What To Do If Your Apartment Floods

By: ROS Team

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Having an apartment flood is no fun. Floods are more than just mild inconveniences they are very damaging. As a tenant, you need to be prepared for possible emergencies. One way is to discuss which types of emergencies would allow you to break your lease. In other words, if your apartment flooded you could break your lease. There’s little anyone can do to mitigate the stress that goes along with flooded apartments. But we do have tips on what to do if your apartment floods.

1) What to Do After Your Apartment Floods
2) Risk of Flooding at My Apartment
3) Renter’s Insurance
4) Apartment Flooded Break Lease
5) Landlord’s Responsibilities

What to Do After Your Apartment Floods

1. Find the Source of the Flooding

Worried about what to do if your apartment floods? The first step is to identify the source of the flooding. It could be an overflowing sink or toilet, or leaking pipes. The source of the flooding could even be an apartment above yours.

However, if your apartment is flooded due to a natural disaster like heavy rain. Vacate your apartment as soon as you can do so safely and find a safe space where you can wait things out. You can worry about breaking your lease or remaining in the apartment while the landlord facilitates the necessary repairs once you are out of harm’s way.

Find the Source of the Flooding

2. Talk With Your Landlord

You are primarily concerned about your belongings, and the landlord wants to protect their property, You can partner with your landlord to achieve both goals. Talk to him or her about your desire to remain in your apartment while exploring ways they can help you do so.

3. Assess the Damage

If you can safely remain in your apartment, try to access and document the damage caused by the flooding. This documentation will prove helpful when the time comes to file a claim with your insurance company or negotiate your next move with the landlord. Your landlord might also need the documentation to give to their own insurance company to file a claim to complete the necessary repairs.

4. Figure Out Your Next Steps

Once your apartment flooding is under control, talk with your landlord about how he or she will be handling the repairs. Find out when repairs will begin and the hours workers are scheduled to make repairs.  It’s also a good idea to ask what you can expect during that process, especially if plan on living in the apartment while it’s being repaired.

Risk of Flooding at My Apartment

The best way to handle any potentially bad situation is to stay prepared. Having a flooded apartment can become chaotic, but it can be handled so that you experience limited stress.

Flooding at My Apartment

Here are some things to consider before moving into an apartment:

  • Know whether the area where the apartment is located is known for flooding. If it is, find out what time of year the area experiences the heaviest rain. You can find maps of flood-prone areas online. Armed with this information, you can start taking practical steps to protect your belongings by properly storing your items.  If the area flooding is something you’d rather not deal with, your research will also help guide you to an apartment on higher ground.
  • It may also be worth exploring whether your apartment is prone to particular types of leaks. Learn about the quickest way to handle them. In most cases, the landlord will reimburse you for any emergency repair expenses you incur.  But get permission from the landlord before you’re faced with any of those issues and ensure that the landlord agrees to reimburse you.
  • Always have a plan in case your apartment gets flooded. Allocate space to place important paperwork, electronics, and valuables to avoid water damage. Put your documents and small valuables into a waterproof safety box or even a plastic sandwich baggie. Turn off and disconnect the main electric switch if the water begins to rise significantly.

Renter’s Insurance

No one knows what Mother Nature will do from one season to the next. With that being said, you can take all the protective measures and still sustain property damage in an apartment flood.

One of the best investments you can make is to purchase renter’s insurance. The landlord’s property insurance does not cover their tenants’ items, even if they are damaged due to flood, theft, or fire. Renter’s insurance is not legally required, but it is a good idea to purchase a policy as an added layer of protection if you incur any loss due to a flooded apartment.

Insurance Policy

Apartment Flooded Break Lease

If your apartment floods and the damage is so significant that the apartment is no longer inhabitable. You may be able to break your lease without a financial penalty. Or, if your landlord has another apartment available, you could negotiate a new rental agreement and move into that unit. Or you can opt to move into a temporary living situation (such as an extended stay hotel or move in with friends or family) until your apartment gets repaired.

If your lease doesn’t address instances in which you can break your lease. Especially in the event of flooding, research your local renter laws or ask a real estate professional about your options in the event your apartment is damaged during an emergency. If your current landlord is unwilling to release you from the terms of your lease if your apartment is severely damaged due to flooding, it may be best to find a new place to live altogether.

The Landlord’s Responsibilities

To be straightforward, your landlord is responsible for completing all required building repairs, including those related to flooding. This includes carpet cleaning and/or replacement, fixing doors, and structural repairs. The landlord is responsible for keeping the property livable and should meet all building codes when doing so.

It is worth reiterating that your landlord is not responsible for your personal belongings (furniture included) if your apartment floods. Additionally, you should not initiate repairs on your own since the responsibility falls on your landlord.

Final Thoughts

Apartment flooding can wreak havoc on your life and may threaten to turn it upside down. However, knowing what to do if your apartment floods will help you jump into action and take control sooner than if you didn’t have a plan in place. The best option, if you find yourself flooded at an apartment, is to get your landlord’s help so you can get on top of the problem and get back to normal life.

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