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  1. #1
    Rockslab Guest
    My mother has rented a house in NC for over 20 years from the same landlords. On Tuesday, she came home to find the house burned at a complete loss. Unfortunately, she had not obtained renters insurance, so her personal property was not covered. We have since learned that the cause of the fire was faulty wiring and in fact she had advised the landlord that the house had a wiring problem months ago when an electrician had come to repair an electrical plug for her. He told her at that time the wiring was bad in the house and he would not be surprised if it didn't catch on fire if it wasn't corrected. This is the info she relayed to the landlord. The landlord had even made a statement to her a month ago that the house would be worth much more to them burned that it is worth standing. Does she have any recourse against the landlords liability insurance to recover any of her loss? Also, she paid the rent through July at the 1st of the month, but the landlord is insisting that she recover whatever she is going to as they are getting a bulldozer in at once to clear the mess. Does she have any right to get the unused portion of her rent back? The landlord is being very rude during this tragedy and we do not understand why.
  2. #2
    happylucky Guest
    You could try and sue the landlord under his homeowners policy**************

    BUT by being CHEAP (OH WOW I PAY $19 A MONTH IN NEW YORK CITY!!!!!)

    why didnt she run right out and get some last month when the electrician told her the place might burn down....DUH!

    Chances are your moms outta luck, she can sue the landlord for the back rent and her security deposit in small claims court.

    Now I hope YOU have renter's insurance!!!

    [Edited by happylucky on 07-13-2001 at 02:25 PM]
  3. #3
    sfpatton Guest
    I don't know why happylucky is so rude, but I sympathize for you mother. The same thing happened to me and my husband. Although we did not lose much of any value it was very disturbing to me to find out the landlord new that the attic fan was not up to code a couple years prior to us moving in. The previous tenant called us after reading about the fire in the paper and told us her father (and electrician) told them it was a problem and they let the landlord know.

    We were out of the place for 2 months while the repairs were being made and the landlord wanted us to pay rent while we were living with my parents. My husband's cousin who is an attorney said we could take her to court because she knew about the problem. We opted not to if she agreed we did not have to pay the 2 months rent. She agreed. By the way we did not have renters ins. and beleive me we got it right after that.
  4. #4
    jlw1000 Guest
    The landlord does owe your mom for any unused rent, from Tuesday until the end of the month. He also needs to return the security deposit. Have your mom send him a certified letter expecting this money within 10 days. If he does not respond, or tries something incredibly stupid like keeping her deposit for repairs, she needs to file in small claims court.

    As for her personal belongings, that is what renter's insurance is for. Many renter's are unaware that such insurance exists, and sometimes a tragedy is what gets it attention.
  5. #5
    Rockslab Guest
    Thank you sfpatton and jlw1000 for your replies. We have since learned that the landlord in fact saw a small fire at the light on the front porch and he said he went immediately and called 911. However it took the fire dept. 5 minutes to get on site and the house was already totally engulfed. This was a two story house and there is no way it could have gone up that quickly. There was an upstairs clock that stopped at 2:40pm. The call to 911 was at 2:50pm and the fire dept was on site at 2:55pm. My mother in law remembered that around a year ago, the front porch light and the livingroom light would not work, so the landlords sent their son, who is not an electrician, to fix the problem. She said he reconnected the wiring somehow and it started working again. This is the same light that the landlord said he saw the small fire. We are in contact with an attorney in this area now and he says there are negligence issues here. Also, the landlords insurance company is in contact with my mother-in-law, and the landlord is being overly nice since the insurance adjusters have been out. I guess we'll see what happens.

    To Happylucky: Your rudeness is not appreciated at all.
  6. #6
    jlw1000 Guest
    It sounds like your mom has a good case. A landlord should never let someone other then an electrician do electrical work. The landlord tried to save money, but it may cost him far more in the end.

    Let your attorney deal with the insurance and the landlord. Your mom should be reimbursed. Be thankful she wasn't asleep in the house when this fire started.

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