It’s hurricane season again and the south has been hit pretty hard. Not everyone that has been evacuated or suffered damage owns their own homes, many people are tenants and suddenly their living situation is tenuous and they must depend on landlords, insurance companies, contractors and a whole slew of people. The situation can be overwhelming and both tenants and landlords can feel helpless.
If you?re a tenant you need to quickly review your lease (which you probably lost in the hurricane but your landlord will have on file) to see what your responsibilities are and what options you have.
As a landlord you need to let your tenants immediately know what their options are and how much damage you have suffered and then give them as much information as you can on the repair timeline. Everyone should keep in mind that repairs are going on all over the region and contractors are in high demand.
If the property is too damaged to be safe or fit then tenants no longer need to pay rent or live on the premises until repairs are made. Make sure that new addresses are shared between both tenant and landlord. If the property is too damaged for repairs you may be able to break the lease, but check with local agencies to find out what the exact regulations are in your region.
The best way to proceed is by being forthright and honest and keep the lines of communication open.