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eviction due to storm damage - Landlord Forum thread 354389

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eviction due to storm damage by Jeff (MN) on September 25, 2017 @13:51

We recently sustained major property damage on our rental property due to a tree crushing the house. The house is currently 'livable,' however for the repairs to proceed I will need several rooms of the house emptied for the contractors - living room, master bedroom, mudroom. In addition there is structural damage that will need to be repaired when the roof and siding are re-done. So during the construction phase the house would be unlivable. Can I end lease early due to this, and what kind of notice or process do I use.
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Re: eviction due to storm damage by Anonymous on September 25, 2017 @15:01 [ Reply ]
Have a city inspector visit the property with you asap, and have the inspector determine which rooms, or even the whole house, as livable or unlivable. Then discuss with your tenants what you are going to do to the property, and which rooms your contractor may need total access to, to repair the damage. It may end up that by mutual agreement, the tenants will move out on their own asap.
If certain portions of the house, or the whole house, is deemed uninhabitable now, or for the construction phase, the tenants will either owe you no rent, or a reduced amount of rent, for the period and parts of the home that they could not use. Put everything in writing so there are no misunderstandings.
If the tenants completely move out, you should return their entire security deposit as soon as they are out. Do not try to wait the 30 days that you may have by law, to return it. This was an act of God, so neither party should hold the other liable for the terms of the lease.
Re: eviction due to storm damage by Anonymous on September 25, 2017 @17:30 [ Reply ]
The first place to look is your lease. There should be a clause for "Casualty Damage" or something along that line. It should state how and when the lease can be terminated. Most Casualty Damage clauses allow only the tenant to terminate the lease as the landlord has a legal obligation to make repairs and keep the rental premise in habitable repair.

In Minnesota, the state has adopted the URLTA and that states a tenant may terminate the lease by moving out and notifying the landlord in writing within 14 days if the tenant determines that the premise is not habitable. If the place is partially habitable, the tenant may occupy at an abated rent till repairs are completed.

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