When you own an apartment building, you may face additional complications when there is a flood or some other incident and your basement apartments have become damaged as a result. You'll not only have to deal with the water damage and mold, but also take into consideration renter's rights.

You'll want to address damages quickly both to protect your apartment building investment and to also protect your tenants. If you don't address repairs fast enough, your apartment might develop mold, which might create health problems for your tenant. The tenant may also be able to withhold rent and use rent for repairs if the water damage isn't restored quickly. 

Damage to Personal Property

While you are responsible for paying for damages done to your own property, you are not responsible for paying for damages done to the property of your tenant. The only exception is if it can be demonstrated that the tenant's property was damaged through your negligence. 

The Tenant's Responsibilities

Whether or not you are responsible for damages is based partially on whether or not the tenant is responsible for the damages. If there was a storm that caused the water damages, the tenant would not be responsible. However, if the tenant leaves the sink on and this causes the water damage, the tenant's renter's insurance may cover damages or you may be able to withhold the security deposit. 

Evicting the Tenant

Depending on the severity of the flooding, you may be able to evict a tenant. For example, if the apartment was completely destroyed, this would usually nullify a lease. If the apartment is partially damaged, the damages would have to be so extensive that it would require complex repairs. Your tenant will not owe you rent if the apartment is unlivable until it has been repaired to the extent where the tenant is able to return. 

Why Water Damage Restoration is Urgent

If you have a great tenant who pays rent on time, you'd likely not want to evict him or her even if the apartment is partially destroyed. Therefore, you'll want to hire water damage restoration experts who can make your apartment livable again as soon as possible.

Regardless of the circumstances, you'll need to get in contact with water damage restoration services to make sure that you can have your basement apartments repaired promptly. That way, you'll be able to restore your basement apartments to a point where they're usable again.