If an apartment building collapses during a hurricane, is the apartment complex liable for damages caused by that collapse?

For example, if it damages nearby vehicles?

Asked on August 2, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

A person, including a landlord, is not liable for acts or events beyond its control--such as damage done by a hurricane, which is the proverbial "act of god."

The only way to hold the building liable would be if you could show that the building owner or  manager was negligent (or unreasonably careless) in some way, or had deliberately or intentionally done things which contributed or caused the collapse. For example, if you could show that the building was not built to structural code because the owner was trying to save money, and that is why it collapsed, that could provide a basis for liability.

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