Natural disasters can happen in any area and moment. Whether a tornado, flood, earthquake, or fire, natural disasters cause extensive property damage and displace thousands of people every year. When a natural disaster strikes and wrecks a rental property, there are certain responsibilities that landlords must address, and these go beyond merely attending to the damages to the rental home. The nature of these obligations depends on whether your El Segundo property is still habitable or not.
As an owner, you accept that all rental homes must be decent enough for human habitation. The location of the property should not be considered; all rentals must provide a tenant with water, heat, electricity, and a sanitary and structurally safe building. While the exact regulations may change from location to location, some of them require that the rental home meet these certain standards. If these standards aren’t satisfied, a tenant is under no obligation to pay rent and may even cancel the lease. They may also be eligible to take back their security deposit in full.
Consequently, when a rental home is hit by a natural disaster in El Segundo, the level of damage must be assessed without delay. It is recommended that you have the damage thoroughly documented; this is a safeguard in case there would be questions later on. If the damage is minimal and the tenant will be displaced for two or three days or weeks, your role as an owner is to mend the damage at once. Your tenant may still be compelled to satisfy the terms of the lease, as well as pay to restore or substitute any destruction to their personal property.
If, however, the repairs will take several months or more, or the damage is extensive, it is the responsibility of the owner to determine how to handle the lease. If the home is uninhabitable, you would probably need to release your renter from the lease and return the security deposit in full. A tenants’ security deposit cannot be used to pay for damages caused by a natural disaster. In similar fashion, if the natural disaster strikes close to the beginning of the month or immediately after a month’s rent has been paid, the landlord may have a responsibility to return that month’s rent to the renter.
Knowing how to act after a natural disaster and what measures to take regarding the lease, rental payments, and security deposits is something the experts at Real Property Management California Coast have a lot of experience with. With our group on your side, you can stay calm, cool, and collected in the knowledge that even when disaster hits, your El Segundo rental premises are in the best possible hands. Don’t hesitate to contact us online or give us a call at 310-535-2150 for more information.
We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.