my rented house caught fire due to illegal wiring in kitchen,we operate a home based buisness which is now shut down due to this and we lost all our property, is landlord liable and could he be charged with criminal negligence?
2 Answers from Attorneys
Presuming you were a prudent business owner, and that's important, you carried both renters insurance and insurance to cover your business. Every good businessman does this. Assuming you did, you call your agent, make a claim, and they'll make you whole.
As for criminal charges, you haven't said if the owner did the wiring, knew about it, etc, but if teher were criminal charges that's a decision for police and prosecutors and not you and will not help you and your situation.
In most business lease (and home lease) situations, the landlord in not liable for contents, but unless you failed to have proper insurance, that really won't matter to you.
Of course, it is common sense to have insurance that would have covered everything so if you did not you are likely out much/all of the property or have to try to get something from the landlord. Nothing in your post shows the landlord is responsible for the wiring. If you sue, you have the burden of providing evidence and expert testimony it was the wiring and it was "illegal." That makes it a fairly expensive lawsuit.
For you to recover for anything related to a business, you should be prepared to prove that you had all applicable licenses, complied with zoning laws, etc.
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