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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

The Responsibilities of a Landlord After a Fire

2/15/2020 (Permalink)

Smoke coming out from a balcony. Whenever property you own is damaged, you are likely responsible for the repairs.

When other people rent out your commercial property in Whitemarsh, PA, you don't always have a lot of control over the fire prevention or safety measures that your tenants take. As the building owner, though, you do have a few responsibilities after an apartment fire. Use the following checklist to ensure that you're doing everything you can to get your building back in order and safeguard your tenants.

File an Insurance Claim
Your tenants are responsible for their own possessions, but you have an obligation for the upkeep of the property itself. This includes several elements:

Building and entrances
Electrical and plumbing repair
Grounds and landscaping

You should have insurance coverage for any fire damage that occurs to the property you own. Your policy can pay for the services of the fire restoration company you hire to make your building inhabitable again. It may also cover any secondary damage that is directly related to the original covered issue.

Communicate With Tenants
The tenants that are affected by the apartment fire may have a lot of questions. Include them as often as possible in the restoration process. If the fire caused a lot of damage in their unit, consider allowing them to accompany you on a walk-through with the restoration team. You can discuss what repairs are needed and how long you expect them to take as well as the measures you are taking to make sure the unit is secure while it is under reconstruction. If possible, refer them to temporary housing if they are unable to stay in the building. Stay in contact and keep you informed on the progress of the repairs.

Whenever property you own is damaged, you are likely responsible for the repairs. It is also helpful to maintain a good relationship with the affected tenants during the restoration process. Staying on top of all your responsibilities as a landlord can help make this process go more smoothly.

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