Is My Landlord Responsible for Water Damage? - NYCM Insurance Blog

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Jun 5, 2023

Is My Landlord Responsible for Water Damage?

Learn About Liability When It Comes To Water Damage In A Rental!


Renting an apartment or condo has strong perks, and one of them is not being responsible for expensive renovations and the maintenance that comes with owning a house. However, when there is water damage in a rental unit, it may be unclear what you are responsible for as a tenant versus what your landlord is responsible for as the owner of the unit.


When it comes to replacing and repairing your possessions and the property after water damage occurs in your apartment, you may be wondering: Am I responsible for water damage, or is my landlord?


The answer to that question depends on a couple of things, including how the damage occurred, whether anyone was responsible, the extent of the damages, the terms of the lease, and the insurance policies of the landlord and renter. Continue reading to learn about where the responsibility lies if there is water damage in your apartment!

Who Is Responsible for Water Damage?


Unless otherwise delegated in a lease, if there is an issue with something in a rental property it is usually a landlord’s responsibility to get it fixed. Whether there is a leaky roof, a burst pipe, or just everyday wear and tear, a landlord is tasked with maintaining “a livable, safe, and sanitary home” according to the New York State Attorney General’s Office, and must upkeep a rental property accordingly.


If your rental unit has water damage, the origin of the water will be a main factor in determining who is the responsible party. While your landlord may be ultimately responsible for maintaining the property, as a tenant you should do your best to keep on the lookout for any signs of issues. Negligence or failure to report issues to your landlord could place you at fault if damages do arise. Let your landlord know about any leaks you find in any pipes or ceilings so that corrective action can be taken before it becomes a bigger problem.

Is Renters Insurance Worth It?


At $15 a month on average, renters insurance is one of the most affordable ways to insure and protect your belongings against water damage, fire damage, theft and vandalism, and extreme weather. Some landlords may require renters insurance in order to move into a unit, but we recommend renters insurance regardless as a cost-effective means to protect your belongings.


Renters insurance also offers liability protection which can assist with bodily injury, damages, legal expenses and medical expenses. This protection can save you big time if disaster strikes: For example, if you were found at fault for water damage in your apartment building and your landlord or other tenants tried to sue you, renters insurance could help you cover damages and legal expenses.


Contact an agent today to discuss your coverage options!