Saturday, September 9, 2017

Georgia Renters - Prepare for a Hurricane with a Review of Your Lease and Renter's Insurance

Georgia renters, while you prepare for the hurricane, pull your lease and renter's insurance policy. If you have to evacuate, take these documents with you or scan the documents and e-mail them to yourself. If your rental unit gets flooded or damaged by wind or heavy rains, your initial contractual rights can be reviewed. LEASES Many leases allow the landlord to terminate the lease if the unit is destroyed by natural disasters (force majeure). Also, partial destruction of the rental unit may not relieve you of your obligation to make timely payments. Remember, any changes to written leases, including termination and the amount of rent or timing of rent must be in writing and signed by both parties. Otherwise, the agreement may not be enforceable. If you don't understand your rights, check with an experienced landlord-tenant attorney. Simply withholding rent because you cannot get back into your apartment or rental house may result in a dispossessory. The court action and the eviction will haunt you for years to come when it shows up on record searches and your credit report. Therefore, it's better to be proactive than reactive. RENTER'S INSURANCE Renter's insurance doesn't cover floods. However, if you can prove the items were damaged by some other cause, you may have a significant claim. Moreover, the insurance policy may cover hotel charges and other expenses even if it doesn't reimburse you for flood damaged items. One you return to your unit and review the damages, call your agent to discuss your coverage.