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When Disaster Strikes in Lynnwood: Owner vs Renter Liability Responsibilities

A Resident’s Car Has Been Damaged by a Natural Disaster in Lynnwood

Major storms and natural disasters can cause extensive property damage. As a Lynnwood rental property owner, do you know what your responsibilities are in the event that your resident’s personal property is damaged or destroyed?

Some property owners may think that any damage in the wake of a natural disaster is their responsibility. However, renters and rental property owners both have their own liabilities when it comes to property damage. Figuring out which responsibilities are yours and which belong to your residents is an important part of recovering from a natural disaster.

For example, many rental properties have trees near the exterior of the home. If a tree located on your rental property falls during a storm and damages a vehicle owned by a resident, whose responsibility is it to pay for the repairs? In this case, the resident’s auto or renter’s insurance must pay for the repairs.

What about damages from other natural disasters? Floods, wildfires, tornadoes, and other disasters are all possible, and if a rental property is damaged by a natural disaster, it is the owner’s responsibility to ensure that the property is safe to live in and pay for repairs if it is not.

However, the resident’s personal property, including their vehicles and the costs incurred during evacuation (transportation, food, alternative housing, etc.) are all the resident’s responsibility. If the property is repaired and habitable in a short period of time, the resident may retain responsibility for the terms of the rental lease and their renter’s insurance should pay for temporary housing in the meantime.

At Real Property Management North Puget Sound, we help rental property owners like you figure out what your responsibilities are in the wake of a natural disaster or any other weather-related incident. Our property management services will help you understand your responsibilities and ensure that your residents are taking on their fair share of the responsibilities as well. Contact us online or give us a call at 425-903-8500 to find out more and discover what we can do for you.

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