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My sisters apartment burned down due to no fault of her own…

My sisters apartment burned...

My sisters apartment burned down due to no fault of her own it was determined there was an electrical problem. She lost everything and has no rental insurance. Her rent was paid through the end of the month and they have told her there are no available apartments they can move her to. Are they responsible for any relocation costs?

Lawyer's Assistant: What state are you in? It matters because laws vary by location.

California

Lawyer's Assistant: What steps have you taken so far?

She got a little money from Red Cross for a hotel. The landlord offered today to return her full months rent but we are worried if we accept that it may release them from any further obligations they may have had such as relocation expenses.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

I don't think so just what the apartments are liable for

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Answered in 4 minutes by:
3/28/2018
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 10,256
Experience: Licensed to practice before state and federal court
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Hello I am an attorney here to help. I'm sorry to hear about her situation. Generally, if a tenant must leave the premises through no fault of their own, then this is considered a constructive eviction and the landlord has to discharge all future rent liability untill they can come back onto the property. The failure of a landlord to maintain the premises such that it causes harm is considered negligence, meaning that they are responsible for all damages flowing from that negligence.In her case, this means that landlord has to discharge her rent obligation if she is required to move. But the landlord may be on the hook for the damages done to her things under a theory of negligence. Are you aware wherher the landlord has homeowners insurance?
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Customer reply replied 26 days ago
I am not sure this is an apartment complex she has lived in for over 7 years.
Customer reply replied 26 days ago
Also she did not have a lease after the lease expired it went month to month.
Then they probably have insurance. If it is not the tensnts fault, they must file a claim or she can file a claim on her own. Make sure she collects evidence of what she owned so she can be reimbursed for everything, including moving costs. Also, it won't matter if she was on a lease as she is still protected under the legal theory of negligence.
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Customer reply replied 26 days ago
Thank you we have requested the fire report but it takes a few days to receive. Who would we file a claim with? Their insurance? Im not sure how to find out who that is. Also would accepting a check reimbursement of this months rent exclude them from any further obligations?
You should have her file a claim with their insurance carrier. You may have to ask them who it is so you can file a claim. If not, she may have to sue and then they would definitely take it to their carrier. Also, accepting a check would not exclude them from anything other than any rent that would have been owed.
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Customer reply replied 26 days ago
Wonderful, I appreciate all of your help!
You bet! Would you be okay providing me with a five star rating today? I would sincerely ***** *****
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Customer reply replied 26 days ago
One more question and then I would be happy to. How do we prove what was in the apartment since everything including receipts and pictures burned. Also should she also ask that her deposit be returned as well?
That's always the toughest part. The insurance companies are sensitive to people who make fraudulent claims and if they have questions regarding the value or ownership of the property, they will ask her for some proof. Otherwise, they will take her at her word. Basically, so long as she doesn't claim she had the Hope Diamond then she will be fine.
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Customer reply replied 26 days ago
Do they need to return her deposit as well as her rent?
They should. Considering the place was damaged by them and since there is no way to tell whether she caused any other damage, a court would lkely return the full amount to her.
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