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Handling apartment water damage steps - who is responsible?

11/8/2021 (Permalink)

First actions to take for apartment water damage

  • Call your renters insurance and landlord to make them aware of the situation.
  • Take pictures for proof of damages quickly, their causes, and the timeline of damages.
  • Look into the lease agreement for the responsibility of belongings versus building and appliance damage to understand your responsibilities. 
  • Be proactive in making sure other damages do not occur by taking belongings out of the damaged or risk area and repairing what you can. Moving valued items lowers the claims amount and possible risk of damages, further reducing restoration time and insurance costs. Once you ensure no more damage can occur, you can take these items to a storage unit. By being proactive, you can further reduce the risk of your responsibility. Insurance and landlords can put you at fault for being negligent for allowing more water damages to occur when you could have prevented it. 
  • If you are responsible for the water damage, call a water damage restoration company to prevent further damage and get the apartment up to living conditions as quickly as possible. 
  • After everything is dry and repaired and ensure no mold is growing, you can move in your items.

Who is responsible for paying for apartment water damage

Responsibility for paying is based on fault and if they have insurance that covers the damages. Try to read the lease to understand what parts of the apartment the landlords say you are responsible for. In the lease, renters are usually responsible for personal belongings, and landlords are responsible for building and appliance damages. However, these can be overruled when negligence is extremely bad for one side. You can prove extreme negligence for neighbors and roommates. Still, it is even harder to prove which roommates are responsible for water damage originating from common areas, and responsibility may be split evenly.  

At the end of it, most responsibility is determined by the contract before moving in and then the compromise of all parties involved on who is responsible plus their insurers. Check below to see the causes and who most likely has to pay. These are common reasons for water damage in apartments and who is responsible for paying for them. These aren’t always right, and many more factors and investigation must go into each case. 

Landlord pays for these apartment water damages

  • Broken pipes
  • Leaking from the ceiling
  • AC unit leak
  • Malfunctioning washing machine 
  • Malfunctioning dishwasher
  • Leaking refrigerator

Renter pays for these apartment water damages

  • Leaving water running 
  • Overloaded washing machine
  • Misused washing machine 
  • Open window 
  • Clogged toilet 

Why SERVPRO for water damage in apartments 

  • Works with renters insurance 
  • Get your belongings dried, not replaced
  • Can clean clothes from mold and contaminated water without damaging them
  • 24/7 so you can clean up quickly before you get more problems 
  • Being local means we are most likely already handling other properties near you, making the process even quicker 
  • IICRC certified so the finished job will be up to standard 

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