Renters with storm damage are in a tough spot

Irma still offshore, but already causing damage
Posted at 3:26 PM, Sep 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-15 15:26:00-04

TALLAHASSEE, FL (WWSB) - Thousands of homes, condos and apartments across Florda have significant damage due to Hurricane Irma. Many tenants and landlords aren't sure what to do when their rental property has been damaged.

Power may be gone and part of a home may be unlivable, but finding alternative living arrangements can also be hard, after a disaster. 

Leslie Powell-Boudreaux with Legal Services of North Florida says most situations are best resolved by the two parties working together. "If the tenant and the landlord can really be as reasonable as possible, and try to work something out between them about if the tenant is going to stay will there be a reduced rent and what will that amount be. If the landlord needs to make repairs which affect the tenant, can the tenant be flexible as to working around those repairs," said Powell-Boudreaux.

Unless a contract says otherwise, a landlord is not required to provide temporary housing for someone displaced by the storm. However, a tenant also has the right to terminate a lease agreement if a dwelling in not inhabitable.