As a Tenant, a claim such as Water Damage, Mold Contamination, Asbestos, or Radon, can be incredibly scary. Who is responsible for properly drying / mitigating and repairing your apartment? Can you live there while they're performing the work? What happens to your contents that may have been damaged in the claim?
What should I do to prepare for a claim?
In order to prepare for a claim, you have to first understand What you can expect from the claims process, and What you should do if you have a claim. The first step when addressing any property damage should be to limit the extent and prevent further damage where possible. As a result, it is important that, should a claim occur at your apartment, emergency crews and your Landlord will have access to the property in order to begin the necessary mitigation immediately.
• It is important to understand that your Landlord's Insurance Policy will not provide coverage for your content that may have been damaged in the event of a claim and your Landlord likely will not be responsible for replacing damaged items. As such, it is important to arrange for and purchase your own Renters Policy to protect your belongings in the event of a claim. Renters Insurance is relatively inexpensive and is available at most Insurance Agencies…
• In the event that you will be away from your apartment for an extended period of time, you should make arrangements for someone to check on the property periodically. Whether it be a trusted friend or your Landlord, it is important that the property be checked on regularly so that, should damage occur, it can be addressed quickly. During these periodic inspections, a walkthrough should be conducted in each room.
• You should have your Landlord's phone number handy, as should a claim occur, you will want to contact them immediately to prevent further damage.
What should I do in the event of damage to my property?
In the event of a claim such as Water Damage or Mold Contamination, it's important to understand that time is of the essence. Failure to address the issue properly and quickly can result in significantly more damage and possible coverage issues. Unfortunately, in the case of a claim at a rental unit, there is a little more that logistically needs to be arranged. In order to ensure that prompt response is possible, your Landlord should be contacted immediately in the event of damage.
• In order to prevent further damage, steps can be taken to protect content items by moving them into unaffected areas. Take care when moving wet contents, as you do not want to move them somewhere where they will not be able to dry, or will be covered with other content. Mitigation crews should be advised of any contents that have been relocated so that they can ensure nothing further will be necessary to allow the contents to dry thoroughly and that these contents aren't introducing moisture to other areas of the property.
• Emergency Mitigation Crews will need to have access to the property, so arrangements should be made with your Landlord to allow them access. If you are unable to be at the property to let the Mitigation and Restoration Technicians into the property, you may need to make arrangements with your Landlord to do so. All rooms should be unlocked, as they will need to check through to confirm the extent of damages.
• Should you feel that the damage presents a danger to your safety, stay out of the area and ensure others do the same. When the Mitigation and Restoration Company arrives on site, they will perform a walkthrough and will be able to determine if the property is able to be restored to a safe state during drying. If it cannot, other living arrangements may need to be made and discussed with your Landlord. When possible, the Mitigation and Restoration Company will attempt to address safety issues first so that you will be able to stay in your apartment.
• As there will be no coverage under your Landlord's Insurance Policy for your personal property / contents, you should at this time contact your Insurance Company should you have Renters Insurance. You may begin going through your content and cataloguing items that have been damaged from the claim and documenting them with pictures. Your Insurance Company will likely want this information in order to handle your claim. In cases where rooms are overly filled with content, you should begin moving this content out of these areas so that Mitigation Technicians are able to perform any necessary work in those rooms.
• Any areas that may have been contained or blocked off by the Mitigation Crews should be avoided and not entered. Containments are put in place for a variety of reasons, including to address hazards such as Asbestos, which can greatly complicate the drying process, extending drying time and possibly causing additional damage and health hazards.
• The Mitigation and Remediation Company will place equipment in order to facilitate drying of the property. This equipment must be left on and in place throughout the drying process. While we understand this can be an inconvenience, in order to properly dry the property, equipment must be left on. The Mitigation Company will periodically check on drying and remove equipment as it becomes unnecessary. Similarly, any areas of the apartment that have been "closed off" due to Mold, Asbestos, etc. should not be entered until deemed safe by the Mitigation and Remediation Company.
• Once the necessary mitigation is complete and the initial issue is rectified, your Landlord may begin the repairs. Your Landlord may elect to perform the repairs themselves, or to contract with a company able to complete these repairs for them.
Should you have any questions or suffer a claim at your rental property, please don't hesitate to Contact Our Offices! We recognize the importance of getting your claim handled as quickly as possible so that you're able to return to life as usual…
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