Tenant Law in North Carolina

Relationships between landlords and tenants in Black Mountain, North Carolina can get combative. It's difficult to be a tenant or a landlord. If one or both parties are not aware of their legal rights and obligations, conflicts can arise.

Landlords and tenants have various rights and responsibilities. What follows is a partial list of the rights that landlords and tenants have, and the corresponding duties of the other party.

Landlord's Rights in Black Mountain, NC

Most obviously, landlords have a right to collect rent from their tenants. When a tenant agrees to pay a landlord a specific amount of money for the right to occupy the landlord's property, a contract is formed. Tenants have to hold up their end of the deal.

They additionally have a right to compensation for any damage that a tenant causes, beyond ordinary wear and tear. Landlords are free to bill the tenants for repairs to damage they caused, and deduct the cost from the security deposit.

Tenant's Rights in Black Mountain, NC

At the most basic level, tenants have a basic right to what they're paying for: a habitable living environment. Consequently, landlords in Black Mountain, North Carolina must ensure that the units they rent to tenants meet some basic standards for human habitation. These requirements vary from state to state, but are often fairly easy to meet. There are no legal criteria that rented units be pretty, particularly spacious, or luxurious. They simply have to be fit for human beings to live in them. To be considered "habitable," rented units must have water, electricity, some form of heating (if the local climate necessitates it), and adequate protection from the elements (proper insulation, no roof leaks, windows that close, etc.).

Tenants also have a right to ensure that the common areas of their apartment building are reasonably safe. Landlords are required to make sure that the common areas of their buildings meet Black Mountain, North Carolina's building codes, and that there are no conditions that create unnecessary safety hazards. They are obligated to make, at their own expense, the proper repairs.

Under federal and North Carolina law, tenants are also entitled to protection against discrimination in housing based on race, color, religion, marital status, or gender. Such discrimination can lead to grave civil penalties against the landlord. Landlords additionally cannot discriminate against tenants based on physical disability, and have to make reasonable accommodations for physically disabled tenants. For instance, they have to allow disabled tenants to make minor physical alterations to the unit (at the tenant's expense) to make it more accessible. Now, they don't need to allow the tenants to have the building remodeled. We're just talking about things like installing handrails in the bathroom, and similar things. The landlord can, however, require tenants to restore the apartment to its original condition, at the tenant's expense, once the tenant leaves.

Lastly, the laws of most states safeguard tenants from unfair eviction. In general, as long as a tenant is paying rent on time, and is not damaging the unit, they cannot be evicted before the term of the lease expires, unless there is a very good reason to do so (such as excessive noise caused by the tenant, or illegal activities in the apartment).

Can a Black Mountain, North Carolina Landlord/Tenant Lawyer Help?

Landlords and tenants typically prefer to avoid getting into fights with one another, for obvious reasons. A harmonious relationship is profitable for everyone involved. To that end, the advice of a good Black Mountain, North Carolina landlord/tenant attorney can help defuse arguments before they become too serious.