Natural disasters can occur when you least expect it. Whether a tornado, flood, earthquake, or fire, natural disasters cause extensive property damage and displace thousands of people every year. When a natural disaster strikes and wrecks a rental property, there are certain responsibilities that landlords must address, and these go beyond merely attending to the damages to the rental home. The nature of these duties depends on whether your Dover property is still habitable or not.
As an owner, you accept that all rental homes must be decent enough for human habitation. The location of the property should not be considered; 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 of them demand that the rental home meet certain standards. If these standards aren’t met, a tenant is under no obligation to pay rent and may even cancel the lease. They may also be eligible to have their security deposit given back to them immediately and in full.
Consequently, when a rental home is hit by a natural disaster in Dover, the level of damage must be assessed without delay. To be able to answer any questions that may arise later on, the damage should be thoroughly documented. If the damage is minimal and the tenant will be displaced for a short period of time, your duties as an owner are to repair the damage straight away. Your tenant may still be forced to satisfy the terms of the lease, as well as pay to fix up or substitute any destruction to their personal property.
If, however, the repairs will take several months or more, or the damage is extensive, it is the responsibility of the owner to determine how to handle the lease. If the home is uninhabitable, you might need to release your renter from the lease and return the security deposit in full. A tenant’s security deposit cannot be used to pay for damages caused by a natural disaster. Similarly, 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 manage the outcome of a natural disaster and what measures to take regarding the lease, rental payments, and security deposits is something the experts at Real Property Management Seacoast New Hampshire have a great deal of experience with. With our company on your side, you can stay composed and convinced in the knowledge that even when disaster hits, your Dover rental premises are in the right hands. Please contact us online or call us at 603-343-2202 if you want to know more or have any questions.
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.