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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Who Is Responsible for What After an Apartment Fire?

3/18/2021 (Permalink)

Image of an apartment complex on fire and fire fighters working to put out the fire. An apartment fire is costly.

Property owners need to deal with complex insurance issues after a disaster. The liability needs to rest with either one or both parties, but who is responsible for what damage? As the building owner, are you responsible for the tenants' damaged belongings? While a fire restoration service in Roanoke Rapids, NC, can provide some insight the best resource is your commercial insurance provider. However, when dealing with an apartment fire, the resulting liabilities for fire damage can be pretty straightforward.

Dealing With an Apartment Fire

1. Landlord Responsibilities

As the property owner, your responsibility is for the structure and property. In the aftermath of an apartment fire, you will need to file a claim for the damage to the building itself. Renters will typically have renter’s insurance that should cover any personal property damage.
However, if the fire is due to neglect, such as lax maintenance or property upkeep, the landlord could find themselves in further legal trouble. As a property manager and owner, it is vital to stay on top of maintenance schedules and equipment repairs. Failure to do so may provide tenants a legal loophole for seeking restitution.

2. Tenant Responsibilities

Tenants are responsible for their personal property. Most renter’s insurance policies are low cost and cover damage due to fire. Renter’s are also not free from further liability issues. If a tenant is doing something that causes a fire, they could find themselves in legal jeopardy. Many apartments have rental agreements that state clear rules. If a renter violates these rules causing a fire, the property owner has the right to file a lawsuit, attempting to recover any financial losses.

An apartment fire is costly for everyone involved, but knowing your responsibilities and maintaining proper insurance coverage should make the process less burdensome. As a property owner, if you have more questions about your specific responsibilities to tenants, contact your insurance company. As a policyholder, you have every right to ask about specific coverages in your policy.

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