Natural disasters can occur anytime and anywhere. 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, landlords need to address more than just the damage to the rental home. They have specific responsibilities to their renters. The essence of these responsibilities depends on whether your Adams Morgan property is still habitable or not.
As an owner, you acknowledge that all rental homes must be suited for human habitation. The location of the property should not be taken into account; but 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 regulations state, that if these standards aren’t reached, a tenant is under no obligation to pay rent and may even cancel the lease. They may also be entitled to have their security deposit returned to them immediately and in full.
Therefore, when a rental home is struck by a natural disaster in Adams Morgan, the degree of damage must be assessed as soon as possible. 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 couple of days or weeks, your job as an owner is to repair the destruction immediately. Your tenant may still be compelled to fulfill the terms of the lease, as well as pay to mend or substitute or restore any harm to their personal property.
However, 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 proves 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. Likewise, 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 actions to take after a natural disaster and what to do concerning the lease, rental payments, and security deposits is something the experts at Real Property Management DC Metro have many years of experience with. With our group on your side, you can be untroubled and assured in the knowledge that even when disaster hits, your Adams Morgan rental buildings are in excellent hands. For more information, contact us online or call us at 202-269-0303.
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.