Natural disasters can happen in anywhere and any time. Whether a tornado, flood, earthquake, or fire, natural disasters cause extensive property damage and displace thousands of people every year. When a natural disaster comes and wreaks havoc on a rental property, landlords have the responsibility to do more than just repair the damage to the rental home. The nature of these obligations depends on whether your Belleview property is still habitable or not.
As an owner, you already understand that all rental homes must be fit for human habitation. The location of the property doesn’t matter; all rentals must provide a tenant with water, heat, electricity, and a sanitary and structurally safe building. While the exact regulations may change from location to location, some of them require that the rental home meet certain standards. If these standards aren’t satisfied, a tenant is under no obligation to pay rent and may even cancel the lease. They may also be eligible to demand their security deposit back in full.
So, when a rental home is damaged by fire, flood, or any natural disaster in Belleview, the magnitude of the damage must be assessed immediately. Damages should be thoroughly documented; this is a precautionary measure in case questions arise later on. If the damage is minimal and the tenant will be displaced for a few days or weeks, your role as an owner is to repair the damage as fast as possible. Your tenant may still be required to comply with the terms of the lease, as well as pay to restore or to replace any destruction to their personal property.
If for some reason, the damage is extensive, or the repairs will take several months or more, it is the responsibility of the owner to determine how to handle the lease. If the home turns out to be uninhabitable, you may need to release your renter from the lease and return the security deposit in full. A tenants’ security deposit cannot be used to pay for damages caused by a natural disaster. In similar fashion, if the natural disaster strikes close to the beginning of the month or immediately after a month’s rent has been paid, the landlord may have a responsibility to return that month’s rent to the renter.
Knowing how to handle the effects of a natural disaster and what actions to take with respect to the lease, rental payments, and security deposits is something the experts at Real Property Management Diversified have years of practice with. With our group on your side, you can stay calm, cool, and collected in the knowledge that even when disaster hits, your Belleview rental premises are in the best possible hands. Don’t hesitate to contact us online or give us a call at 352-854-2221 for more information.