Rent-to-own property

Video

Article

​Rent-to-own property after a natural disaster

If you have rent-to-own furniture or electronics that were damaged by a natural disaster:

  • Report the damage right away to the company that is renting the property to you

  • Review your rental contract to see if it includes terms regarding your rights and responsibilities if the property is damaged due to a natural disaster

  • You should photograph the damaged property to document the damage caused by the natural disaster

  • Store damaged property out of the house if there are safety issues (including mold)

FEMA assistance may cover rent-to-own furniture and appliances for renters and homeowners alike. File a claim by calling 1-800-621-3362 or visiting www.disasterassistance.gov. An agent will determine what items were flood damaged and pay a reasonable replacement amount for necessary "basic" furniture and appliances. For example, only one TV is basic, but not stereo equipment; one refrigerator is basic, but not an additional freezer; dining table and chairs are basic but not a full dining room set. No matter what, if your furniture or appliances have been damaged by the flood, file the claim.

This type of relief for furniture/appliances is available one time. Renters insurance policies are available from FEMA to cover furniture/appliances for a future occurrence. You may qualify to have FEMA pay your premiums for the first three years.

If you need more advice about your rights and your rental contract, or if a rent-to-own company threatens to sue you or take other legal action related to your furniture rental contract, contact Legal Aid of NC, (1-866-219-5262).