Natural disasters can occur anytime and anywhere. Whether a tornado, flood, earthquake, or fire, natural disasters cause extensive property damage and displace thousands of people every year. When a rental property is damaged by a natural disaster, the landlords have a responsibility to their renters that goes above only fixing the damage to the rental home. The quality of these responsibilities depends on whether your Prairieville property is still habitable or not.
As an owner, you recognize that all rental homes must be fitting for human habitation. It doesn’t matter what location the property is in, 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 expect that the rental home meets certain standards. If these standards aren’t met, a tenant is under no obligation to pay rent and may even cancel the lease. They may also be eligible to have their security deposit given back to them immediately and in full.
So, when a natural disaster in Prairieville damages a rental home, the scope of the damage must be assessed promptly. To be able to answer any questions that may arise later on, the damage should be thoroughly documented. If the damage is minimal and the tenant will be displaced for a few days or weeks, your role as an owner is to fix up the damage as fast as possible. Your tenant may still be obligated to fulfill the terms of the lease, as well as pay to fix up or to replace any damage to their personal property.
However, if it will take several months or more to finish the repairs, or if the damage is extensive, it is the responsibility of the owner to determine how to handle the lease. If the home is uninhabitable, you might 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. Additionally, 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 what actions to take after a natural disaster and what to do concerning the lease, rental payments, and security deposits is something the experts at Real Property Management Baton Rouge have many years of experience with. With our company on your side, you can stay composed and confident in the knowledge that even when disaster hits, your Prairieville rental premises are in the right hands. Please contact us online or give us a call at 225-389-6860 for more information.