What are a tenant’s right to reimbursement for flooding?

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What are a tenant’s right to reimbursement for flooding?

My apartment flooded 3 times in as many months. After the second flood, my landlord compensated me half months rent for the previous 2 floods. Now, they told me that I will not be compensated for the third flooding. Do they have to compensate me? What are my options?

Asked on October 1, 2012 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If the floods are due to the landlord's fault--for example, the landlord's failure to repair bad plumbing or a leak in the roof--then the landlord should provide compensation for any damaged belongings and for any impairment of your ability to use your space.

If the landlord is not at fault, however, then he would not be liable and would not have to pay. So, if the flooding is because of another tenant's actions (e.g. overfilling his/her bathtub), you could sue that tenant; if it's due to the municipality's fault (e.g. they did work on the sewer line, causing some back up), you might have a claim against the municipality; but if it's weather related without any person also being at fault (unexpectedly heavy storms), then you would have no recourse other than any insurance you have. That's because to hold someone, including your landlord, liable, there must be fault.


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