Natural disasters can occur at a moment’s notice and just about anywhere. Whether a tornado, flood, earthquake, or fire, natural disasters cause extensive property damage and displace thousands of people every year. Right after a natural disaster happens and demolishes a rental property, landlords have a handful of responsibilities to their renters beyond dealing with the ravage to the rental house. The nature of these commitments are based on whether your Springville property is still habitable or not.
As a property owner, you already know that all rental homes should be fitted for human habitation. Regardless of the location, all rentals must provide a tenant with water, heat, electricity, and a sanitary and structurally safe building. While the exact regulations can vary, most state that if the rental home is not meeting these standards, a tenant is under no obligation to pay rent and may even cancel the lease. They may also be eligible to receive their security deposit immediately in full.
When a rental home has been hit by a natural disaster in Springville, the seriousness of the damage should be assessed right away. Also, damage should be thoroughly documented, in the case that questions arise later on. If the damage is minimal and the tenant will be displaced for just a few days or weeks, your responsibilities as an owner are to repair the damage as speedily as possible. Your tenants may still be obligated to meet the terms of the lease, as well as pay to repair or replace any damage to their personal property.
However, if the damage is extensive, or the repairs will take several months or more, it is the responsibility of the owner to determine how to handle the lease. If the home is uninhabitable, you may be required to release your renter from the lease and return the security deposit in full. A tenants’ security deposit cannot be used to pay for damages caused by a natural disaster. In addition, 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.
Understanding how to respond after a natural disaster and which actions to take with respect to the lease, rental payments, and security deposits is something the experts at Real Property Management Utah County have a wealth of experience with. With our team as your partner, you can keep a clear head and be confident in the knowledge that even when disaster blows, your Springville rental properties are in with a team you can believe in. Please contact us online or call us at 801-224-0033 for supplementary information.