What are my rights as a landlord if my tenants caused a fire? 1 Answers as of July 11, 2011

My tenant caused a fire in the garage of the house they are renting (cigarette butt not put out properly). 1/2 of the garage destroyed by the fire, including the electrical box and all wiring to the house. The Code enforcement officer wants me to emergency repair the electrical to the house so the tenants can continue to live there, otherwise he will red-tag the house for no electricity. The tenants are behind on their rent, they have no renter's insurance, and they caused the fire. What are my responsibilities as a landlord in this situation? Do I have to emergency fix the electrical for the convenience of the tenants? If the house is red-tagged, do I have to find them suitable housing? Once the house is repaired, do I have to let them back? Thank you.

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Law Offices of Steven A. Fink
Law Offices of Steven A. Fink | Steven Alan Fink
The electrical is going to have to be repaired, anyway. In order to avoid a claim by the tenants that it is uninhabitable, thereby justifying their failure to pay rent, repair it. Serve tenants with a 3-day notice to pay rent or quit once repairs are made. File your claim with your insurance company and let them deal with tenants' liability for the fire.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/11/2011
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