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Tornado damage and problems with tenant afterward
started a topic
over 12 years ago
I just received a letter from an attorney at student legal services demanding a former tenant's security deposit and 2 week's rent. A tornado hit the duplex I own and basically rendered both units uninhabitable. Both tenants wanted to leave their furniture and personal property in the undamaged rooms while repairs were made. One tenant has been very cooperative and pleased with what has resulted in upgrades. The other has been a significant problem. The letter says that I am obligated to reimburse the tenant for rent during the time she cannot occupy the dwelling. It also states that she has every right to move out in that situation and break the lease without losing her deposit. If she hadn't stated to me shortly before the tornado that she might have to break the lease because she wasn't sure she could afford to live there (her rent was frequently quite late and I didn't charge any late fees), and she hadn't stored her personal property there for the 2 months it took to get the repairs done, and she had said she wanted to move out right after the tornado instead of waiting until the property was completed and finished just the way she wanted it, etc. I would agree about the security deposit. I told her when she said she might have to break the lease (before the tornado), that I would not take her to court about the 6 months of rent she would not be paying, but would keep the security deposit, she expressed understanding of this. I do not believe that I am responsible for paying for housing for her for an "act of God" kind of event like a tornado. I have learned a lot from this experience, but cannot find anything about what I am obliged to regarding storm damage. My understanding is that her tenant's insurance should be paying for a place for her to stay during that time. Have any of you been through anything like this? Any advice? Thanks!
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