What are the Tenants Rights in Case of an Apartment Fire
In case of a fire in a rental property, tenants have the right to end the lease contract, if the landlord is not taking adequate measures to fix the place.
A fire in your home could lead to serious damages and to ruin your property to the ground. Of course, what is most important is to be in good health, everything else is on second place. However, after such a serious accident you will have to deal with various problems the most important being where to live. If the fire happened in your own apartment, you will have to cope with all the following consequences. On the other hand, when you live in a rental property and you go through such an accident, the landlord will have some responsibilities, too.
Tenants do not have ownership of the property, so all repairs must be for the expense of the landlord. Of course, you might do some minor things in order to assist during the process. For example, you will probably have to remove your belongings from one place to another to allow the handymen to fix the broken walls, ceilings, devices and so on. The lessor is responsible to provide fast and adequate measures.
When it comes to your personal belongings there is no one to blame for them. The only thing that could be done is to receive a compensation in case you have an insurance policy. In this case you will have to provide photos before and after the accident in order to have a proof of the damages
You may have the right to stop paying the rent to your landlord, if the building is in dangerous condition. For this purpose arrange an inspector from the local health department to inspect the apartment and make a conclusion. If he/she confirms that the apartment is not safe to live, you will have to move to another place until the property is in proper condition. Sometimes the lease contract will state that the lessor has the responsibility to find you a temporarily shelter during the repair jobs.
Sometime you will be able to terminate the lease, depending on the clauses in the agreement you signed. Also if the landlord is not taking adequate measures and he is not acting as quickly as needed, you may also cancel the contract.
If you believe you have the right to stop paying the monthly rent, before starting any proceedings it is best to familiarize yourself with the local laws and to be prepared in advance. Also you can talk to an attorney to make sure you meet all the terms in order to cancel the lease.
Usually when you want to end a lease contract, you will have to spend a lot of time to put the apartment in proper condition. A lot of people even turn to vacate cleaners, or example, otherwise there is a risk not to receive the full amount of the deposit. One of the few good things in case of a fire in a rental property is that there will be no need to spend time for the cleaning of the place, as there will be repairs that need to be done in near future.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I'm a cleaning consultant in a company in Melbourne.