What are my rights if I lost all my belongings in a rental home fire?

I leased through a rental company. At the scene the fire marshal said the building had never been inspected for use as a dwelling. Do I have a case concerning compensation for my loss due to unsafe construction that was not up to code and was it legal for the realty company to rent me the property in the first place?

Asked on November 26, 2015 under Real Estate Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

It may not have been legal to rent to you, but you can't get compensation for your belongings unless you can prove that the unsafe construction is what caused the loss--that is, if you would have lost your belongings even if the building had been up to code, you will not receive compensation--or if you can prove that the landlord was otherwise at fault: you need to prove a causal link to the landlord or some other party to be eligible to get compensation from them. This is why, in the future, renter's insurance is strongly recommended: to provide a way to get compensation for the loss of your belongings.

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