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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

What Are Landlord Responsibilities Following an Apartment Fire?

12/30/2019 (Permalink)

High rise condominium or apartment fire with flames coming out the windows Apartment fire in North Des Plaines, IL

What Are Landlord Responsibilities Following an Apartment Fire?

If you're in the business of maintaining rental properties, you need to understand your responsibilities if one of your properties is affected by an apartment fire.

Responsibilities Toward Tenants

One of the inherent rights of tenants is that the property is habitable. This is a blanket statement that covers the quality of the living space and the ability to live in the apartments. Some of the duties involved in this include

  • Providing reliable hot water
  • Maintaining heating systems
  • Repairing broken structural components
  • Protecting against pest infestations

Of course, there are many other concerns outlined by federal and local safety codes. When an apartment fire breaks out, you are still responsible in all of these areas, and you have additional responsibilities as well.

Call Your Insurance Agent

There are several things you need to do immediately after the fire and in the days following the event. As soon as you can, begin by contacting your insurance agent to begin the claims process. Your agent may recommend fire damage cleanup and repair professionals; the sooner you call, the sooner they can get the apartment back into a habitable condition.

Talk to Your Tenants

Next, talk to your tenants about their well-being. If they were responsible for the fire (such as by leaving a candle unattended,) keep a record of the specifics of the conversation. Encourage tenants to contact their insurance provider to arrange for temporary housing. If they don't have insurance, the American Red Cross may be a valuable resource.

Leave Cleanup and Repairs to Professionals

Don't attempt cleanup and repairs on your own. It's easy to make mistakes that could cause further structural damage or invalidate your claim. Instead, follow instructions provided by your insurance agent and the fire and smoke damage professionals responsible for cleaning up and rebuilding the property. You may take steps to add security while the property is vulnerable.

When an apartment fire breaks out and damages your North Des Plaines, IL, property. You need to take quick action to protect yourself and your tenants. Make sure you understand your legal responsibilities before disaster strikes.

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