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What to Do About Flood Water Damage in an Apartment, as a Renter in Rochester, NY?

What to Do About Flood Water Damage in an Apartment, as a Renter in Rochester, NY?

If you’re renting an apartment and it becomes flooded for any reason, what should you do and what are your rights in this case?  It’s vital to understand this so you can prepare yourself ahead of time when you rent and so you can ensure your rights are protected if this happens to you.  Flood water damage is no joke, so you need be prepared.

Renter’s Insurance

Water DamageEach renter’s insurance policy is different but most don’t cover floods, especially not those that are caused by nature.  Check your policy carefully; if it does cover floods, it may be for the value of certain items only and may have a limit as to the coverage.  As with your car insurance you might also have a deductible that you first pay before the renter’s insurance kicks in to cover the rest.

Landlord’s Responsibility

When you rent an apartment the landlord has the responsibility to pay for all repairs due to flooding, including the walls, floors, doors, and mold removal as well as carpet cleaning.  He or she needs to repair and clean the apartment so that it is livable; they are not necessarily obligated to replace the carpet and doors if they can be reasonably cleaned and repaired.

Your landlord is also not typically responsible to pay for the replacement of your personal belongings unless the flood is directly caused by their negligence.  Typical breakdown of appliances and leaks are their responsibility to fix but do not make them liable for your own property.  This is why renter’s insurance is often recommended, so that you can easily replace your items.

It’s important to understand that as a renter, you should not attempt to make repairs to an apartment yourself, before or after a flood, as any damage you cause could then become your responsibility.  The landlord must make repairs inside and out as needed and according to your lease when you are renting.

Moving Out

In most cases, if the apartment is unlivable after a flood you can move out and don’t owe the landlord rent until it is repaired again.  The landlord is not typically responsible for your moving and housing costs during this time.

It’s important to know that these laws vary from state to state and there are many details about these laws that could affect your case in particular.  Consult an attorney if you’re concerned about flood damage to your belongings or apartment.