Apartment fire

By Nick

This is tricky, and I hope someone here can help.  My roommate and I just recently moved into an apartment (the first of december).  On the third of december, our neighbor set his unit on fire, causing extensive damage to his and smoke/water damage to ours.

We have a company working on the restoration, but they’re taking their time (due to insurance issues…all parties involved have insurance).  It’s sucking money out of my insurance and that’s going to run out soon (we’re on week 2 and this was only supposed to take “2-3 days”)

However, the apartment complex won’t meet with us, citing that ‘it wasn’t their fault the fire started’.  We’re just trying to figure out why we have to pay rent for a month/month and a half that we weren’t able to actually LIVE or even MOVE INTO our unit.  Everyone is pointing fingers at each other and i’m wondering what our recourse is towards the apartment complex?

Do we have to pay rent because of this?  I know insurance will cover it…but it seems silly that we have to put up the money first and let insurance take their time to reimburse us.  Isn’t the apartment liable for ANYTHING?  Why are we the ones being punished out of all the parties considering we’re not at fault?

Are we able to escape our lease?  This certain circumstance/displacement issues aren’t covered in the lease.  They won’t give us time to discuss moving to another unit or anything.

They’re basically washing their hands of it completely…and I’m not even sure where to turn.

Thank you for your time!


Edited on: Friday, February 4th, 2011 9:11 pm

2 Responses to “Apartment fire”

My response: (We welcome stories, examples, explanations, answers and a touch of your personality)


December 17th, 2008 6:55 am

Wow! Talk about horrible time for a major crisis like this. Although it seems complicated it actually can be quite simple. Most of what has happened is regulated by the agreement you signed or by statute. Even though the management company is claiming they are not responsible, equally important is that you are not responsible either. Most rental agreements will have a clause in the lease that says something about “Rent Abatement.” If your contract has such a statement, you are not responsible for paying rent.
Might be time to file a complaint with the RPA…


December 23rd, 2008 8:03 am

Have you thought about sending a certified letter with a demand for management to file a claim with their insurance company? I would also suggest telling them that you feel you shouldn’t have to pay for any rent during the repair period. Don’t forget to give them a specific time-frame to respond such as 3 business days. Certified mailings are always the best choice when it comes to documenting the problem.


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