Natural disasters including events like a flood, windstorm, tornado, or hurricane. While many homeowners are responsible for fixing the damages themselves, renters may be confused on what is expected of them.
Be sure to keep reading if you have a lease in Richmond. It is important to know what you have to do in the wake of an emergency. Let’s get started.
Check Your Lease in Richmond
You should always have a copy of your lease at home. Make sure to back it up on your phone and computer when you can. Start by checking your lease after a disaster.
If you don’t have a written lease and your unit is damaged by a disaster, your landlord is required to make the repairs. You may also reduce your rent until the unit is repaired, end the lease without repercussion if the unit is not repaired swiftly, or sue your landlord for not lowering the rent until the unit is repaired.
During this time, your landlord should also provide you a rental unit with livable conditions. But, you must check the lease first. It may specify what you need to do and what is expected of you.
In many cases, the tenant is required to mail their landlord a written documentation of the damages they need repaired. From there, the landlord has a certain amount of time to make the needed fixes.
In cases where you want to withhold rent, you need to let the landlord know in writing. Make sure you give them enough time to make the repairs first, then send another letter. It is worth knowing that you need to have the rent amount prepared when you go to court- spending it would look bad for your case.
Making Repairs Yourself in Richmond
You can’t force your landlord to make the repairs for you. Although, you are allowed to pay reduced rent or withhold it entirely, depending on your living conditions. You may also choose to cancel your lease.
However, if you have our water restoration team handle the repairs for you, you will need to save all the receipts and paperwork. Your landlord may be required to pay the amount back or remove that amount from your rent.
For the most part, if the damage caused to your unit was not your fault, then your landlord should be the one responsible. They are not allowed to force you to make the repairs on your own, either.
We can assist in making all repairs and will work with both you and your landlord to handle the restoration process.
Deducting Rent in Richmond, VA
You are allowed to seek repairs to damages that can cause a hazard in Virginia. That includes several different issues- water damage, no electricity, or incorrect sewage disposal are all conditions that you could reach out to us for.
The state allows tenants to work with a contract to fix emergency problems, then deduct the cost from their rent. After a disaster, you likely have several emergency issues that need fixed. We will work with both you and your landlord to ensure your home is brought back into a livable condition.
Overall, disaster restoration is costly, but you might not be responsible for covering the bills. Make sure you check your lease and the laws local to your area. You may be able to deduct the amount you spend on restoration from your monthly rent.
If the landlord doesn’t make repairs after being sent a letter, you will be able to secure our services to make the repairs. You will need to provide all receipts of repair to the landlord, who would then have to deduct that amount from your rent. Keep in mind, you need to give the landlord two to three weeks to react.
Time Frame for Landlord
Your landlord will have a certain amount of time to make the repairs to the property. In Virginia, landlords are required to make all repairs and pay for them within 21 days, as long as they are responsible for them.
However, that timer does not start until you send them a written letter. You will want to write to them and describe all the damages not long after they take place. Additionally, you should send them pictures and videos of the damage.
What They Aren’t Responsible For
Your landlord is not going to be responsible for covering costs on damaged personal items. For example, if your couch is damaged in the disaster, they will not be required to pay for it. However, they will be responsible for covering the ceiling, if it were to receive water damage during the event.
Your renter’s insurance might not cover a natural disaster. They will have to repair the unit, but you might be left paying out of pocket to replace your personal items. Be sure to check your lease for mentions of this.
Emergency Repairs in Richmond, Virginia
If you need an emergency repair, your landlord can enter your property at any time, without notice to make the repairs. If they are present, we may be able to come with them to stop the damages during the event. However, it will depend on the landlord and the conditions of your lease.
In Virginia, emergency repairs are required within a few hours or two days, at most. Emergencies include not having heat in the winter, not having water, or having structural damages to the building.
Why Choose Us in Richmond?
At Virginia Restoration Services, we have many years of experience in working with homes and rented apartments. If you have any questions on what we can and can not do, be sure to reach out to us! We would love to assist you with anything that you need.
Call VRS today at (804) 745-6131.
We will do everything in our power to help restore your home to a livable condition after a natural disaster strikes.