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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Apartment Fires: Responsibility Versus Ownership

1/10/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial Apartment Fires: Responsibility Versus Ownership Fire damage in Memphis, TN

Apartment Fires: Responsibility Versus Ownership

An apartment fire can create many victims, leaving not only property owners but tenants scavenging for salvageable items and wondering how they are going to rectify the situation. Fire damage for residential owners is straightforward, but when it comes to investment properties and renters, it can get confusing. Who is responsible for what?

1. Structure

The property owner is likely responsible for the structure, meaning that tenants do not need to worry about rebuilding their dwellings. Unfortunately, restoration work can take a while which means that renters are responsible for finding another place to live.

2. Electrical and Plumbing

An apartment fire can cause significant damage to the electrical and plumbing systems, which again is the responsibility of the owner and not the tenants. As the owner of the property, both the structure and the habitability of that structure are your responsibility. However, this may be challenged if it is found that the fire was intentional or due to renter negligence.

3. Personal Property

The property owner is not responsible for a tenant’s personal belongings. Most renters will have or should have renter’s insurance which should cover personal property loss. These policies will either cover the cost to replace the items or the true value of the items.

4. Restoration

Again, as the property is the responsibility of the owner, the restoration expense is also their responsibility. Their insurance policy should cover the cost to hire a disaster restoration specialist in the Memphis, TN, area. However, this does depend on whether the fire was caused by accident, neglect or criminal intent.

While it is often difficult to understand who should pay for what after an apartment fire, it primarily comes down to ownership; the property owner or landlord is responsible for the building, and the renter is responsible for their personal property. However, all of this depends on the cause of the fire and whether it is deemed criminal or accidental.

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