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North Carolina General Legal Blog

Is your landlord responsible for your injuries?

When you rent an apartment or other type of residential property in North Carolina, you have certain rights. While you must abide by certain terms presented by your landlord in your rental contract, you do have the right to a reasonable expectation of safety, as well as the right to hold your landlord accountable when his or her negligence leads to your injury.

Dealing with matters involving landlord-tenant issues can be complex and difficult to navigate. You may be unsure of your rights and the responsibilities of your landlord, but you always have the right to seek a full understanding of both. This may help you better understand if your landlord is liable for the injuries you suffered.

Consider your consideration

Few professional agreements (particularly in the construction industry) are one-sided. There is almost always a promise exchanged between all parties. This why, whenever clients come to us here at The Triangle Law Group with questions regarding disputes with their contracted partners in Raleigh, one of the elements of their cases we review first is that exchange of promises. You go into a contract negotiation fully expecting such an agreement to be mutually beneficial. Without mutual benefits, a contract can often be declared void. 

The word "consideration" is often referenced in the world of contractual law. The Judicial Education Center for the University of New Mexico defines "consideration" as the element providing the value for you and another party to enter into a contract. Something of significance must be promised in exchange for a specified action or non-action. For consideration to be considered legally sufficient, it must involve you either promising to perform an action that you have no prior legal duty to do or obligation to undertake, or to refrain from exercising a legal right that you would otherwise be entitled to exercise. An example of this would be an agreement with a supplier. In this case, the consideration is the promise of the supplier to provide you with materials, and your promise to pay for them in return. 

Minimizing conflict during eviction

For landlords and tenants alike, eviction can be incredibly challenging. Often, people who are dealing with an eviction may encounter uncertainty, feel very stressed out, or even face financial problems. However, there are many different reasons why evictions become necessary, such as a tenant's failure to pay rent. Triangle Law Group knows how difficult eviction can be for landlords and tenants in Raleigh and other North Carolina areas. As a result, we believe it is essential to take steps to minimize conflict during the eviction process.

Whether you are a landlord who wants to evict a tenant or you are someone who has been renting property and have been informed that you need to move, there are different ways that you can try to make the eviction process easier. By trying to clear up any confusion with the other party, knowing your rights, and carefully making sure that you move forward appropriately, you may be able to avoid additional difficulties that can arise during an eviction. Tensions and emotions can run high on each side and it is often helpful to make the process as peaceful as possible.

The importance of renter's insurance

North Carolina residents who rent homes, condominiums or apartments should know the value of having a good renter's insurance policy. Some landlords or property management companies require some level of renter's insurance coverage. However, even when coverage is not required, such protection should not be overlooked.

As Forbes explains, if a disaster strikes, the landlord's homeowner's insurance policy only protects the homeowner and the property. No protections are passed on to renters for their own needs or to cover expenses related to the loss of their personal items. With the recent rash of hurricanes and wildfires in the United States and the earthquake in Mexico, such things should be on the minds of all renters.

Signs of a faulty foundation

Homeowners in North Carolina who are hoping to build their dream home often put their trust entirely in contractors to do the work. While they expect quality work and attention to detail, sometimes that is not the case. One of the areas which could cause the most significant damage to a home is a faulty foundation. Therefore, it is imperative to see the warning signs before the problem requires major repair or replacement.

According to Realtor.com, both old and new homes may be susceptible to foundation troubles. Common warning signs of a problem include doors that become difficult to close or open, water damage from the outdoors and bowing or cracked walls. If the issue is major enough, a whole new foundation may need to be installed, and this project could cost thousands of dollars. Some foundation problems may be a result of poor excavation of the site when the home was built.

North Carolina's changing construction laws

While often overlooked, construction is a major part of the economy in most states in America. Hot cities like Raleigh, Durham, and Charlotte are seeing exponential growth, and with that growth comes the inevitable demand for new buildings, homes, road repairs, bridges and other needs. Yet when plans for those new structures go awry, a series of legal procedures may take place. These procedures can often prove to be challenging, especially to those unfamiliar with state-specific laws regarding construction negligence.

An article on the Gontram Architecture website acknowledged the changes in North Carolina construction laws in recent years. The North Carolina Session Law 2015-45 went into effect in October of 2015, and raises the stakes regarding the penalty for inspectors who fail to carry out work in a timely and effective manner. According to Gontram, this relatively new law will also place stricter penalties in the case of willful misconduct, gross negligence or gross incompetence. Instances of negligence include, but are not limited to, the refusal to implement or adhere to an interpretation of the Building Code, failure to provide inspections in a timely manner and the refusal to allow required alternative methods under the conditions and circumstances set forth in the accompanying Code.

Mold in the home and tenant protection

One of the many perks of renting a home in North Carolina is the ability to rely on landlords for property repairs and general maintenance. However, some tenants experience issues regarding landlord reliability and concerns about upkeep in rental homes.

It is important to understand renters' rights when moving into a rental house, condo, town home or apartment. An issue renters might come across is the presence of mold in the home and the lack of concern or action on behalf of landlords. While some types of mold are harmless, others such as stachybotrys atra, or black mold, can produce toxins that are dangerous to breathe. When inhaled, some molds can produce central nervous system problems and even convulsions.

Evictions and tenants' rights

Renting a home in North Carolina can come with many fruitful advantages. In most cases, landlords make all needed repairs and remodeling changes, a tenant may look for a new home while in the comfort of a rental house, there is no impending monthly mortgage, and, in some rental agreements, landlords allow and even encourage pets. 

While a rental home may be an excellent personal and financial choice, it can also come with a number of potential challenges. Knowing both the rights of the tenant and landlord can save time in the long run, when or if an issue does occur.   

Understanding the mechanics of a mechanics lien

Despite the name, a mechanic's lien is a tool that North Carolina contractors and construction suppliers commonly employ when they are seeking payment on a remodeling project or improvement project. Understanding mechanics' liens can be confusing, but they may be an effective way to obtain outstanding payment on a project.

Mechanics' liens must adhere to certain timelines, and strict guidelines apply. However, subcontractors do have the right to seek payment on work completed, and you may find it beneficial to understand how to use this legal tool to your advantage. With the right guidance and support, you can better protect your right to payment and the financial interests of your business.

What should I do before signing a construction contract?

The honeymoon phase of a new construction project in North Carolina can be a heady time for all involved, but it is important not to let that get in the way of the fine print of the contract. While you are seeing everything through rose-colored glasses now, your perspective may change a few months into the project.

You may be able to avoid some of the headaches of a construction contract dispute by considering the following factors as enumerated on FindLaw before signing your construction contract.

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