Dealing with a flooded apartment is one of the most stressful things you can go through. It’s no fun, and recovering from it will take time and work; not to mention help from your insurer, so make sure your renters insurance covers flooding!
What to Do If Your Apartment Floods
Flooding can be avoided, but when it happens, you need to be able to do something to prevent further damage and you need to act quickly. Here are a few tips you can follow after tragedy strikes:
1. Document the water damage
People’s first instinct after a flood is to salvage their personal belongings, but the very first thing you must do is document the water damage. Your insurer and your property manager will require proof, so make sure you take photos and video of your damaged property, including any visible water damage on your ceilings or walls.
2. Salvage what you can
Once you’ve documented the damage and you’ve been assessed by an adjuster, you can attempt to save as much as your personal property as possible. Get as many things as you can out of your flooded apartment. Take them to your neighbor’s, to your car or to a storage facility; just make sure you salvage what you can. And don’t throw anything away unless made clear by the insurance company.
3. Terminate your lease if you must
If the flood caused too much damage, your apartment may no longer be viable. In this case, you will have to terminate your lease. If you don’t want to move, you could try to negotiate with your property owner if there’s an equivalent apartment so you can move there and sign a new lease. Or live somewhere else while they repair your apartment. Make sure you research your local laws and if you can’t work something out with the owner, terminating is the best option.
4. Understand your Tenant’s Rights
Last but not least, it’s super important that you understand your Tenant’s Rights so you know what you’re due in situations like these. In a lease, there are two parties involved, the landlord and the tenant. Each of the parties has rights and responsibilities. The landlord has to maintain the facility both safe and functional, and also follow the terms of the contract, and they have the right to receive monthly rent, among others.
The tenant’s rights are non-negotiable, and they essential ones are as follows:
• The right to a habitable property that’s safe and in good state.
• The right to have your deposit back when your tenancy comes to an end.
• The right to challenge charges that are excessively high.
• The right to know who your landlord is.
• The right to live undisturbed.
• The right to be protected from unfair eviction or rent.
In case of a flooding, the landlord is responsible for it if it was caused by a storm or a plumbing issue. If they can prove the cause of the flood was the tenant’s responsibility, they can hold you liable. Otherwise, the landlord must handle the clean up, the repairs, and even the temporary housing if you’re forced to live elsewhere while the apartment is being repaired.
Call Classic Handyman @ 847-651-5847 for more tips and help if your apartment floods!