Skip to Content

When Disaster Strikes in Madison: Owner vs Renter Liability Responsibilities

A Resident’s Car Has Been Damaged by a Natural Disaster in Madison

Major storms and natural disasters are unavoidable and can cause extensive property damage. As a rental property owner in Madison, do you know what your responsibilities are in case your resident’s personal property gets damaged or destroyed?

Many property owners believe that paying for any damage caused by a storm or natural disaster is their responsibility. However, both renters and property owners have liabilities when it comes to damaged properties. Distinguishing who is liable for what is an important part in recovering from a natural disaster.

Take for example a possible scenario when there are one or more large trees around the exterior of a rental property. Who pays the cost of repairs if a tree falls during a storm and damages a vehicle that is owned by a resident? In this case, the property owner would not need to pay for the car repairs. Instead, the repairs would be paid for by the resident’s auto or renter’s insurance.

How about the other types of damages caused by a natural disaster? Floods, wildfires, and tornadoes are unusual but possible events. If a natural disaster damages a rental property, it is the owner’s responsibility to make sure that the property is livable and pay for renovations if it is not.

However, the resident’s personal property, including vehicles, and and the costs of evacuation like transportation, alternative lodging, and food are all the resident’s responsibility. If the property is restored back to a habitable condition quickly, the resident may still be held accountable for the terms of the lease and should have enough renter’s insurance to cover temporarily needing alternative housing.

At Real Property Management Greater Madison Metro, we help rental property owners like you understand what your responsibilities are in the event of a natural disaster or another weather-related incident. No matter what nature brings, our quality property management services will help ease your concerns about liability and ensure that your residents are shouldering their fair share of responsibility. Contact us online or give us a call at 608-310-1290 to find out more and discover what we can do for you.

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.