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Renters Insurance Can Save Tenants From Drowning in Repairs

Renters Insurance

Digested from “Attorney general offers tips to flooded renters, landlords” (3/31/16) Rodrigue, Ashley

Not all landlords are vigilant about cleaning up and making repairs to their property after flooding disasters, leaving tenants to foot the bill to improve living conditions in their homes.

Many renters fail to report negligence on the part of their landlords for fear of being evicted. Instead, they continue to live in flood-damaged properties and pay full rent while also spending money on repairs.

In Louisiana, a state that’s prone to floods, Attorney General Jeff Landry says tenants should not have to endure intolerable living conditions. “If, for instance, a landlord has a dwelling and that dwelling is uninhabitable, and it’s a serious problem, it can't be ignored,” he told WWLTV. “If the tenant has proof that the landlord is failing to perform their obligation in repairing it, or bringing it up to being habitable, then the tenant may have grounds to terminate the lease,” he added.

A landlord’s insurance won’t cover a renter’s belongings. This is why tenants should purchase their own insurance policies, Landry advised. One important thing the insurance should include is coverage for temporary shelter if the property is a total loss. In these instances, the landlord is not obligated to provide for a tenant’s housing needs. In addition, tenants should monitor what property damage the landlord has addressed or ignored.

The best solution is for landlords and tenants to cooperate with one another to resolve flood-related property damage, Landry said. Tenants can always seek further assistance through mediation or from consumer-protection hotlines. 

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