Water leaks in rental properties can have devastating consequences. Even a minor water leak can result in floor damage as well as damage to your materials. It is important to read through your landlord agreement if you are faced with a water leak. In most instances, your landlord or condo association will be responsible for fixing the problem and replacing the floor or whatever has been damaged to the structure of the apartment. However, as the tenant, you are responsible for any items that are not covered under the co-operative insurance agreement, namely, you own belongings.
Water Leak Control
Water leaks can happen for a number of reasons. Heavy rainfall, ice or snow can all result in a water leak, especially in a building that is older or its a four bedroom apartment compared to a single. Flooding, cyclones and other natural disasters can also result in water leaks. Another common reason for water leaks is faulty plumbing. If the plumbing system breaks down then you could be faced with serious water damage. Even a leaky tap can result in water damage if the tap overflows.
If you are living in a rental property with other tenants close by, such as in an apartment building, then you could also be looking at water leak damage from their apartment. If, for example, your upstairs neighbors have a water leak, the pressure could seep onto your roof causing problems for you as well.
Water Leak Renters Insurance
The first thing to do when faced with a water leak is to contact your landlord. He will most likely come over to assess the damage. You may also want to take some photos for insurance purposes. He may ask you to contact a plumber yourself or he may contact one to fix the problem. Dealing with a water leak in a rental is all about communication. Be up front with your landlord but do not get angry; it is not his fault that this has happened. Let him know that you want the problem fixed as soon as possible but be sympathetic is the situation. If, for example, the entire building is facing water damage, then you may have to wait in line before your leak is fixed.
You will need to determine what has been damaged in the water leak. If you are lucky you will be able to continue to live in your rental property and simply put a few towels down to soak up the water. However, in most instances the water will have seeped through the foundation or structure thus causing complications with mould and mildew. You will probably need to leave the apartment while the plumber assesses the damage.
If you have lost some belongings due to the water leak, then you will need to contact your renter’s insurance agency to file a claim. If you do not have renters insurance, then, unfortunately, you will need to replace the damaged items out of your own pocket. Water leaks can result in serious damage to your items, especially to area rugs as well as electronics that require cords. If any of the cords get wet, then there is a good chance that the electronic will be useless from then on.
In most instances a water leak is no one’s fault. You cannot get mad at your upstairs tenant because a pipe burst in his apartment; while you may want to blame someone (other than Mother Nature) for the heavy rain that seeped through the roof in your home, it is important that you understand that these things happen. Remain calm, civilized and in control when assessing the damage, contacting your landlord and speaking to your insurance representative.