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Second Appeal Brief
PA ID# 023-UAOQ-00; People’s Health & Wellness Clinic
PW ID# N/A; Flood Damage to Medical Clinic Building
Citation: FEMA-4001-DR-VT, People’s Health & Wellness Clinic, Second Appeal Flood Damage to Medical Clinic Building
Reference: Legal Responsibility
Summary: In a letter dated January 23, 2012, FEMA informed the Applicant that, under the terms of the lease agreement, the Applicant was not legally responsible for repairing disaster damage to the medical clinic building. Section 10.2 of the lease agreement clearly requires the landlord to promptly restore the premises if they are damaged through no fault of the tenant.
In a letter dated April 4, 2012, the Applicant filed a first appeal claiming that it was legally responsible under the terms of the lease, and that the position was borne out by a documented history of making its own repairs to the leased premises, including extensive interior repairs resulting from a major storm and flood in 2007. Furthermore, the Applicant believes it is a misinterpretation of the lease for FEMA to contend that the lease covers catastrophic events or Acts of God.
FEMA Region I denied the Applicant’s first appeal with a letter dated June 26, 2012, pointing out that in order for FEMA to reimburse the cost of repair, the landlord/tenant lease must clearly specify that the tenant, as an eligible applicant, is legally responsible for the repair of disaster damage to the facility. In the absence of such language FEMA must assume that the owner of the facility is responsible for the repairs.
The Applicant filed a second appeal on September 18, 2012, in which it emphasized that there was an established precedent for its taking of responsibility for disaster repairs in the past.
Issues: 1. Does the lease agreement require the owner to restore the leased premises if they are damaged through no fault of the tenant?
2. Is the Applicant legally responsible for repair of the disaster damage to the medical clinic?
Findings: 1. Yes
Rationale: Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, Section 406 Repair, Restoration, and Replacement of Damaged Facilities; 44 CFR §206.223(a)(3) General Work Eligibility.