Does the owner of a rental property have to reimburse renters if they forced to evacuate due to a hurricane?

I recently rented a house in Atlantic City, NJ. On that Friday we were “asked” by police to evacuate the property. The owners are refusing to return my money for Friday and Saturday night. I remember the governor stating that you cannot profit from this disaster. I feel that is exactly what they are doing. There is nothing in the contract regarding state of emergency and forced evacuations. I thought they could submit to their insurance for lost revenue but they say no. Do I have any legal rights here?

Asked on September 6, 2011 under Real Estate Law, New Jersey


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Unless the written lease states some rebate for acts of nature, your landlord does not any obligation to reimburse renters for having to evacuate a rental due to a hurricane. Such events are deemed unforeseen events that are well beyind the control of the landlord. As such, your landlord has no obligation to you to reimburse you for any expenses resulting from the hurricane.

The issue of not being able to profit from the disaster stems from people hiking up prices for staples solely because of the upcoming hurricane.

Most property owners do not have insurance policies covering for lost profits of their rentals. The typical insurance policy for a rental pertains to physical damage to the rented unit.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.