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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Understanding Responsibility After an Apartment Fire

11/22/2021 (Permalink)

Apartment building on fire Apartment fire in Lynchburg, TX.

Responsibilities After a Fire At a Rental Property

Experiencing the devastating loss associated with fire is often overwhelming. Not only are personal belongings destroyed, tenants are also displaced from their Lynchburg, TX, home. Whatever the cause of an apartment fire, once the initial shock wears off most individuals begin worrying about the financial repercussions. Here is some information about responsibilities after a fire at a rental property.

Landlord Responsibility

Immediately following a fire, the landlord should initiate the following actions:

  • Obtain contact information from a fire officer for future communications
  • Contact insurance to file a claim
  • Contact a fire restoration company so that they can come out in the next day or two to assess the fire damage
  • Communicate with the tenant to ensure their safety and ask about the possible cause of the fire
  • Ask the fire officer when they and the tenant can walk through the property to go over the damage and allow the tenant to collect belongings

Tenant Responsibility

In addition to the actions taken by the landlord, a tenant should contact their insurance for temporary housing. If the tenant does not have renter’s insurance, the American Red Cross may be able to help with basic needs.

Financial Responsibility

Most individuals are concerned about who must cover the cost of the damage caused by the apartment fire. The landlord should come and take pictures of the entire apartment in order to document structural damage. This is because the landlord’s homeowner’s policy should cover the damage caused to the structure and home systems such as plumbing and electrical. Even if the fire was clearly caused by the tenant, the landlord will have to work through their insurance policy to seek compensation for repairs.
The tenant’s renter’s insurance should cover personal possession losses such as clothing and furniture. If the tenant doesn’t have renter’s insurance, then they receive no reimbursement for their losses.
It’s helpful to understand who is responsible to pay for what after an apartment fire. Be sure to obtain and understand your insurance policy before any catastrophic event.

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