Unit damaged by neighbor's fire - No rental insurance - What now?

Asked over 1 year ago - Pittsburgh, PA

Hi, I am renting an apartment unit in Pittsburgh, PA, and it was damaged by a fire at a neighboring unit. I did not purchase renter's insurance (not required per lease agreement) so I am wondering...

1 - am I liable for the damages to the unit? (I don't believe so, since the fire started at another unit?)
2 - is my landlord liable to the damages to my belongings? (I don't believe so either?)
3 - is my neighbor liable to the damages to the unit and my belongings? (I believe so?)
4 - is there a way to receive compensation for damages to my belongings given the fact that I do not have renter's insurance?

Many thanks in advance!

Attorney answers (3)

  1. William Ray Pelger

    Contributor Level 14


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . You may want to obtain the name of the neighbors insurance company and put in a claim with them. Your Landlord or the police/fire department may have it.

  2. Brandy Ann Peeples


    Contributor Level 19


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Ok...to answer your questions:

    1. Not likely unless you contributed to any damages.
    2. Not unless your landlord in someway contributed to the fire (i.e. if there was faulty electrical wiring that caused the fire, your landlord knew about it, and your landlord did nothing to correct it).
    3. If your neighbor was negligent in causing the fire, then your neighbor is potentially liable.
    4. You might receive compensation if you can demonstrate that your neighbor was negligent in starting the fire and that, as a proximate result of your neighbor's negligence, you lost your belongings. If you can't prove that your neighbor was negligent, then your neighbor may not be responsible.

    FYI..even if renter's insurance is not required...it's always a good idea to have.

    DISCLAIMER: Brandy A. Peeples is licensed to practice law in the State of Maryland. This answer is being provided... more
  3. David J. McCormick

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . Great advice from Attorney Peeples.

    Good luck.

    DISCLAIMER: David J. McCormick is licensed to practice law in the State of Wisconsin and this answer is being... more

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