If I moved into an apartment and on the day of move-in it caught on fire, what are my rights?

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If I moved into an apartment and on the day of move-in it caught on fire, what are my rights?

I never stayed in the apartment. The day I moved in there was a short in the laundry room fan and the apartment caught on fire. The landlord had a fire extinguisher but it did not work. I did not have renters insurance at the time since I was just moving in. Do I have any rights as far as taking my landlord to civil court and having her replace some of my belongings since the cause of the fire was due to her negligence in the up keep of her property? I don’t feel the situation is fair because she got a new apartment and my 2 girls and I lost everything.

Asked on September 6, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Arizona

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If there was a fire at the unit you were renting caused by a short in the laundry room fan resulting in the loss of your and your daughter's personal items, you need to get a copy of the fire report to see if the landlord was negligent for allowing the fire to happen resulting in damages to you and your family.

Just because your suffered a loss as a result of the fire in order to establish liability against the landlord as a foundation for your damage claims, you have to establish that the landlord was somehow negligent in allowing the fire to happen. Unfortunately fires happen at times as a result of no negligence by any party.

Before you file an action against your landlord, you should have a meeting with him or her to see if there is some way that some of your belongings can be replaced voluntarily at the landlord's own costs.

Good luck.


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