Have Legal Questions? Ask a Lawyer Now.
This provision does not relate to the lease. It sounds more like it states that if the damage is partial, that you, as the lessor, has the option to make immediate repairs and allow the tenant to remain in the same unit, or you can delay the repairs and would have to move them to another unit or allow them to break their lease with no penalties and leave. The only way you could break their lease would be if it specifically stated that should there be damage from a fire found to be the lessee's fault, that they would be asked to vacate and thus the lease would be void. If the tenant has broke the terms of the lease by any provision, such as noise, late rent, etc., you have the right to ask them to vacate the premises and that the contract is voided due to their breach of contract, but you must give them adequate notice as is stated in the lease (whether 30 or 60 days). If they refuse to leave then you can begin eviction through your local civil court.
So, if the lease does not make a statement concerning the specifics of them having to lease or you being able to evict them due to negligence of a fire, then they are only required to leave if they so choose. (But again, you can terminate the lease if they have violated any provision of it.)
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).