Ask the Attorney – Flood caused by Tenant

ask-the-attorneyThe Landlord Protection Agency®presents John Reno, Esq.,a highly experienced Landlord – Tenant attorney based on Long Island, NY.

Q:  Dear Mr. Reno:

Our tenants contacted us late on a Thursday evening about 11 pm, they told us the pipes had broken and the house was flooded, they said there was water in the office, water in the hallway that they were soaking up with towels but it kept coming. We responded we would get ready and would be over to check the situation out. To which they changed the story then and said it might just be the washing machine, never mind. They would not allow us to come that evening. We then said we would be coming the next morning to which they said no because they had to work. We told them we were coming to check the damage to the house since they indicated it was extensive in their first notice. We checked out the house the next morning, and it was their washing machine. It was pouring out from the bottom. There was almost $10,000 in damages to the house as there was substantial damage down through the subfloor of all surrounding rooms. Renters refuse this is their responsibility to pay for despite contractors and insurance noting that the damage is from their washer. What are we able to go after the renters for payment on? if a claim is filed on the insurance how does that effect what the renters are liable for? In our lease, which we purchased from LPA, it states they must have renters insurance which they did not. The renters asked us to file on our insurance and they would pay the rest. However getting the deductible from them was a fight, and they are now not willing to pay for what the insurance company did not. Can we go after them for the entire bill? And increase the rent since there was a claim on the house which is their fault?
Thank you,
Kristen, IN

A: Assuming the work has been done, they are liable, but only for what wasn’t covered by insurance. But you don’t have to end the relationship. Its a separate (plenary) action. So sue the bastards, any questions?

Legal Disclaimer
The Landlord Protection Agency’s “Ask the Attorney” column is for informational purposes only. The questions answered by Mr. Reno on this site do not constitute an attorney – client relationship and are not to be considered legal advice. Not all questions will be answered and some may appear in the LPA Q&A Forum.
The Landlord Protection Agency recommends that you seek legal advice before using any of the material offered on this web site, and makes no guarantee on the effectiveness, compliance with local laws or success of any of the material offered on this web site. The Landlord Protection Agency is not engaged in rendering legal advice.

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