Wht to do about damage to my rental from a hurricane?

UPDATED: Oct 31, 2012

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Wht to do about damage to my rental from a hurricane?

I had roughly 6 inches of water throughout my home. My landlord does not think that he should have to do anything and that I should just extract the water and deal with it. the floors, walls and insulation as well as the carpeting and carpet padding are completely soaked. Does this fall under the obligation of warranty of habitability? The township construction inspecter told me that he will have to have a company like ServPro come in an d dry the house, replace floors and drywall, etc. At this point, I just want my security deposit back so that I can find a new place to live. I am worried about mold and mildew and decent air to breathe.

Asked on October 31, 2012 under Real Estate Law, New Jersey


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Given what you have written about and the potential hazard of water intrusion in the unit post the hurricane and resulting spores, I would write the landlord a letter demanding that the water intrusion matter be remedied by a certain date. Keep a copy of the letter for future use and need. If the matter is not resolved by the demand date, contact the local buidong and permit department and health department for an inspection of the unit.

If the unit is cited, you clearly have the basis to terminate your lease without recourse to the landlord. In the interim, I suggest that you consult with a landlord tenant attorney to help you further on your matter.

Arkady Bukh / Bukh Law Firm, P.C.

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I'm assuming you do not have renters' insurance, which is cheap and something you should look into for your next place.  

The hurricane is known as an "Act of God" and your landlord is not responsible for that under most leases.  If you are paid up to date and you don't have any time on your lease, you can ask for your security deposit back.  Let's say if your lease expires today October 31, 2012.  This damage wasn't your fault either. 

Otherwise, the landlord's insurance and any supplemental federal help will take care of his property and the inside of the apartment.  YOUR items and property are not covered.  

 Check your lease. 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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