WHAT ARE A TENANT’S RIGHTS IF A WORKMAN STARTED A FIRE ANDTHE UNIT AND CONTENTS WERE DAMAGED?

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WHAT ARE A TENANT’S RIGHTS IF A WORKMAN STARTED A FIRE ANDTHE UNIT AND CONTENTS WERE DAMAGED?

A PLUMBER WAS WORKING ON A UNIT AROUND MY MOTHERS UNIT AND STARTED A FIRE. THE FIRE CAUSED ALOT OF DAMAGE. FIRE REPORT STATES FIRE STARTED WHERE PLUMBER WAS WORKING. MY MOM NEEDS TO GET RID OF HER STUFF AND CLEAR OUT HER UNIT. SHE IS VERY TIGHT ON CASH RIGHT NOW.

Asked on January 5, 2011 under Real Estate Law, New York

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Is this a rental unit or is there an ownership interest here?  Who hired the plumber and was it determined that the plumber really did start the fire through his own acts of negligence?  You should file a claim with the landlord if you are renting the apartment and you should consult with someone as to suing the renter of the other unit, the owner of the other unit and the plumber for the damages that were incurred.  Did your Mother by any chance have renters insurance?  If she did then she needs to make a claim to them as well.  Do not get rid of anything until such time as it has been inspected by the insurance company that you are making a claim against.  Take pictures to document everything as well and even consider videotaping things as they are.  Good luck.


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