Weather-related property damage is becoming increasingly common as a result of drastic climate change. Extreme weather conditions such as wildfires, floods, and coastal erosion can bring destruction to your home.
If you are a landlord, it is your responsibility to keep the property in good condition. This includes repairing any damage caused by severe weather conditions or natural disasters. On the other hand, if you are a tenant, it’s your job to inform the owner(s) as soon as catastrophe hits.
Has your property been impacted by a natural disaster or inclement weather? Continue reading to find out what you should do!
For example, if you’re the tenant and your home is damaged by flooding, your landlord is responsible for drying up the property and paying for the fixation costs. This includes paying for the power used to run a heater and dehumidifier to dry the property and the cost of repairs to re-strengthen the building’s structure.
What to Do If You Are a Tenant
- Inform your landlord about the damage and the repair needs as soon as possible. Note that if you don’t communicate with your landlord on time, there’s a probable chance that you might be held accountable for the repairs.
- If you’ve tried talking to your landlord about the damage and they haven’t made the necessary repairs, you can issue a notice to address the situation. This notification informs the landlord that they have violated their obligations under the Residential Tenancies Act of 1986, what they should do to fix the situation, and a minimum 14 days’ timeline to work on.
- There may be things you may do to help prevent more damage if it’s safe and possible. Covering a damaged window, for example, to keep the rain out of the house while repairs can be made. Discuss this with your landlord.
Don’t know how to write a remedy notice? Click here to view our template and find more information about your rental rights.
What to Do If You Are the Landlord
- Contact your tenants to ensure that they are safe and discuss any damage.
- Consult with a specialist to determine when the repairs can be completed and whether it is safe for your tenants to remain on the property. Tell the tenants how long the repairs are expected to take, and make sure you have the right permission to enter the property.
- Be familiar with your insurance coverage and what it covers. Claim with your insurance company.
- Talk with your tenant about what safe and practical actions you can take to avoid further damage or to safeguard the property until repairs can be made.
Click here for more information about repairs in the wake of a natural disaster.