TX Flooding - How does it work if an occupied rental floods?

3 Replies

I spent the day yesterday tearing out Sheetrock from my in-laws house because of the floods last week. They also flooded in Harvey 2 years ago. So as I worked away, it gave me plenty of time to think about “what if this was my rental?”

So how does that work?

What are the landlord’s responsibilities?

Of course there are varying degrees of flooding. My in-laws got 4” of water in the house and it receded within a few hours. So the house is not disgusting and I don’t consider it uninhabitable. We took out 24” of Sheetrock throughout the entire downstairs. Waiting to hear about the tile. Have to wait on a professional to remove the cabinets in hopes of salvaging as much of the countertop as possible. So they are continuing to live upstairs.

My parents home flooded 2 years ago in Harvey and that was a very different situation. They had 10’ of water in their house and it was in the house for over a week. That entire house had to be taken down to the studs.

But in the case of mass flooding like this the homes cannot be put back together quickly. Even in a situation like my in-laws. When they flooded in Harvey it was the same 3-4” and yet due to jumping through the insurance hoops and waiting on contractor and material availability it took them over 12 months to get the home back to 100%.

Is the lease instantly terminated due to natural disaster?

Who’s been through this? What happens?

@Ronnie Howard I imagine the lease ends if they can’t live there. The tenant would need renters insurance for their stuff. If it’s a rental you won’t get fema money, so you either need flood insurance or fix it yourself

@Caleb Heimsoth turns out I just needed to read the news!

“The complex is acting under Section 92.054 of the Texas Property Code, which states leases may be terminated in the event that a tenant's rental unit is damaged in a natural disaster.”

Definitely doesn’t paint the owners in a positive light but it would be hard to expect the tenants to feel any other way.


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