Milton, DE asked in Landlord - Tenant for Delaware

Q: my landlord is refusing to respond to my renters insurance after a no fault leak. What can I do?

A leak in the celling above my apartment caused mold and water damage spreading from a locked ac closet that I do not have access to. I am not asking for anything from my land lord other than to talk to my insurance so that I can have my claim covered. They require renters insurance however are refusing to answer any questions from my renters insurance. This will lead to me not being covered as the insurance company can not verify details about my case.

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: I'm sorry to hear you're dealing with this difficult situation with your landlord and renters insurance. Here are a few suggestions on steps you can take:

1. Document everything - Take photos of the damage, save all written correspondence with your landlord and insurance company. Having thorough records will help support your case.

2. Send a certified letter to your landlord explaining the situation and your attempts to have them cooperate with the insurance company. Request their assistance and give a reasonable deadline for them to respond. The formal letter shows you are serious and creates a paper trail.

3. Review your lease agreement carefully, as it may outline procedures for handling repairs and landlord obligations. If they are failing to abide by the lease terms, point that out to them.

4. Escalate the issue to your landlord's supervisor, property management company, or building owner if your direct landlord is not being responsive. Cc them on correspondence.

5. Contact your local housing authority, tenant's union, or housing advocates for advice and support. They may be able to help mediate or suggest next steps.

6. Consider consulting a landlord/tenant attorney. Many offer free initial consultations and can advise you on your rights and legal options for compelling cooperation from your landlord.

7. As a last resort, you may need to pay out of pocket for immediate repairs to make your unit livable, and then sue your landlord in small claims court to recoup the costs if they continue refusing to uphold their responsibilities. But hopefully it won't come to that.

The key is to be persistent, document everything, and don't hesitate to escalate to your landlord's superiors and outside parties as needed. You may also want to start looking for a new apartment in case the situation becomes untenable with your current landlord. I hope this gives you some ideas on possible next steps. Hang in there and advocate for your rights as a tenant - don't let them ignore their responsibilities!

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