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The area where my property is located was evacuated (mandatory) due to Hurricane Sandy, and no one can get in there still to asess the damage. I've seen pics from the localk police department of the area, and the water looks like it came up pretty high, so I imagine there has to be some kind of damage.

I haven't heard from the tenant, and am not inclined to call her, as she is always grouchy on the phone and hangs up on me, plus she just informed me two weeks ago that she lost her job.

I'm not sure what else to do besides await the ok to go in, see what happened, take pics, and call insurance. I don't think I am responsible for finding her housing, am I? Her personal posessions are not covered by my insurance....

Mike in NJ
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Maybe refund her the half-month's rent if you feel generous, and/or her deposit and tell her to find what she can. Something tells me housing will be in short supply.
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I don't think I am responsible for finding her housing, am I? Her personal posessions are not covered by my insurance....

It depends upon state law and your contract. CA law and my contract state that I can't charge rent if the unit becomes uninhabitable and after a few days the contract/tenancy is cancelled.
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Well, the place is pretty much swamped out. The water came in up to a foot and a half up the wall. All her possesions are ruined, my appliances are shot (fridge, washer/dryer, not sure about stove yet).

She is distraught, and I told her that she doesn't have to pay November rent, minimum, and that if she wants out of the lease, she is free to go and I'll refund her security deposit.

I am not sure she will go, just yet, as she told me she just lost her job 2 weeks ago. With no job, and all her furnishings trashed, I don't know who would rent to her. I wish her luck in either case.

Insurance should cover most of my problems, although I had a $2000 deductible on the flood insurance. My neighbor down the street said in the 40+ years he had lived there, the bay had never come any where near his house. He didn't have flood insurance, and his house was as bad off as mine.

Mike in NJ
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Not charging rent when you can't provide service is a good plan also returning her security deposit when there isn't anything she can do to return the property in the original condition and she's not responsible for the damage is good.

If there isn't anything you can do within reason to help her then there isn't anything you can do. Perhaps your landlord's insurance will replace part of your income, share it with her? I wouldn't, but it's a thought.
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My neighbor down the street said in the 40+ years he had lived there, the bay had never come any where near his house. He didn't have flood insurance, and his house was as bad off as mine.

Glad to hear that you made it ok. FWIW Mike, my liberal brother now owns the old family “beach house” in Lavallette (He axe-u-lee lives in Maryland) and if cussing the New Jersey “police state”, which won’t let him onto the island to check the house. In his e-mail to me yesterday his last sentence was;
“Have you ever heard of anything stupider?”

My reply to him was;
Did you remember to turn off the gas at the meter? What about your neighbors Larry, Curly & Mo. Did they all turn off their gas at the meter? All one of them has to do is walk into his gas filled house and light a cigarette or candle to have an explosion and fire. Since the fire departments down there are volunteer, who is going to fight the fire? Is there water to fight the fire even if they could get the volunteers? Will the equipment work? Don’t sound stupid to me, no. ;-)
Clem - remember to vote early & often tomorrow, you


C.J.V. - hopes he had flood insurance on the place but doubts it, me
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Lavalette is on LBI, isn't it? I think that's about 40 minutes north of me. I know LBI got hit pretty hard, too. I hope your brother's place made out ok!

I have a friend who has an apartment in Margate, NJ. He was telling me that when they were alowed back in, there was a huge bank of sand built up in front of his front door. They had to climb in a second floor wndow to get in, and they discovered that the sand pile in front of the place was actually a car that floated up against the house and then got covered in sand!

Mike in NJ
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