for repairs. You can ease make their lives easier by moving your personal assets to ensure that all damaged areas are restored.

If your property was damaged or lost in an apartment fire, the landlord’s insurance might not cover it. Some landlords encourage their tenants to have renter’s insurance coverage, which ensures they are covered in case of fire.

What to Do If the Repairs are Extreme

If the damages are extreme, a tenant needs to seek another home.

  • If you pay rent monthly, stop paying rent after a fire and relocate to a safe rental. Leased apartments may be challenging at this point as they may not have clear guidelines regarding the issue.
  • Suppose the signed agreement on the lease doesn’t cover any fire damage or injuries, and the landlord moves to slow or refuses to do the repairs or give you compensation. In that case, you might need to seek the services of a personal injury lawyer.

A personal injury lawyer can negotiate a fair injury settlement with the landlord on your behalf and take further legal action if the landlord is uncooperative. A judge might rule out if the damage is enough to discontinue the lease contract.

Fire damages do not necessarily grant an automatic termination of a lease contract. Leasing a property is a bit complex; hence only after a 30-day notice failure to make repairs, the lease is terminated, and you may move out.

When May a Tenant Sue their Landlord?

When a landlord’s negligence causes a fire by either faulty wiring or any other cause, they become fully responsible for all the damages incurred on the property and the tenants.

If you can prove the landlord’s fault in a court of law, the landlord must pay for any personal damage. If a landlord refuses to refund the security deposit after a fire, then you may sue them to get it since it’s yours.

What Happens If You are Responsible for the Fire?

In case you caused the fire by overloading sockets or improper handling of an oven, you can’t claim compensation. It prohibits you from moving out or discontinuing a lease since you are the one who made the premises inhabitable.

After any attempt to vacate, a landlord might sue you for damages, which you will have to pay for. The most you can do is seek guidance from the legal fraternity and get an estimated value of the damage if the home is now risky for people to live in.

Who is Responsible for the Repairs?

It’s up to the landlord to cover all expenses incurred in a repair caused by their negligence. If they fail to do the repairs, you may discontinue paying rent. Most landlords use their insurance, and if they insist on rent without any repairs, you can fight back.

Pay for the repairs and deduct them from the rent if the problem needs to be fixed fast; you can also postpone paying rent until the problem is solved. Notify the landlord of the damage through a written document and give them time to comply.

If there are no signs of repair, seize some amount from the rent or the entire amount if the damage is enough for you to vacate.

About the author:
Timothy Walton is a law school graduate and a freelance blogger with a knack for self-sufficiency. He also has three successful home business ideas under his belt. Currently, Timothy is working as a collaborative editor for Ben Crump Law Firm. In his free time, when he is not strolling outside his lake house in rural Georgia with his two Labs, Rex and Lucilla, he is either trying his hand at writing a novel or daydreaming about his next nomadic adventure.

Categories: FireNews