Natural disasters can happen in any city or neighborhood, and it can happen 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 natural disaster befalls on a rental property and creates damage to it, the landlords are responsible for more than just repairing the rental home. They have other obligations to their renters that they need to fulfill. The nature of these duties depends on whether your Dr. Phillips property is still habitable or not.
As an owner, you understand that all rental homes must be suitable for human habitation. The location of the property should not be taken into consideration; 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 establish that these standards must be reached by landlords. If these standards aren’t reached, a tenant is under no obligation to pay rent and may even cancel the lease. You may also have to immediately return their security deposit in full.
Therefore, when a natural disaster in Dr. Phillips hits a rental home, an assessment as to the extent of the damage must be made immediately. In the event any questions may arise, the damage should be thoroughly documented. 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 forced to satisfy the terms of the lease, as well as pay to fix up or substitute any destruction to their personal property.
If, however, the damage is extensive, or it will take several months or more to finish the repairs, 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. Similarly, 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 South Orlando have expertise on. With our group on your side, you don’t have to remain troubled but be assured in the knowledge that even when disaster hits, your Dr. Phillips rental buildings are in excellent hands. Please contact us online or call us at 407-982-2000 if you want to know more or have any questions.
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.