I think this is more of an opinion than a legal question.
I, like many other people, had a crazy awful pipe burst on an outer wall during that polar vortex back a bit ago. Bad design, but not my choice. Unit was not habitable while it was being fixed as there was no water to the unit. Tenant decides to go stay at a hotel and eat out at Bdubs.
Now he's asking for reimbursement for that, and it was due to the situation that he was displaced. <y insurance will not cover him, and told me that was a renter's insurance thing.
He informed me today that he did NOT have renter's insurance even though i am confident i recommended every tenant have renter's insurance in case of incidents like this
Tenant has been good otherwise.
Should i cover this? Maybe just the hotel portion? His meal was $50 freaking dollars! I just don't want to be out that much.
@Mikel Kaubfa I would recommend you speak with your lawyer about this before you compensate the tenant for anything.
You’ll also want to look at your lease - it should have language regarding what happens if the apartment becomes uninhabitable. My leases cover that and also clearly state that the renter is required to carry renters insurance - that removes the “I’m pretty sure I told him to get renters insurance” from the equation because it is in a document signed by both parties.
No need to speak with an attorney. They will likely advise you to pay something, so then you're out money to the attorney and the renter.
No, you do not need to pay. You were not responsible for the damage any more than Landlords would be held liable for hurricanes or earthquakes. It's an act of God, you fixed it as quickly as you could, and the home was still habitable during this time. Did the fridge stop working? The oven? Could he not have ordered a pizza delivery? He's being ridiculous and you shouldn't even consider it.
I would simply respond with: the maintenance issue was caused by a freak storm. I repaired it as quickly as possible and there was no need for you to go to a hotel or eat out. I will not be reimbursing you for personal choices.
@Mikel Kaubfa Just to confirm, a Landlord/Dwelling policy does not have the ability to cover the tenants losses. The burden of covering temporary housing for the tenant comes from the Renters policy. This is most commonly bought by the tenant, although some insurance programs have the ability to add a rider.
At the end of the day, it's the tenants responsibility to make sure they have this risk covered.