Tenant flood damage

Question from Geneva updated on 17th June 2013:

I moved into a house and I think the owner knew it would flood but never told me. The first flood happened after some hard rain, destroying over a $1,000 worth of my stuff and then a second flood came. Who will reimburse me for all the things I’ve lost? The landlord made repairs but they didn’t work ... what should I do? Do I need a lawyer?

Our expert Diane Nelson responded:

Unfortunately accidental loss can happen to anyone, even a tenant. Your best course of action is to always have your personal contents insured, which will also include some public liability in the event that your actions cause damage to someone else’s possessions, e.g. you left a pot on the stove which caused a fire. Unless you can prove categorically that the owner already had knowledge of flooding in the property and did not warn you, you may have trouble proving your case. If the landlord has made repairs and the problem is still occurring then you must advise the landlord as soon as possible.

Diane Nelson has over 14 years experience as a property manager in the Northland region. She now owns the REAL Landlord Insurance NZ Ltd brokerage and for over six years has specialised in the Landlord Preferred Policy,for investment owners who have their properties professionally managed. Diane also runs property management consultancy business Passionate about Property Management.

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