The average renter lives in a property owned by someone else. And in every property, the appliances, structures and other items might break down. When they do, who pays for them? You? Your renters insurance? The property owner?
The unique circumstances of property damage and maintenance determine who pays for them. Sometimes, you’ll have to bite the bullet and cover the cost yourself.
Standard Rental Maintenance Costs
A rental property falls under a situation of dual ownership in most cases. You, the renter, own most contents like furniture, electronics and some appliances. However, the property owner owns the house, yard, major systems and pre-installed appliances.
- If your personal belongings need maintenance, you will have to pay for the repairs. For example, you’ll foot the bill for a server cleanup to make your computer run faster. Your renters insurance usually will not cover standard maintenance.
- The homeowner will generally handle all standard maintenance on their own assets. They’ll generally pay for service and repairs to the HVAC system, roof, or for lawn care.
- In some cases, you can agree to handle certain aspects of property maintenance. You might do lawn care yourself, replace bulbs and air filters, or change alarm batteries. These tasks generally require non-intrusive action from the renter. Sometimes, your lease will list these requirements.
Rental Repairs Following Damaging Incidents
When unexpected damage occurs in the rental, paying for damage might need extra thought.
First, let’s look at the question in the context of a major storm that strikes the area. It causes damage to the home, and your possessions. You couldn’t prepare for most of the damage it causes.
- If you have renters insurance, possessions coverage will pay for your own belongings. Coverage from theft or vandalism also usually comes with this coverage.
- The homeowner’s own property coverage will often pay for damage to their owned assets. For example, home repairs, will have coverage under their policy.
However, not every type of damage is something unexpected. If something occurs negligently, insurance coverage may still help.
- Should you damage the property, the homeowner might require you to pay for repairs. Your own renter’s liability coverage can pay in many of these cases. Think of this as cases where you might accidentally put a hole in the wall. Keep in mind, intentional or illegal acts won't likely have coverage.
- If the homeowner damages your possessions, then their liability coverage (if they have it) might provide coverage.
Keep in mind, all renters and homeowners insurance can have exclusions and limits. Work with your agent at 877.791.1707 to determine your responsibility for damage in the rental. Also verify that your homeowner carries coverage.
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