I moved in my apartments in November with a 1yr lease and last Tuesday I had a accidental fire in my kitchen.There was damage in the kitchen and the water sprinklers turned on in my apartment and my neighbors below.I don't have rental insurance and today my apartments sent us a notice saying we have 30 days to move out and we are responsible for all the damage.When i went to the office to ask why we have to move out they told me it was the supervisor choice.Can they just kick us out like this??What can I do?
What you consider to be accidental may still be considered to be your fault under the lease and/or the law. The lease probably states that the landlord has the right to terminate your right to possession if you cause damage to the residence and that you are responsible to pay for damage you cause to the residence. If you do not move out by the deadline, the landlord may have the right to file an eviction petition with the justice of the peace and begin the legal process to evict you.
If you have renter's insurance, your insurance may pay for the damage. If you are able to pay for the damage, you may be able to get the landlord to agree to let you stay. If you do not believe you have violated the lease or that you caused the fire, you should have the opportunity to present your evidence to a judge or jury in court before you can be legally evicted.
This answer is offered as a public service for general information only and should not be relied upon as legal advice.
Read your lease to see what it states about grounds for termination. If you have a written lease for a term, the landlord cannot terminate the lease unless you were in default under the lease. So, what does your lease say about when and under what circumstances the landlord can terminate the lease?
Typically, a tenant is responsible for damage caused by the tenant's negligence. Your use of the term "accidental fire" smacks of tenant negligence. The landlord has the right to protect the property. If a tenant has had one "accidental fire," the landlord can reasonably fear that the tenant would have another one. If you did not have insurance, and could not pay for the damage that you caused, that likely would be a default under the lease, and could be the grounds for a notice to vacate.
Before you vacate, see if you can negotiate a settlement with the landlord. That could avoid a lot of time and trouble later. A heart felt apology may go a long way toward convincing the landlord to settle at little or no cost to you.
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