• Real Estate Tip: Casualty Loss - Is Your Gargoyle Covered?
  • July 31, 2012 | Author: Richard W. Smith
  • Law Firm: Bernstein Shur - Manchester Office
  • Most of us enjoy New England’s architectural and historically interesting buildings. Marble foyers, slate roofs, inlaid ceilings and, yes, even the occasional gargoyle, add pleasure to our daily routine. Despite the beauty and visual impact of these buildings, landlords and tenants often have questions on how to handle local codes and insurance policies after a casualty loss, such as property damage from a storm or fire.

    Here are quick tips on how to handle code-compliant construction, of like kind or quality, for both parties:

    Important Considerations

    As an owner/landlord the approach is two-fold:

    • Require, in the lease, that tenants obtain casualty insurance to replace unusual architectural details
    • Obtain your own coverage with the premium added to common area maintenance charges

    To avoid double-payment as a tenant:

    • Prove you’ve obtained Building Code Upgrade and/or True Replacement Coverage
    • List specific architectural features in a separate rider

    Whether landlord or tenant, if special building features are important to you, negotiate coverage obligations with your insurance agent and experienced legal counsel before your gargoyle’s untimely demise.