What to do if our rental home flooded during a hurricane and neither landlord’s homeowner’s policy nor our rental policy covers flooding?

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What to do if our rental home flooded during a hurricane and neither landlord’s homeowner’s policy nor our rental policy covers flooding?

The home is uninhabitable and we have terminated our lease agreement. our landlord is charging $1200 for removal of our flood-damaged possessions (sofas, rugs, etc). What rights do we have in this situation, if any? We’ve had to move to temporary housing which is $1k more per month, plus $2k in moving expenses, plus extensive personal property damages.

Asked on November 9, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Connecticut

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, you do not appear to have any rights, other than to whatever FEMA assistance to which you may be entitled:

1) If a rental is terminated due to factors beyond a landlord's control, he or she is not obligated to compensate you for that fact--so the landlord does not need to pay the difference in rent or your moving expenses.

2) A landlord is not liable for damage to or loss of your belongings, unless he or she caused the loss, which would not have been the case.

3) A landlord is entitled to charge the cost to remove damaged or abandoned belongings of yours after the termination of your tenancy, if you do not have them removed yourself.

Unfortunately, what you describe is exactly the kind of loss for which people have insurance--a loss which is not the fault of any other person, and so one for which you cannot recover from anyone else.


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