Contents FireHow do you handle a loss where there is a renter living in the affected home that does not have insurance to cover the cleaning of their contents?


That can be a tricky situation for sure.

The first thing you need to do is have all of your paperwork, especially the work/payment authorization, signed by the building owner as they are the insured. Without their signature you may not get paid and you definitely are not authorized to proceed with doing the work.

If the renters would like you to clean their contents then you will need to deal directly with them for that and treat this like you have two completely separate jobs. Have them sign a separate work/payment authorization and they will need to pay you directly. Just proceed with caution, as you will be billing them directly not an insurance company. You may want to require a down payment or deposit before your services are started.

If they do not want you to clean their contents, then you need to inform the building owner that if contaminated items are brought back into the structure after it has been cleaned and deodorized they can and probably will cause the structure to be recontaminated. I would recommend putting this in writing and giving it to the building owner. Usually this information will spur the owner to let their tenant know that the items cannot be returned to the building without proof that they have been properly handled.

That being said, you still need to deal with the fact that the contents will need to be removed so the structure can be cleaned and deodorized.

In most cases the insurance company that is covering the structure will pay for the removal of the affected contents so that the building can be dealt with properly.

I will say it again - this can be a tricky situation. So be sure that you have good communication not only with your building owner but the adjuster handling the claim as well.