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Natural Disasters: What Are Your Responsibilities as a West Jordan Landlord?

West Jordan Tenant’s Car Damaged by a Natural DisasterNatural disasters can happen at any time or place.  Whether a tornado, flood, earthquake, or fire, natural disasters cause extensive property damage and displace thousands of people every year. From the moment that a natural disaster takes place and damages a rental property, landlords have distinct responsibilities to their renters apart from handling the devastation to the rental place. The nature of these obligations depends on if that your West Jordan property is still habitable or not.

As a landlord, you should already know that all rental homes must be fit for human habitation.  Regardless of the locations, all rentals must provide a tenant with water, heat, electricity, and a sanitary and structurally safe building. While the exact regulations can vary, most regulations state that if the rental home is non-compliant with these standards, a tenant is under no obligation to pay rent and may even cancel the lease. They could most certainly also be qualified to pick up their security deposit swiftly in full.

So, as soon as a rental home is damaged by a natural disaster in West Jordan, the extent of that damage should be assessed shortly after. Damage should also be thoroughly documented, in the event that any questions are brought up later on. If the damage is minimal and the tenant will be displaced just a couple of days or weeks, your responsibilities as an owner are to repair the damage as quickly as possible. Your tenant may still be required to meet the terms of the lease, as well as pay to replace or repair any damage to their own personal property.

However, if the damage is extensive, or the repairs will take several months or more, it is the responsibility of the owner to determine how to handle the lease. If the home is uninhabitable, you may be obligated 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 addition to that, 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.

Understanding how to respond after a natural disaster and which procedures to take in reference to the lease, rental payments, and security deposits is something the experts at Real Property Management Wasatch have rich experience with. With our team working together with you, you can sit back and relax knowing that even when disaster strikes, your West Jordan rental properties are in hands you can bank upon. Please contact us online or call us at 801-418-9835 for add-on information.

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