Natural Disasters and Tenant’s Rights

When natural disasters strike affecting the condition of your rental properties, know your tenant’s rights:

  • If the premises are damaged or destroyed other than by the wrongful or negligent acts of the tenant so that the enjoyment of the premises is substantially impaired, the tenant may terminate the rental agreement and immediately vacate the premises. The tenant may vacate the part of the premises rendered unusable by the casualty, in which case the tenant’s liability for rent shall be reduced by the fair rental value of that part of the premises damaged or destroyed.
  • When the tenant moves out, the landlord must either return their deposit (plus interest, if applicable) within 15 days of termination of the lease if the landlord does not intend to impose a claim upon the security deposit; or justify in writing by certified mail, to the tenant’s last known mailing address within 30 days upon termination of a lease, as to why they are keeping a portion of, or all of the deposit. If the notice is not sent as required within the 30 day period, the landlord forfeits his/her right to impose a claim upon the deposit, unless the tenant fails to give proper notice prior to vacating.   If the tenant objects to the claim, they may take the matter to small claims court.
  • The landlord and the tenant should take pictures of the home, inside and out, showing the damage and keep them for future records. The pictures will be important should there be any dispute because of damage to the home.
  • If, due to a disaster, the landlord refuses to renew a tenant’s lease, terminates the month-to-month rental agreement or increases the rent substantially, a tenant can seek a court decision on whether the rental agreement or any part of it is unconscionable or if the landlord is acting in a retaliatory manner.

Comment (1)

  1. RYAN

    MY FRIENDS APT ROOF COLAPSED IN MASTER BEDROOM AND LAUNDRY ROOM. LANDLORD PAID FOR HOTEL FOR A WEEK AND NOW RETURNED RENT FOR DRCEMBER. LANDLORD STATES THAT IT WILL TAKE AT LEAST 2 MONTHS TO FIX AND TO FIND A PLACE TO STAY. IT IS MONTH TO MONTH AND MOST OF FURNITURE IS STILL THERE. IS IT POSSIBLE FOR LANDLORD TO TERMINATE HER RESIDENCE THERE AFTER APT IS FIXED?

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