If a “State of Emergency” is in effect and mandatory evacuation are in effect, can I demand a refund for money paid on a vacation rental?

UPDATED: Aug 26, 2011

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Aug 26, 2011Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

If a “State of Emergency” is in effect and mandatory evacuation are in effect, can I demand a refund for money paid on a vacation rental?

I rented a vacation house this weekend, but due to a hurricane there is a mandatory evacuation and I can’t even get to the house. I already paid $2,200 for the house but I think I deserve some money back since the landlord technically can’t deliver the property. I don’t have a contract, but an e-mail exchange stated that there were no refunds or cancellations for weather. Is this still valid once the governor has declared a “State of Emergency”? Can I demand a full refund? What legal recourse do I have?

Asked on August 26, 2011 New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

A mandatory evaction may entitle you to a refund. A contract may be voided if it is impossible or illegal. An impossible contract is one which cannot be performed due to circustances beyond the parties' control--like not being able to access the beach house. An illegal contract is one that performance of which would require  an illegal act--like ignoring an evacuation order. The circumstances you describe may meet one or both criteria. This is not merely a weather problem--it's a problem that, as you note, the landlord may not deliver possesion, and that inability may make the contract void. Of course, since litigation can be expensive in terms of time and money, it may be the better part of valor, if it would litigation, to settle with the landlord if possible, to allow him to have something. Good luck.

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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption