Valley Renters Impacted by Floods Seeking Advice on What’s Next

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SANTA ROSA – Floodwaters are still about three feet deep in parts of Santa Rosa.

People renting homes are concerned on what to do next.

Carmen Ponce’s family is in despair following the heavy rain earlier this week.

All her family of four has left is inside a van; only things they can sell.

Ponce wants to start the recovery process for the home she rents, but after speaking to her landlord, he too is a victim of the floods.

She says there was no contract to rent the home.

A local insurance agent says renters need to ask the following questions.

“It really depends on their true situation. Do they have the financial whereabouts? Will their landlord clean up the place that they're in? Is their landlord helping them in any way while they are being displaced?” said Florinda Gamboa, an insurance agent.

If a renter isn’t getting any help, they do have legal rights.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS spoke to an attorney with the Texas Legal Aid; she says tenants need to keep the following in mind:

  1. Document the damage – People should take pictures of everything inside the home that is of value. Receipts are also helpful. This documentation will be needed for your landlord, flood insurance and/or FEMA.
  2. Review the lease – Understand what are the renter’s responsibilities and those of the landowners. If you do not have any written contract, you still have rights under the law. That is when you should seek an attorney.
  3. Document in writing – Every deal you make, you need to write it down. Written proof is essential.

The attorney added to never get rid of your payment history and be careful if you stop paying rent; that can be used against you. In all cases seek an attorney.

If you’re in need of legal advice call the Disaster Legal Services at 1-866-757-1570.

Watch the video above for further information.


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