Magazine article Journal of Property Management

Where Were You When the Lights Went out? Last Summer's Blackout Was a Lesson Managers Should Be Prepared for Power Failures

Magazine article Journal of Property Management

Where Were You When the Lights Went out? Last Summer's Blackout Was a Lesson Managers Should Be Prepared for Power Failures

Article excerpt

Many New Yorkers know exactly where they were on August 14, 2003 when the entire city was plunged into darkness due to a massive power outage that impacted millions of people along the Eastern seaboard.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Ice cream parties soon erupted across the city as frozen foods were no match for a hot August night without electricity. What about other food items that had to be discarded for lack of refrigeration? Whose responsibility was the lost revenue that companies suffered as a result of no power? Does a landlord bear the financial responsibility for the loss suffered by their tenant when there is a power outage? While a pint of Ben & Jerry's does not seem like a big risk, a meat locker full of beef could be. And, would the landlord face a liability claim for loss of the frozen embryos at a fertility clinic? A major power outage underscores the critical role that contingency planning needs to play in any property manager's risk management program.

Most residential lease agreements are specific about the landlord not being responsible for the loss of perishable goods or any other event in a power outage. It becomes more complicated if it can be determined that it was the landlord's negligence that caused the outage. Residential landlords should encourage tenants to purchase renters insurance. While it would typically exclude claims resulting from loss of power, renters insurance does provide coverage for many other risks.

A renter cannot look to the landlord's property policy for protection. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.