Who is responsible if the basement in my rental flooded and damaged my belongings?

UPDATED: Sep 8, 2011

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Who is responsible if the basement in my rental flooded and damaged my belongings?

My finished basement flooded and I lost a lot of property. I am the only one with a finished basement in the townhome I rent. I call right away and no one came, my renters insurance doesn’t cover my flood damage, so since I called the maintenance and the people that own the property and no one came, are they now liable because of negligence? A lot of this could have been avoided if someone came but no one responded.

Asked on September 8, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

In order to establish whether or not someone is responsible for the water damage that happened to your property, you have to establish the cause for the flooding. For example, if the landlord knew that the unbit you rented had a tendency to flood in the basement and did not advise you of such before you rented the property, such failure to disclose could be a basis for liability in that had you know the true facts, you might not have rented the unit or if you did rent it, you might have had your belongings stored high so as to not be damaged.

Potentially maintenance could be responsible for the damages due to a slow response to rectify the problem or perhaps maintenance caused the problem to come about by improper precautions allowing the flooding.

You will need to do some further research to establish some absence of care by someone that caused your damages to proceed with a claim.

Good luck.

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