[§521-65]  Tenant's remedies for fire or casualty damage.  When the dwelling unit or any part of the premises or appurtenances reasonably necessary to the benefit and enjoyment thereof is rendered partially or wholly unusable by fire or other casualty which occurs without wilful fault on the part of the tenant or a member of the tenant's family, the tenant may:

     (1)  Immediately quit the premises and notify the landlord of the tenant's election to quit within one week after quitting, in which case the rental agreement shall terminate as of the date of quitting, but if the tenant fails to notify the landlord of the tenant's election to quit, the tenant shall be liable for rent accruing to the date of the landlord's actual knowledge of the tenant's quitting or impossibility of further occupancy; or

     (2)  If continued occupancy is otherwise lawful, vacate any part of the premises rendered unusable by the fire or other casualty, in which case the tenant's liability for rent shall be no more than the fair rental value of that part of the premises which the tenant continues to use and occupy. [L 1972, c 132, pt of §1; gen ch 1985]