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

Marietta Tenant’s Car Damaged by a Natural DisasterNatural disasters are some of the difficult challenges that can pose a threat to an investment property. It could be a tornado, flood, earthquake, or fire, natural disasters cause extensive property damage and displace thousands of people every year. If ever a natural disaster happens and destroys a rental property, landlords have certain responsibilities to their renters beyond addressing the damage to the rental home. The coverage of these responsibilities differs depending on whether your Marietta property is still habitable or not.

As an owner, you know that all rental homes must be fit for human habitation. Regardless of location, all rentals must provide a tenant with water, heat, electricity, and a sanitary and structurally safe building. While the specific regulations differ, some regulations assert that if the rental home does not meet these standards, a tenant is under no obligation to pay rent and may even cancel the lease. They may also be eligible to receive their security deposit immediately in full.

Destruction should also be thoroughly documented, in case questions arise later on. If the damage is minimal and the tenant will be displaced for only a matter of days or weeks, you should make repairs in a reasonable period.  Your tenant may still be obligated to meet the terms of the lease, as well as pay to repair or replace any damage to their personal property.

If, however, the damage is extensive, or the repairs 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. Also, 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 your responsibilities after a natural disaster happens is essential. The steps to take regarding the lease, rental payments, and security deposits is something the experts at Real Property Management East Cobb have years of expertise. With our team on your side, you can stay confident and assured in the knowledge that even when disaster hits, your Marietta rental properties are in the best possible hands. Please contact us online or call us at 770-622-5657 for more information.