How To Deal With Water Damage in Apartments
Apartment water damage can be one of the most frustrating things to deal with whether you are the property owner or you are renting the space. There are many ways that water damage can occur in an apartment setting. They can range from natural disasters and leaking appliances to water that has come from a neighbor’s apartment, among other causes.
It is important to know about possible scenarios that cause lead to apartment water damage. You also want to be aware of who is responsible for paying for repairs. Understanding renter’s rights is key when it comes to this topic. Since water damage can potentially occur in any rental property, it is always a good move to be prepared. Taking quick action can make a big difference when speaking on the water damage topic. One thing you can always count on when your apartment is damaged by water is a quick response from our team at ServiceMaster Fire & Water Restoration Services.
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Water Damage in an Apartment – Who Is Responsible?
Determining who is responsible for water damage in apartments is not always straightforward. Because of this, it is important to know your renter’s rights. Your lease itself should contain a section that discusses the topic of water damage, leaks, and flooding. It should also detail who is responsible for the necessary repairs to correct the issue. Some key things that you need to consider regarding the topic of responsibility for water damage include:
- Your Renters Insurance – Your renter’s insurance will cover the costs of damage to your personal belongings when a water-based accident occurs. It is important to note that the damage to the property itself may not be covered under your insurance policy. In cases where the water damage was due to no fault of your own, it will generally be the property owner/manager who must pay for the repair costs.
- The Property Owner or Manager – In cases where water damage to an apartment was not due to your negligence, the property owner will likely be responsible for paying for repairs. Given this fact, it is vital that you immediately notify your landlord with written notice when your apartment sustains water damage.
- The Tenant – If your apartment sustains water damage because of negligence on your part, you may be dealing with a situation where the property owner holds you financially responsible. In these cases, you may have to file a liability claim with your renter’s insurance provider to see if they will cover your repair costs.
- Neighbors – Because of the close proximity that one apartment often has with another unit, it is common for flooding issues to be the result of actions by a neighbor who lives in an adjacent/connected property. Flooding from leaks in your upstairs neighbor’s property can end up coming through your ceiling, down your walls, and across your floors. This can cause significant water damage. In these cases, your renter’s insurance should cover the costs of your belongings, but the cost of property repair will be an issue that must generally be settled between your neighbor and the property owner/manager.
What Are the Possible Reasons for Water Damage in an Apartment?
Many possible sources of water can cause serious damage to your apartment. The most common possible reasons for apartment water damage include:
- Ceiling leaks
- Flooding toilets
- Overflown bathtubs
- Refrigerator leaks
- Leaking washing machines
- Burst pipes
The Steps to Take When You Have Water Damage in Your Apartment
When apartment water damage strikes your property, it is time to take fast action so you can mitigate the overall repair costs. The steps to take when you have water damage in your apartment include the following:
- Identify the Flooding’s Source – Whether your apartment was damaged because of water from an overflown sink, a leaking pipe, or water that came from the neighbor’s unit, it is crucial that you determine the source and cut it off. It is important to remember that in cases where your apartment was flooded because of a natural disaster like an overflown river or lake, the safety of you and your family takes precedence over all else.
- Notify Your Neighbors – If your apartment has flooded, you also want to make sure that you notify your neighbors. This is particularly the case if you live above another tenant. If your apartment has been flooded, there is a strong chance that it could be leaking into your neighbor’s unit.
- Assess and Document the Damage – As long as your apartment is currently safe to enter, you will want to spend some time carefully documenting all of the damage that has occurred. This includes damage to your personal property and damage to the apartment itself. While doing this, it is recommended that you take plenty of photos with accurate times and dates. You also want to keep detailed notes about all of the damage that you find.
- Speak to Your Landlord – When water damage affects your apartment, quickly getting support from your landlord is crucial. You want to make sure that your personal property is protected, and they want to make sure that this is the case regarding their building. Your landlord will often be able to quickly bring in help to slow or stop the flooding. If the flooding is not severe, you generally will not need to immediately evacuate your apartment. Instead, you should contact your landlord while you search for a shut-off valve or the source of the flooding.
- Call Your Insurance Provider – If you have renter’s insurance, you will want to contact your service provider quickly after water damage occurs. It will likely cover damage to your personal property if the flooding was not the result of a natural disaster.
- Contact ServiceMaster Fire & Water Restoration Services – The next crucial step to take after you suffer from water damage to your apartment is to contact our repair, remediation, and restoration professionals at ServiceMaster Fire & Water Restoration Services.
Call ServiceMaster Fire and Water Damage Restoration Services
Whenever apartment water damage strikes your property or rental, it is time to contact our Lexington water damage professionals at ServiceMaster Fire & Water Restoration Services. Our team will quickly respond to your location to assess the damage and put together a repair plan. You can count on our remediation pros to manage and handle all of the repairs that are necessary to get your property back to its pre-water damage condition.