Fires, floods and frustrated contracts
A landlord should have plans in place in case of a fire or flood in the building. Even if the unit is destroyed, the tenancy may not be terminated by what is called ‘the frustration of the contract’ and the landlord may still have obligations to the tenant.
In order to limit liability and defend themselves against tenant applications, landlords should:
1. Ensure the standard lease has a liability clause about insurance that includes a clause requiring tenants to get insurance
2. Have comprehensive emergency plans and policies in place, including:
3. The support services that are available to tenants after an emergency, and what compensation is reasonable to provide tenants for relocation while repairs are being made
4. Have a regular maintenance program in place
5. Respond promptly to requests regarding routine maintenance concerns
6. Perform repairs diligently and in a timely manner
7. Develop a response protocol for emergency situations
ONPHA has helpful resources on emergency planning. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.