Who Pays for Hurricane Damage?

by Isaac Benmergui, Esq on November 13, 2017

Who pays for hurricane damageIt takes some pretty good timing to happen to be under closing during a hurricane, but if you are, it can present some unusual circumstances for a homebuyer or seller. For example, who pays for the hurricane damage? What happens if you can’t close because there’s no electricity? Or utilities? Or you can’t secure the required insurance due to current damage?

These are just some of the questions local Florida real estate agents got peppered with right after Hurricane Irma. Fortunately, they all have answers.

If you’re under contract when a storm hits, the seller is responsible for repairs. The contract you use for a real estate transaction in Florida will have language that includes a risk of loss provision and states that the seller is responsible for maintaining the property and the yard in the condition it was in when you went under contract. This includes unforeseen circumstances in which the property is damaged.

If your agent is using the Florida Realtors-Florida Bar Contract, then you have a little wiggle room as the buyer. If the cost of repairs to the property exceeds 1.5 percent of the purchase price, you can choose to go ahead and close with a discount of the same amount, or walk away from the deal. Barring that particular circumstance, the seller will make repairs and you close as usual.

If closing is not available on the appointed day due to weather events, lack of electricity or other after effects of a storm, then closing can automatically be extended up to seven days after the storm is no longer a threat. If the storm or after effects that prevent closing lasts more than 30 days, then either party can choose to walk.

Call Miami Real Estate Lawyer Isaac Benmergui at 305.397.8547 and set up a no charge, no obligation consultation to discuss your case. We have over a decade of experience handling Real Estate and Civil Litigation cases throughout Miami and South Florida, and will use our expertise to help your case to the best of our abilities.

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