Los Angeles, CA asked in Landlord - Tenant for California

Q: If my rent was paid up until August and my apartment catches on fire. Am I supposed to get the I paid in advance back?

Early this month my apartment caught on when I wasn't there. Fire department said it was an accidental due to my negligence. The landlord terminated my lease. He said was gonna keep my deposit and make an insurance claim on the unit. I understand all that. My rent was paid until August. When I ask him bout the $ i paid in advance he tells me there still calculating how I was credited but he is working insurance to figure out how to situation with me. I would like to know if I am supposed to get that $ back and how does he have to get it back to me?

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2 Lawyer Answers
Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman
Answered
  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Mill Valley, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: If the cause of the fire was your negligence, you may have serious problems. If you have renter's insurance, turn this over to them immediately. They will provide a legal defense for you, and if you have enough coverage, they will pay any amounts you end up owing. If you do not have insurance, you need to at least have a consultation with an attorney. Bring to the consultation your lease/rental agreement and all documents (including texts, emails) you have concerning the fire and any discussions you've had with anyone about it. After that consultation you may want to speak with a bankruptcy attorney as well.

Manuel Alzamora Juarez
Manuel Alzamora Juarez
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Berkeley, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: First, do you agree with the fire department? if so, you do not have a case. However, if you do not, hire a lawyer and get your own expert. As for your landlord, he is making your life hell because he is stressed out, has to deal with his insurance and his loss o revenues. It may take time to get your money but do not sign any papers without talking to a lawyer near you and get his opinion. There is the possibility that you may be accused of causing the damages and it is important not to talk to anyone other than your attorney. Best of luck.

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