LandlordStation.com knows the stress landlord-tenant conflict can bring you as a North Carolina landlord. Knowing the North Carolina landlord tenant law and how it applies to you and your tenant is crucial to relieving some of that stress and knowing how to protect yourself should serious conflict arise. Not having at least general NC landlord tenant law knowledge can have serious financial and legal ramifications on your life and well-being. What follows is a general overview of North Carolina landlord tenant law; however, it should not be taken as legal advice. For specific legal advice regarding your landlord-tenant conflict in North Carolina, please consult an experienced lawyer.
The laws that define the duties and rights of both landlords and tenants in North Carolina were passed by the General Assembly in 1977 and are known as the North Carolina Residential Rental Agreements Act. When it comes to these landlord tenant laws, NC is specific in stating that they apply to both oral and written lease agreements in the state. When it comes to sorting out landlord-tenant conflict under NC landlord tenant law, LandlordStation.com strongly recommends always having a written lease agreement to better protect you and your tenant.
The rights and obligations of landlord and tenant covered under the North Carolina landlord tenant law in the North Carolina Residential Rental Agreements Act generally involve the upkeep and welfare of the premises and the safety and well-being of the tenant. For example, the landlord is responsible for initially providing and then maintaining safe and healthy premises. This can include making repairs to plumbing, heating or air conditioning, and making sure all building codes are followed. The tenant is responsible for things like keeping the premises reasonable clean and free of damage, paying rent on time, and using the rental unit in a safe manner that follows all reasonable rules and regulations of the unit.
Usually, landlord-tenant conflict arises out of a lack of communication, so as a North Carolina landlord, it is critical for you to establish open and honest communication from the beginning. Additionally, conflict can arise out of you and/or your tenant being unaware of your responsibilities under NC landlord tenant law. While you can't be responsible for educating your tenant on the North Carolina Residential Rental Agreements Act, you can be responsible for knowing it yourself.
That way, when a conflict turns heated and legal action is threatened, you are aware that when it comes to legal remedies and landlord tenant laws, NC requires the following:
1) Proof of the landlord's failure to comply with building and housing codes, maintain the premises in a fit and habitable condition, keep all common areas in a safe condition, maintain all facilities and appliances supplied in good and safe working order, provide and maintain operable smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors, and/or repair or remedy one or more of the 12 "imminently dangerous conditions" listed in N.C.G.S. § 42-42(a)(8).
2) Proof of written notice to landlord for plumbing and electrical problems or defects in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
3) Proof of compliance by tenant in rent and all of his/her rental obligations under N.C.G.S. § 42-43.
You are also aware that the remedies the tenant may have a right to under the NC landlord tenant laws include actual damages equaling the difference between the fair rental value of the premises free of defects and the fair rental value of the premises in their defective condition, consequential damages, prospective rent abatement, and treble damages and attorney's fees. Knowing this information equips you with the ability to discern when a conflict really is serious, as well as what preventative or proactive actions are available to you.
Remember, landlord-tenant conflict in North Carolina not only doesn't have to be stressful, it doesn't have to happen at all. LandlordStation.com believes that knowing the laws, having a written lease agreement, and establishing open communication from the very beginning are keys to avoiding landlord-tenant conflict altogether. Again, this article is not meant to be legal advice. For legal advice concerning North Carolina landlord tenant law, contact an experienced and knowledgeable attorney.
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