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When Disaster Strikes in Bernards: Owner vs Renter Liability Responsibilities

A Resident’s Car Has Been Damaged by a Natural Disaster in Bernards

Major storms and natural disasters can cause extensive property damage. As a Bernards rental property owner, do you understand your responsibilities if your resident’s personal property is damaged or destroyed?

Some property owners may assume that any damage from a storm or natural disaster is their responsibility. However, renters and rental property owners both have liabilities when it comes to property damage. Understanding which liabilities are yours and which belong to your residents is a necessary part of recovering from a natural disaster.

For example, many rental properties have one or more large trees around the exterior of the home. If a tree on your rental property falls during a storm and damages a vehicle belonging to a resident, whose responsibility is it to cover the price of repairs? In this case, paying for the cost is not the property owner’s responsibility. Instead, the resident’s auto or renter’s insurance should cover the cost of repairing the resident’s car.

What about other types of damage from a natural disaster? Floods, wildfires, and tornadoes are all events that rental property owners and residents could face. If a natural disaster damages a rental property, it is the owner’s responsibility to make sure that it is livable and to pay for repairs if it is not.

However, the resident’s personal property, such as vehicles, and the costs of transportation, lodging, food, and other expenses associated with evacuating are all the resident’s responsibility. As long as the property is back to a habitable state quickly, the resident may still be responsible for the terms of the lease and need to have renter’s insurance plan to cover temporary alternative housing.

At Real Property Management NJ Elite, we help rental property owners like you recognize what your responsibilities are in the event of a natural disaster or any other weather-related incident. No matter what nature brings, our exceptional property management services will help answer your questions about liability and ensure that your residents are shouldering their share of responsibility. Contact us online or give us a call at 908-955-7487 to find out more and discover what we can do for you.

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