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Natural Disasters: What Are Your Responsibilities as a Coconut Grove Landlord?

Coconut Grove Tenant’s Car Damaged by a Natural DisasterOne of the many things that can generate problems for a property owner is when a natural disaster hit. Whether a tornado, flood, earthquake, or fire, natural disasters cause extensive property damage and displace thousands of people every year. So, when a natural disaster strikes and destroys a rental property, landlords have to make sure they address renters’ issues as well as the damage to the rental home as it is part of their responsibilities. The extent of these responsibilities lies on the condition of your Coconut Grove property if it is still habitable or not.

To start with, all owners already know that rental homes must be suitable for human habitation. Regardless of location, all rentals must provide a tenant with water, heat, electricity, and a sanitary and structurally safe building. Although regulations vary per state, some regulations do state that in the event a rental home fails to meet standards set by law, a tenant is under no obligation to pay rent and may even cancel the lease. In some instances, they could also be qualified to receive a refund of their security deposit in full, as soon after the natural disaster struck.

Secondly, when a natural disaster in Coconut Grove damages a rental home, an immediate assessment of the damage has to be done, and such damages must be thoroughly documented. To make sure that you have proof in case there will be questions asked later on. If the damage is minimal and the tenant will be displaced for only a matter of days or weeks, your responsibilities as an owner are to restore the damage as fast as possible. Your tenant may still be compelled to meet the terms of the lease, as well as pay to fix or repair any damage to their personal property.

If, however, 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 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 addition, 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.

Understanding how to answer following a natural disaster and which steps to take regarding the lease, rental payments, and security deposits is something the experts at Real Property Management Sunshine have years of experience with. With our team on your side, you can stay relaxed and confident in the knowledge that even when disaster hits, your Coconut Grove rental properties are in the best possible hands. Please contact us online or call us at 305-930-7867 for more information.