Natural disasters can happen at any moment and place. Regardless of whether a tornado, flood, earthquake, or fire, natural disasters cause extensive property damage and displace thousands of people every year. As soon as a natural disaster strikes and wrecks a rental property, landlords have specific responsibilities to their renters beyond address the harm to the rental house. The nature of these responsibilities will depend on the degree of your Raleigh property and if it is still habitable or not.
As a property owner, you understand that all rental homes need to be fit for human habitation. Regardless of the area, all rentals must provide a tenant with water, heat, electricity, and a sanitary and structurally safe building. Although the specific rules differ, a few rules that state if the rental home violates these standards, a tenant is under no obligation to pay rent and may even cancel the lease. In some cases, they could also be eligible to get their security deposit in full.
So, the moment that a rental home is wrecked by a natural disaster in Raleigh, the measure of the damage should be assessed quickly. Damage should also be thoroughly documented, in the event that questions happen down the road come up later down the road. If the damage is minimal and the tenant will be displaced for just a few days or weeks, your responsibilities as an owner are to repair the damage as soon as possible. Your tenant may still be obligated to comply with the terms of the lease, along with paying to repair or replace any damage to their personal property.
On the other hand, if 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 is uninhabitable, you may be required 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. Added to that, 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 respond after a natural disaster and which actions to take with regards to the lease, rental payments, and security deposits is something the experts at Real Property Management Excellence have extensive experience with. With our team acting together with you, you can take it easy and certain in the knowledge that even when disaster assaults, your Raleigh rental properties are in expert hands. Please contact us online or call us at 919-827-1107 for further information.
We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.