Natural disasters can arise at any place and at any time. 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 characteristics of these responsibilities depend on whether your Oxbow 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 take back their security deposit in full.
So, when a natural disaster in Oxbow damages a rental home, the scope of the damage must be assessed promptly. It is recommended that you have the damage thoroughly documented; this is a safeguard in case there would be questions later on. If the damage is minimal and the tenant will be displaced for a short period of time, your duties as an owner are to mend the destruction as soon as possible. Your tenant may still be compelled to satisfy the terms of the lease, as well as pay to restore or substitute any destruction 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 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. Furthermore, 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 to do after a natural disaster and what steps to take concerning the lease, rental payments, and security deposits are something the teams at Real Property Management Optimum have expertise on. With our business on your side, you can stay unruffled and sure in the knowledge that even when disaster hits, your Oxbow rental buildings are in excellent hands. Please contact us online or call us at 612-730-8293 to know more.