Whenever a severe weather condition, storm or hurricane is forecast, homeowners in Florida take precautions to protect their property. For instance, they can board up windows, bring in furniture from outside and take other steps to protect their homes.
However, it is a different case for the renters. Florida law does not oblige landlords to take hurricane or storm precautions to protect their occupants or their rental houses. Taking storm preparation measures depends on the landlords. Some might consider taking the precautions while others might not. Other landlords will not even allow the tenants to prepare their rental homes.
According to the Multifamily Housing Council, about one in seven residents in Florida lives in rented houses. When the hurricane hits, most rental homes get destroyed, and the renters are forced to evacuate. In most cases, landlords will have a rental agreement stating that deposit is non-refundable in the event of a natural calamity. This leaves the renters frustrated especially if the landlord refused to take storm precaution measures and did not allow the tenants to do so themselves.
Precautions Measures Renters Can Take To Prepare For the Storm
Since landlords are not required by Florida law to protect rental properties during a hurricane or severe weather conditions, renters can take precautionary steps to ensure they protect themselves and their personal property. These measures are as follows;
The first and foremost step renters should take is to purchase a renter’s insurance policy. In most cases, landlords will need occupants to buy a policy, but tenants should buy one regardless to protect their belongings.
The next step is to keep copies of all relevant documents like the renter’s insurance policy certificate, birth certificates, and passports. Renters should put these documents in a fireproof and waterproof safety deposit box to keep them from being destroyed.
They should always have an emergency preparedness kit. The kit should include nonperishable foods, bottled water, prescription medications and most importantly cash.
Why the Landlords’ Property Insurance Does Not Protect Renters
Landlords usually get a DP-3 insurance policy which is a fire and residence policy that covers residential properties and apartment buildings. The policy covers loss of rent, personal liabilities and damage to the building structure. In short, the policy protects the landlords and not the tenants as it will not cover the renter’s personal properties. Purchasing a renters insurance policy is the only way to ensure that their belongings are protected.