Protecting Your Tenant’s Rights in a Fire

Suppose a catastrophe happened and your apartment building or rental house burned to the ground. Are you without any tenant’s rights?

Even if  you do not have a written lease to your home, you still may have tenant’s rights.  If you have an oral contract with the landlord, you still may be entitled to certain rights. However, the statute of limitation is two years for oral contracts, so this means you must act more quickly in filing a lawsuit.

Protecting Your Tenant’s Rights

Immediately after the fire, the insurance company may visit the building to gather evidence. I addressed this in an article I wrote for Plaintiff magazine. You are under no obligation to talk to anyone about a fire. If you do decide to talk to someone, get their business card and keep it. You should do this with anyone you talk to about the fire.

If you are still living in the unit, you do not have to give permission to anyone and allow them to take your personal items out of your home. This includes such items as a space heater or a computer power strip.

The facts in a fire case vary from case to case. If you have suffered a loss due to a fire in your home, you should consider calling an attorney who has experience filing lawsuits on behalf of tenants.


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Mary Catherine Wiederhold

Real Estate Attorney
1458 Sutter Street
San Francisco, CA 94109

Mary Catherine Wiederhold
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Courtney Brown
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