In reflection of the recent California wildfire disaster we wanted to take a quick look at some of the ramifications of dealing with fire damage to home or property when you are renting from another party.
A fire is devastating. The thought of a wildfire destroying your property is understandably a nightmare. As wildfires encroach on residential areas, this is a real worry for some tenants. What happens if you have to leave during a fire? Even when a building isn’t destroyed, there may be damages from nearby fires. Whatever the case, while you are away from your home, there are certain rights as a tenant that you need to be aware of.
For help with legal rights after a fire, contacting Brent George Law may help. Having someone to help in an official capacity is always beneficial.
When you’re displaced, do not pay rent. If your residence needs repairs, you do not pay rent until after the repairs are finished. Equally, you should not have to worry about your rent increasing. If a property owner completes repairs after a fire, the rent can’t go up in cost. The only exception is if the landlord petitions the Rent Board. You are entitled to your place. If the property owner rents to someone else instead of inviting you back to your residence, then you can file for a wrongful eviction.
When you’re displaced, you need to make a decision. Some people choose not to return to their residence. If you plan to return, then you need to send a letter to your landlord to indicate that you will return. Once the repairs are complete, the property owner should invite you back. After that point, you have 30 days to notify the landlord to let him or her know that you plan on coming back. If the property owner rents the place out too soon or does not offer you your former place, you could have a claim against him or her.
In the case of a wildfire, odds are you will not be entitled to a claim against your landlord. Claims are for cases where the property owner neglected to keep up with maintenance that caused the fire. In the case of a wildfire, odds are you don’t have enough to file a claim. No matter the source of the fire, always obtain fire records regarding your residence.
When it comes to what you need to do after a wildfire, you may want to speak to law officials, such as Brent George Law, about where you stand as far as tenant rights. After displacement due to a fire, you do have rights. Please contact us today if you have any questions.