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Ask Ely Your Own Question
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 102379
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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Is the tenant responsible fire if the fire accures while

Customer Question

Is the tenant responsible for accidental fire if the fire accures while tenant isn't home?The fire department couldn't determine the cause of fire.The situation is as follows...I was cakes home from work by older child.When I arrived on the scene the fire department & landlord were there.They couldn't determine the cause.But because my younger daughter had entered the apartment while I wasn't home.The landlord is saying I'm responsible for left over damages that his insurance company didn't cover.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note:This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

There is no immediate answer if the FD cannot determine the cause of the fire.

1) If the tenant or a minor in tenant's care causes the fire, the tenant is responsible. If the minor is not the child of the tenant, the actual parent/guardian may also be held liable under F.S.A. § 741.24 if the starting of the fire is proven to have been purpseful by the child.

2) If the fire begins naturally due to the state of the property (lack of normal maintenance, for example), then the tenant is not liable.

3) Normally the parties go off the determination of FD as to who began the fire, which may be argued to be wrong in Court, but generally holds a lot of sway.

4) If the FD cannot determine the cause, then it would be up to the parties to prove in Court as to the cause, if the landlord tries to evict and/or sue for damages. (If so, the landlord has to prove what started the fire).

Good luck.

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