Knowing what to do after disaster is not as important as knowing what to do before disaster strikes for a landlord. Preparation for natural disasters that can affect your area is important for any property owner.
Landlords should certainly make certain that their property is insured against the types of natural events that can occur in their region. Are you in an earthquake zone? Is your area vulnerable to hurricanes, tornados, or flash floods? What about ice damage from strong winter storms? Are there exclusions in your policy for fire, flood, or wind?
Fire can happen at any time, whether the cause is a natural disaster or faulty electric or being the victim of a crime or accident.
There are some things you can do to minimize the impact of a natural disaster on your rental property, or on your tenant. Prior to signing any agreement, educate your tenant about the benefits of rental insurance. If your property is uninhabitable after a natural disaster, is your tenant’s lease still in effect, or temporarily abated while repairs are being made? Check with your state’s laws to see what is required, and get advice from an attorney specializing in landlord tenant relationships.
You should also take stock of the risks to your property. If you are in a hurricane prone area, consider installing hurricane shutters and replacing windows with shatter resistant glass, and educate your tenant about evacuation procedures and how the shutters work. If you are in an earthquake zone, anchor large appliances and make certain you meet all construction requirements.
After the disaster strikes, make sure your tenants are ok. Inform them of ways they may be helped through FEMA, or through their renters’ insurance. If the disaster has impacted their workplace or ability to work, their ability to pay rent may also be affected. In addition, if the disaster impacts online banking or mail delivery, their payments may not be received on time through no fault of their own.
The best way for landlords to minimize the impact of a potential disaster is to be prepared.
....20:28 15 Mar 2017