Rights and Obligations
The rights and obligations of the landlord and tenant depend on the lease terms, the fire's cause and the extent of the damage. Before providing advice, an attorney may ask you the following questions:
1. Is the property residential or commercial?
2. What was the cause of the fire? Did the tenant cause the fire? Was there an electrical system failure? Were there mixed causes? Were the causes undetermined? The fire department's report, if any, may give an opinion on the fire's cause.
3. How badly was the property damaged?
4. How long are repairs estimated to take?
5. What are the lease terms? Is the lease term fixed or a month-to- month lease? What repair provisions exist in the lease? What insurance provisions are contained in the lease, and does the lease contain a subrogation waiver?
6. When was the rent last paid? An attorney may also review the lease to determine if it contains any applicable provisions regarding insurance, repair obligations and rental payments.
The lease may specify particular rights and obligations if the property is destroyed. For example, a lease may give either the tenant or the landlord the right to cancel the lease after the destruction of the premises.