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Damages Law

Damage laws describes mostly what tenants go through when things are not properly repaired or replaced when occupying the residency of apartment owners or home owners. The laws are developed to protect the rights of individuals that have home damages that need support.

If a commercial and residential building is damaged by a tornado, should the owner of the building wait for the insurance to give him and/or start the repairs with a repair company or should the owner call someone to make the repairs ASAP and then get reimbursed by his insurance?

The landlord needs to preserve the property and report the damages as soon as possible. The landlord needs to document the damage by taking pictures and getting expert estimates in writing. A person can't wait for the insurance company to issue a check, and by the time they do the building will become a total lose.

Depending on the circumstances, residents and business owners can claim damages for projected lost income among other things, if the repairs are not done within reasonable amount of time. A tornado is a natural disaster and would qualify (depending on damage caused) as a force major (act of god beyond anyone's concern). Most leases have a force major clause, and courts are generally more lenient in cased of force majors as far as holding landlord liable.

A water leak hit my deed garage from a broken pipe in my condominium building. I have to spend around $400 to get a move and rent storage because I can't store my stuff in my deed garage. Please advice.

The Association could have broken into the garage if it was an emergency. The HOA isn't taking into account that members are routinely absent on a vacation or other event.

However, the tenant is potentially liable for damages that were caused by their negligence. But that would have to be determined just what the cause of the water leak was. The tenant will have to just perform due diligence as best they can. Then will have to evaluate the situation and what was the cause of the leak then go from there. There are means of accessing a unit in cases of emergency.

I live in a Manhattan apartment. I've had water damage to my ceiling caused by a leak in the roof. My building's owners plan to sell the building. This month I began to withhold rent. Can I break my lease, so I can move into a habitable apartment?

It is not recommend to with hold the rent as that gives the landlord the right to try to claim the tenant in default and start an eviction process. The rent is suggested to be paid and to proceed through the proper legal channels.

With every rental comes the implied warranty of habitability, which includes the right to the safe, healthy, peaceful and quiet enjoyment of the rented premises. The tenant is clearly not being afforded such enjoyment of the premises and therefore the landlord is breaching the implied warranty of habitability; this puts the landlord in default. The tenant should send the landlord a certified, return receipt requested letter notifying the landlord of this default and demanding that the situation be remedied immediately, which needs to include paying for a reimbursement of a portion of the rent to date to compensate for the reduced value of the rental property due to the problem, and to either reduce your rent going forward or pay for temporary living expenses. Inform the landlord that otherwise the tenant will terminate the lease due to the default effective as of a specified date. Then, when things are remediated or the landlord refuses to remediate, file a claim against the landlord for the damages, including reimbursement of rent for prior periods.

In regards to a high rise building; if a steam pipe rusts through and results in significant damage to the contents within a number of dwellings as well as the building itself is there any legal exposure to the owner both in the short term and long term?

The steam pipe is the owner's responsibility and as a result, if it rusts and bursts, the owner is liable for any and all damages resulting there from. The owner is responsible for all damages to contents in dwelling.

Having the right information about the damage laws can help individuals deal with difficult situations and make the right decisions. Ask Experts about the damage laws and other related topics.
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