Residential Property Management/Personal property damage
Back in October of this year, our home was flooded due to rain. We were renting a property from an agency who represented the home owners. After the flood happened we filed an insurance claim for our personal property. The home owners also began insurance claims for the actual home damages. As renters we had to get our property out of the house so the home could be repaired. However, the home owners vendors came in and damaged our personal property by placing it in garbage bags with wet dirty items. These were items that were salvageable and not damaged during the initial flood. As renters, we incurred extra costs to properly retrieve, clean and repair these items. What recourse do we have to recover our costs from the home owners or their vendors? Do we sue or take them to small claims court? How does this typically work? Thanks.
First thing I would do is amend the claim with your personal property insurance company. They can always subrogate (go after the other insurance company or that of their vendors insurance policies) if appropriate. If that doesn't work, then a small claims court case is probably the only other recourse (after sending a demand letter first to have them reimburse for the damages). Most likely that would be against the vendors responsible as I doubt the homeowner would be responsible unless they specifically directed the vendors to remove the items, and assuming you weren't given instructions to have everything removed by a certain date. Best of luck.