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Natural Disasters: What Are Your Responsibilities as a Hewitt Landlord?

Hewitt Tenant’s Car Damaged by a Natural DisasterNatural disasters can happen in any situation and time. Whether a tornado, flood, earthquake, or fire, natural disasters cause extensive property damage and displace thousands of people every year. When a natural disaster hits and causes damage at a rental property, landlords have certain responsibilities to their tenants beyond addressing the damage to the rental home. The nature of these responsibilities will depend on whether your Hewitt property is still habitable or not.

As a property owner, you should know that all rental homes must be suitable for human habitation. Regardless of locations, all rentals must provide a tenant with water, heat, electricity, and a sanitary and structurally safe building. While the regulations can differ per area, some regulations state that if the rental home does not meet the basic standard, a tenant is under no obligation to pay rent and may even break the lease. They may also be qualified to get their security deposit in immediately and in full.

When a rental home is struck by a natural disaster in Hewitt, the extent of all the damage needs to be assessed as quickly as possible. All damages should be documented in their entirety, just in case questions and concerns are brought up at a later time. If the damage is minimal and the tenant will be displaced for only a couple of days or weeks, as a property owner it is your responsibility to make sure that all repairs are done as quickly as possible. Your tenant may still be obligated to meet the terms of the lease, as well as pay to replace or repair any damage that has been done to their personal property.

If, however, the damage is extensive, or the restoration 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 need 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, 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.

Knowing how to respond after a natural disaster and which procedures to take about the lease, rental payments, and security deposits is something the experts at Real Property Management Talent have years of competence with, being a rental company in Temple TX. With our team on your side, you can stay coolheaded and assured in our knowledge that even when disaster hits, your Hewitt rental properties are in the perfectly capable hands. Please contact us online or call us at 254-401-0400 for more information.

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