Flooded Apartment Tenant Rights

Is your apartment flooded with water? Don't get caught unprepared. Learn about apartment water damage laws and your rights as a tenant.

Coming home to an apartment flooded with water is a nightmare. What’s worse? A property manager or landlord that is ignorant of or negligent in their responsibilities should their property flood. Protect your family and your possessions by understanding your rights as a tenant should the unthinkable occur.

While laws may vary from state to state and province to province, we’ve taken some time to provide the basics. Read on to learn more about the more universal parts of a tenant’s rights.

As always, carefully read your lease agreement and seek legal counsel to learn more about the rights and laws in your region.

Can I Be Evicted in the Event of a Flood?

Your landlord cannot evict you from your apartment in the case of a flood. One exception is if the apartment is destroyed and repairs are not possible. In that case, you wouldn’t want to return even if you could. Another case is if there is a clause in your lease that indicates the landlord’s right to evict you due to partial damage.

Can I Cancel My Lease in the Event of a Flood?

If there is severe damage to your apartment to the extent that it requires considerable repair, it is within your rights to cancel your lease. Be prepared to provide data and proof and, if challenged, to hire an attorney.

Must I Continue to Pay Rent in the Event of a Major Flood?

If you are not able to live in your apartment due to flood damage, you do not have to pay rent while displaced. If the damage is significant but doesn’t require you to move out during restoration and repairs, you can request a reduction in your rent during the time those repairs are taking place.

Who Should Pay for Repairs in the Event of a Major Flood?

Your landlord or property manager is responsible for paying for repairs to your apartment after a flood. This includes the structure, the appliances, the floors, and anything else that makes up the dwelling. They are also required to manage hiring and scheduling of any outside contractors needed to complete the work.

Is There Anything a Landlord is Not Responsible for in the Event of a Major Flood?

Should there be a flood in your apartment, there are a few things your landlord is not responsible for:

  • Finding Tenants a New Home
    They are not responsible for providing housing for you while your apartment is unlivable. You may, however, be able to negotiate temporary accommodations in another apartment or hotel expenses if the displacement is short-term.
  • Personal Items Damaged in a Flood
    The landlord is not responsible for repair or replacement of your furniture or personal belongings. To protect yourself you should always carry renter’s insurance. Flood coverage may not be standard, so be sure to ask your insurance company if you want to add it to your policy. Read this blog for other ways you can prepare for a flood.

Whether you live in a house or an apartment, whether you rent or pay a mortgage, no one wins in a flood. The mess and damage can take weeks and sometimes months clean up, repair and recover. Unfortunately, in many cases, there’s no way to prevent a flood. The best we can do is learn how to prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

Whether you’re a landlord or a tenant, it’s important to understand what you are and are not responsible for in the event of a flood so that you can recover quickly and completely. Part of this recovery is contracting with a professional restoration company to dry, repair, remediate and restore the space.

After a flood, Rainbow International is your one stop shop for restoration, remediation and recovery. We offer a variety of restoration and deep-cleaning services designed to benefit tenants and landlords. If you’ve experienced a flood, you may need:

At Rainbow International our highly trained technicians use the latest technologies and industry standards to restore your home or business. If you’ve experienced a flood, don’t wait. Call (855) 724-6269 for 24/7 emergency service. 

Flooded home? Learn why you may need Mr. Rooter emergency plumbing services! Like Rainbow International, Mr. Rooter is a part of the Neighborly® community of trusted home services brands.