Want to know my legal rights ifI had 2 electrical fires in myrental less than 12 hours apart?

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Want to know my legal rights ifI had 2 electrical fires in myrental less than 12 hours apart?

The first electrical fire we lost our bathroom and the fire department told us we can still live in the house. 9 hours later woke up to my attic on fire again, this time the damage was major to the house. And my roommate and I can’t live their for awhile. Called our landlord because want to break our lease and wondering if we can still get our deposit back and wondering if they should help pay for other things. Also, is the fire department at any fault?

Asked on January 21, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

1) IF the house is not safely inhabitable, you should have grounds to break the lease; though the landlord would likely have the option of making repairs and possibly paying for you to stay elsewhere while doing so. (If the damage is extreme, it's not likely he'd do that.) For serious damage but the house can still be safely inhabited, you are probably due a rent abatement or reduction until the damage is repaired.

2) If you can get out of the lease, you would get your deposit back.

3) The landlord would not be responsible for any of your personal property unless you can show that the landlord was at fault in some way in causing the fire--that's why renter's insurance is a good idea.

4) The fire department is probably not at fault unless you could potentially show some gross carelessness or their part.


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