No one can evade a natural disaster; they can come unannounced at the most inconvenient period and place. Whether it be a tornado, flood, earthquake, or fire, natural disasters cause extensive property damage and displace thousands of people every year. Whenever a natural disaster strike and destroys a rental property, landlords have to make sure that they know what their responsibilities are which covers more than the property but the renters as well. The nature of these responsibilities depends on whether your Melbourne Beach property is still habitable or not.
Primarily as an owner, you understand that all rental homes must be fit for human habitation. Notwithstanding the location, all rentals must provide a tenant with water, heat, electricity, and a sanitary and structurally safe building. While the specific statutes vary, some regulations insist that if the rental home does not meet these measures, a tenant is under no obligation to pay rent and may even cancel the lease. They may also be qualified to take their security deposit immediately in full.
Therefore, if a natural disaster in Melbourne Beach damages a rental home, the area of the damage must be evaluated at once. Damage should also be thoroughly documented, on the off-chance questions arise later on. If the damage is minimal and the tenant will be displaced for only a matter of days or weeks, your responsibilities as an owner are to mend the damage as soon as possible. Your tenant may still be bound to meet the terms of the lease, as well as pay to rebuild or replace any damage to their personal property.
If, however, 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 need 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.
Recognizing how to react after a natural disaster and which steps to take regarding the lease, rental payments, and security deposits is something the experts at Real Property Management Brevard have years of experience with. With our team on your side, you can stay relaxed and confident in the knowledge that even when disaster hits, your Melbourne Beach rental properties are in the best possible hands. Please contact us online or call us at 321-610-8022 for more information.
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.