Tenant Law in North Carolina

Relationships between landlords and tenants in Forest City, 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 Forest City, NC

Landlords are, of course, entitled to collect rent from their tenants. If a tenant fails to pay the agreed-upon rent, the landlord is normally able to evict the tenant without too much trouble, though the process can sometimes get fairly complicated.

Additionally, landlords have a right to be compensated for damage a tenant causes to a rented unit, either intentionally or negligently. Landlords have a right to deduct repair costs from tenants' security deposits, unless the damage was caused by usual wear and tear, for which tenants are not responsible.

Tenant's Rights in Forest City, NC

Most essentially, tenants have a right to get what they're paying for: a dwelling fit for human habitation. To this end, landlords have to confirm that the units they rent meet Forest City, North Carolina's minimum standards for habitability. These requirements are typicallyy not difficult to meet. They include basic amenities such as running water, electricity, a working phone line, heating, and protection from the elements.

Furthermore, tenants have rights to common areas that are free of physical obstructions, as well as serious health and safety hazards. Common areas are the places in apartment buildings and other residential complexes which every tenant can access, and include hallways, stairwells, and fire escapes. In Forest City, North Carolina, these areas must be kept in a safe condition, at the landlord's expense.

In the United States, and most likely under the statutes of North Carolina, it is unlawful for renters or sellers of real estate to discriminate on the basis of race, gender, national origin, color, or religion. Doing so can subject a landlord to harsh civil penalties. Additionally, they cannot discriminate based on physical disabilities, either. Tenants with physical disabilities, who are otherwise qualified to rent an apartment (they are able to pay, have good credit, etc.) are entitled to make reasonable modifications to the apartment to make it more accessible to them, and the landlord generally can't bar a tenant from doing this, as long as the modifications are not too extensive, and are reversible. The landlord can, however, require the tenant to remove the modifications, at the tenant's expense, when they move out.

And lastly, most state laws prevent landlords from arbitrarily evicting tenants. If the lease agreement is for a set period of time, the landlord usually can't evict the tenant until the lease expires, without a good reason. Valid causes for eviction include unpaid rent, illegal activities on the property, damage to the building caused by the tenant, and excessive noise.

Can a Forest City, North Carolina Landlord/Tenant Lawyer Help?

Whether you are a landlord or a tenant, chances are that you want to prevent conflict. But if you do end up in a seemingly irresolvable conflict with the other party, a Forest City, North Carolina attorney can help you protect your rights.