Water damage can devastate property, leaving behind the possibility of mold growth and costly structural damage. When flooding from a burst pipe, storm, or similar event happens to your home or business, it’s pretty obvious who will pay for cleanup, repairs, and restoration. But when water damage strikes a rental property, it’s not so clear who’s responsible. Let’s clear up misconceptions, so landlords and tenants know how to react to water damage in a rental property.
When is Water Damage the Tenant’s Responsibility?
The tenant (the person renting the property) is responsible when cases of tenant carelessness or negligence directly result in water damage. What does that mean? Let’s say you are the tenant and you left a faucet running that resulted in flooding. Because you acted negligently, even if it was a complete accident, the responsibility to get the damage repaired and/or the property restored is on you.
This responsibility isn’t only limited to a one-time accident like leaving the faucet running. Acts over time, such as flushing objects that are not safe for flushing, that result in a clog or blocked drain can cause water damage. In this scenario, the tenant acted irresponsibly, leading to water damage in the rental property.
When is Water Damage the Landlord’s Responsibility?
The landlord (the property owner/manager) is responsible when they neglect basic repair or maintenance that results in water damage. Let’s say you are the landlord, and you decide not to get a pipe leak repaired. Over time that pipe leak can cause structural damage or mold, making that rental property inhabitable.
In some cases, the tenant can even take legal action against the landlord for neglecting basic maintenance. That makes it even more important for landlords to resolve issues as soon as they know about them to avoid costly repairs or legal consequences.
How to Resolve Water Damage Conflicts
Unfortunately, many scenarios are not as straightforward as depicted above. It can be difficult to know who is responsible, especially as the emergency unfolds. It takes effort from both parties to mitigate water damage, regardless of who is responsible. Here’s how each party should act.
As soon as you notice water damage in the property you’re renting, notify the landlord/property manager. You may be reluctant to do so if you know the water damage was due to your own negligence. However, the faster you act, the less damage will be done.
You should also begin removing any personal belongings and do what you can to mitigate damage to other areas of the property.
The landlord should immediately call a water damage repair and restoration company to help mitigate damage and get the property back to its pre-loss condition. You can also ask that your tenant take out renter’s insurance before renting.
Read More: How To Find A Water Leak In Your Home
Water Damage Services for Rental Properties
Whether you’re the tenant or landlord, a water damage event is a stressful situation. Before pointing fingers, it’s important to minimize the damage so that costs and repairs can be minimized as well.
Call CTR at 208-377-1877 right away for fast, reliable water damage services in Southern Idaho. We provide emergency and non-emergency services no matter the time of day or day of the week. Our specialists can be on site within an hour of calling us to begin the mitigation process. Don’t hesitate to contact our team whenever you need us.