Landlord Responsibilities After a Commercial Apartment Fire
What To Do After A Commercial Apartment Fire
A commercial apartment fire in Lafayette, LA, affects both you and your tenants. You may be in shock and wondering exactly what to do next. You also need to determine the damages for which you are responsible.
Once you find out about a fire on your commercial property, you need to take immediate action. Your first steps should include:
- Reporting the fire to your insurance provider
- Setting up appointments with restoration companies
- Talking to your tenants about the cause of the fire
- Asking the fire officer when it is safe to enter the premises to survey the damage
In the days after the blaze, take pictures of the property and create an inventory of any structural damage. You should also cover openings and lock doors to keep out looters.
Landlord and Tenant Responsibilities
Next, you must determine which of the apartment fire repairs are your responsibility. In general, the landlord is in charge of fixing fire damage to the property itself, including the plumbing and electrical systems. Your insurance policy should help you cover the cost of these emergency restoration services.
The tenants, meanwhile, must repair or replace any items that they purchased for the commercial apartment. However, things get a bit complicated if the fire resulted from negligence by the landlord or tenants. If the tenants can prove that you were responsible for the blaze, they may be able to recoup additional money from you.
Similarly, you may not have to pay for all of the apartment repairs if it is determined that the fire was the fault of a tenant. In this scenario, your insurance company may work with the tenant or the tenant's insurance company to get compensation. You also may want to put in your lease specific language about landlord and tenant responsibilities following a fire.
Make sure that you and your tenants each understand what they need to do after a commercial apartment fire. This will expedite the restoration process.