What is a tenant’s liabiliy in the event of an apartment fire?

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What is a tenant’s liabiliy in the event of an apartment fire?

There was a fire in my apartment and unfortunatley I don’t have renter’s insurance. The landlord said I will be responsible for the damages which I have no problem with. The buliding owner stated that the apartment needs a new oven (he says around $500) and cabinents (around $1500). The problem I have is the apartment is very old and the stove isn’t even worth $150 and the cabinents aren’t worth anywhere near $1500.. Shouldn’t I be responsible for the depreciated value? I feel that he is trying to get over on me. I didn’t ask if had insurance on the building. If so how does that work?

Asked on June 19, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Ohio

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

From what you have written with respect to liability for the fire that you have written about depends upon whether or not you were negligent in causing the fire or not. If you caused the fire, then you are responsible for the costs of repairs for the rental.

As to the damaged items by the fire such as the appliances, under the law, you would be responsible for the fair market value of the item that was damaged, not the cost for a brand new stove and the like.


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