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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Tenant and Owner Responsibilities After a Fire

10/31/2019 (Permalink)

Fire spreads into stairwell of apartment building Fires in an apartment building aren't fun for the landlord or the tenants

Whether you've experienced an apartment fire, a commercial fire or a fire at a rented home in Mount Prospect, IL, the effects can be devastating to both the tenant and the landlord. It may not be clear who is responsible when it comes to the fire damage. Depending on the circumstances, liability can be divided up very differently. Let's look at some particulars.

Landlord Responsibilities

Generally, the landlord is responsible for hiring the restoration company to repair structural damage after a business, house or apartment fire. Damage may include:

• Structural damage to:
o Walls
o Floors
o Carpeting
o Pool Houses
o Sheds
• Damage to fixtures and appliances:
o Cabinets
o Countertops
o Plumbing
o Electrical wiring
o Supplied appliances such as dishwashers and refrigerators

Tenant Responsibilities

In most cases, the tenant is responsible for any damage done to his or her personal property. The tenant will have to go to his or her insurance company to recover the loss of items such as:

• Clothing
• Furniture
• Computers
• TVs
• Tenant-owned appliances
• Video game consoles
• Musical instruments

Liability Claims

Sometimes, there is a question of who is liable for the damage. If the landlord is proved to be responsible (for instance, due to negligence regarding the property's electrical wiring), he can be made to pay for damage to the renters' personal belongings, wages lost, costs related to finding another place to stay, and more. Conversely, if the landlord can prove that the renter was somehow negligent, the renter may be responsible for any costs related to repairing the property. If the landlord is unable to prove this, he will be liable for any structural repair, as it's the landlord's responsibility to see to it that the property is in a livable condition.

Be Prepared

Whether you are a renter or a landlord who's suffered a commercial fire, apartment fire or house fire, you will need to make sure that you have immediately contacted your insurance company, have made a detailed list of any property that's been damaged, and taken pictures of any damage to the structure and property, as well as any evidence of negligence. That way you will be prepared for any subsequent questions from the insurance company, and ensure that you're only incurring cost for the fire damage that you're actually responsible for

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