The thing with natural disasters is that they can catch you off guard. With the advancement of technology and the ability to predict the weather, one can never accurately tell when something would damage an area. Whether it be a tornado, flood, earthquake, or fire, natural disasters cause extensive property damage and displace thousands of people every year. As a landlord, what do you do when a natural disaster hits and damages your rental property? To start with, you have to remember that you have the responsibility to address the damage and even beyond the damage to the rental home. The nature of these responsibilities varies, depending on whether or not your Newbury Park property is still habitable or not.
A responsible owner knows that all rental homes have to be suitable for human habitation. It doesn’t matter where the area is, all rentals must provide a tenant with water, heat, electricity, and a sanitary and structurally safe building. To be fair, regulations are not the same in all places. Some regulations state that in the event a rental home does not meet these criteria, a tenant is under no obligation to pay rent and may even cancel the lease. They could also even get their security deposit back immediately in full.
If in case a natural disaster in Newbury Park, an assessment should be done immediately so that the damage can be estimated. The whole process should also be thoroughly documented if in case questions arise later. If the damage is minimal and the tenant will be displaced for only a few days or weeks, then your job as the owner is to repair the damage as quickly as possible. Your tenant could still be required to meet the terms of the lease, as well as pay to repair or replace 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. Also, 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 steps to take regarding the lease, rental payments, and security deposits is something the experts at Real Property Management Ventura County have years of experience with. With our team on your side, you can stay calm and confident in the knowledge that even when disaster hits, your Newbury Park rental properties are in the best possible hands. Please contact us online or call us at 805-387-3682 for more 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.