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North Carolina General Legal Blog

Habitability matters: Follow the law in North Carolina

In most states, there is an implied warranty of habitability that protects tenants. This implied warranty states that the owner must make sure that the property's basic structural elements are sound. This includes the flooring, roofing, stairs and walls. They are also meant to keep common areas in good condition and safe for use.

Essentially, the landlord is meant to keep the premises in good and fit condition. This applies throughout the duration of the tenant's rental agreement. If at any time the property is no longer habitable, the landlord is then required to make repairs that will place it back into a habitable condition.

Include delays in your contract to avoid litigation

No one wants to get sued or to have to sue. It's a hassle, and it's a tedious legal process to go through if there are alternatives.

The construction industry does see a number of construction litigation cases, though, because of the nature of its business. The common causes of litigation include:

  • Legal claims over a breach of contract
  • Injuries that occur during construction
  • The quality of a construction project
  • Nonpayment

Yes, you can hold a business liable for missing deadlines

You've been waiting for your latest real estate renovation to be completed long past the end date on your contract. It has been at least two weeks since the date the construction team was supposed to finish the last phase of work, and you expected the finished product a week ago.

You're happy to be patient if you're given notice, but no one has said anything to you. It's like the contract was totally ignored. What do you need to do now?

Trouble with a violation of your rental contract? Get support

When you agreed to let your new tenant rent your property, you were clear that subletting the property was not going to be allowed. Subletting leaves too many questions open, and it leaves your original tenant responsible for anything that subleasing tenant does.

You discussed subleasing with the tenant, and they said they wouldn't need it. For months, everything seemed fine. Then, you had one month's payment come late. When you reached out, they said they weren't living there and had been letting a friend stay there instead. You immediately told them that the contract does not allow subleasing, but they thought that it wasn't the same for some reason.

Is it worth taking a dispute to court?

You and another party have a contract. It doesn't have an arbitration clause like you would have expected, so you have the option to take them to court. It's not your preference to talk about the dispute in a public forum, but you're not sure you have any other options.

You should know that there are other options, if the other party can agree to them. Mediation and arbitration are both alternative dispute resolution options that may be beneficial for you if you don't want to go through construction litigation in court.

Don't forget to put this on your business formation checklist

Starting a new business comes with a great deal of excitement, but it also needs some serious attention to detail. Some of the decisions made from the outset have a lasting effect on the company, and it would be a good idea to get it right, or as close thereto as possible, from the beginning.

One area that some people may not think about right away is insurance. It does make it to most lists rather quickly, but one type of insurance you may forget about or not even consider is business interruption insurance. Like marriage, no one goes into a new business venture thinking it will fail or suffer from some sort of issue that closes it down for a time. With everything going on here in North Carolina and across the country, that may be at the forefront of your mind.

How to handle a contract dispute

How to handle a contract dispute during a construction project can be a big problem. For one thing, you may not be able to move forward with your work until the issue is resolved. Also, it could end up costing you more money to deal with the dispute if you end up having to file or defend a lawsuit. 

Contract disputes most often arise in construction projects because of problems with the contract itself. That's why every contract should be reviewed by your attorney before you sign it. You should always understand the conditions in your contract, what to do in case of delays or a breach of contract and how to handle incomplete or unsubstantiated claims made by any of the parties included in the contract.

Can a landlord charge you for damage from a lack of repairs?

You've been living in your home for some time, but there have always been some minor problems. You let the landlord know, but nothing has been done to repair the issues you presented.

Over time, you noticed that the mold issue you reported in your bathroom was getting worse. You reported it to your landlord a second time, mentioning that it appeared like it was worsening. They said they'd send someone out to take a look. Nothing happened again for another week.

Settle construction disputes quickly with these tips

Construction projects often turn into contract disputes. 

Consider this scenario: You have been happily working with a subcontractor on a construction project for the last several years, but lately, they have not performed as agreed. They have not been showing up on the jobsite, and some of the building supplies they have been using have been defective.

The project has deadlines for completion that may not be met due to the oustanding issues.  What can you do to resolve this dispute quickly so things can get back on track?

Do you really need a power of attorney? What does it do?

No one knows what the future holds, and this uncertainty spurs many people to take as many precautions as they can. One way to prepare is to devise an estate plan that will take care of loved ones if the unthinkable should happen. While it is a good idea to take measures to protect and provide for your family if you pass away, you may also want to consider taking steps to protect and provide for yourself.

If you suffer from a serious injury or illness, you may not be able to make decisions for yourself, even temporarily. If that happens, who would you want making critical choices regarding your health and finances during this time? You have the power to choose who will do that and under what circumstances now, while you are healthy, but it will be too late to do so once you are incapacitated.

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