Residential Property Management/Rental property and damages


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.

Hi Stephen,

First of all let me say that I am not an Attorney and cannot give legal advice, plus I am not licensed in your state. More importantly let me say that I am sorry to hear of your loss.

In my opinion you should ask your Insurance company what to do, the loss is due to the weather plus a vendor's actions. Some companies will do the footwork and contact the vendors insurance plus the home owners insurance company to mitigate those damages.

Lastly, you could file a claim against the home owner and vendors insurance or take them to small claims court too. You do have rights, but you must take action or you will get nothing. You do appear to be in the right in this case.

Wishing you all the best.

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Donald J. Leske II


Advocate for Landlord & Tenant Rights. Based in Washington State as a Licensed Real Estate Broker and Property Manager. I am a Landlord but I am not a Lawyer. Ask any question dealing with the rental of residential properties, including; 1. Evictions. 2. Maintenance & repair issues. 3. How to set a fair rental price. 4. When to hire a property manager. 5. Selling and how to determine value. 6. Basic tax questions and Legal issues ok, but most will be referred to a professional in that field.


I have 30 years experience in Property Management with about 560 clients, plus I own my own Real Estate Brokerage ( with expanded experience & training in Short Sales, Foreclosure negotiations and rental property management. I write an informal online Real Estate News Magazine and am a member of NARPM, National Association of Residential Property Managers and have been quoted by News Agencies.


Rated and reviewed Editorials, Advice and short Articles at Trulia, Active Rain and All Experts online. Advice Contributor contributor
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ABR Certified, State of Washington Licensed Agent & Broker. Past member of BBB, Chamber of Commerce and Board of Realtors.

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2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 Presidents Gold Award for high achievement, John L. Scott Realty. - "Shining Star Award" 2006 - 03/04/05/06 All Star of the Year Award for excellence.

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