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North Carolina General Legal Blog

Language commonly included in residential leases

Those who rent houses or apartments in North Carolina will likely need to sign a lease. While an agreement may be customized to some degree, certain clauses must generally be included in any lease. For example, the names of everyone who is a party to the agreement must be listed on the document itself. It should also say how long the agreement lasts and how much a tenant will pay the landlord each month.

A standard lease will inform a tenant about any fees that may be incurred if a rent payment is late. The document must typically state when the rent is due each month. If a tenant is required to pay a security deposit, a rental agreement needs to disclose the amount of that deposit and what deductions the landlord may take from the deposit. Landlords may have the right to enter a rental home or apartment, and the rental agreement should state the protocol for doing so.

Strategies to resolve legal issues with a construction project

Construction projects can be complicated. For North Carolina residents and businesses who hire a contractor or construction company, a disagreement can be costly and time-consuming. Regardless of whether it is the contractor or the property owner who needs legal help, it is important to understand how these problems come about and what can be done to settle them.

Although it might seem difficult, there are strategies to resolve construction disputes. The contract is frequently the foundation for disagreement. To address construction issues, negotiation can be effective. The contract can stipulate that if a disagreement arises, both parties should engage in informal mediation to find a resolution that is satisfactory to both the contractor and the project owner. Mediation could include a neutral third party to facilitate discussions. It is not a legally binding endeavor, but it can spur a back-and-forth that seeks common ground. Experts can determine where the problems are, give an opinion, and bridge the gap between contractor and customer.

Creating a complete estate plan

As much as you may wish for a happy New Year, you know you cannot predict what the future will hold. You may make resolutions and plans for the days ahead, but an accident, sudden illness or devastating diagnosis can quickly complicate your intentions.

You may understand that it is not possible to prepare for every possibility. However, you may have questions about how to build an estate plan that will cover as many contingencies as possible. A complete estate plan includes much more than just a will to distribute your belongings. With proper guidance, you can establish a plan that can protect you and your loved ones before and after your passing.

Eviction for tenants and landlords

Although eviction of a tenant from a rented property may appear to be something that can be accomplished in a matter of days, it is actually a process that can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months. How long a person has to vacate in North Carolina depends on several factors, including whether the eviction is with cause.

A eviction without cause is one in which a landlord wants the tenant to move out but the tenant has done nothing wrong. For example, the landlord may want to do renovations. If the tenant has a written lease that is month-to-month, then the lease specified how much notice the landlord is required to give to the tenant. A typical month-to-month lease would require 30 days' notice. If the tenant has a written lease that is not month-to-month but rather for a fixed term, then it is usually not possible to do an eviction without cause.

How to protect against an eviction

Landlords in North Carolina and throughout the nation have the right to evict a tenant for a variety of reasons. However, tenants who are facing eviction have defenses against an attempt to remove them from a home or apartment. For instance, a tenant may assert that he or she wasn't given sufficient notice prior to being evicted or that an eviction notice wasn't delivered properly.

In such a scenario, the landlord may be required to allow a tenant to stay in a rental home or apartment until the eviction process has been followed correctly. Landlords who accept a portion of a rent payment may lose the right to evict an individual for the remainder of that rent period, even if a tenant violated the lease for reasons other than failure to pay a landlord the full monthly rental rate.

Design issues are a leading cause of construction disputes

Construction disputes in North Carolina and around the country are most often rooted in changes made to a project after work has begun, according to an international consulting firm. HKA's latest CRUX Insight report, which was published on Nov. 29, is based on an analysis of 700 construction projects with combined budgets of about $1 trillion. The firm noticed that disagreements between contractors and their clients over design-related issues have now become as common as contract disputes.

The HKA report reveals that disputes often arise on projects where contractors assume design roles or rely heavily on subcontractors. The firm also discovered that contractors sometimes fail to learn from their mistakes and find themselves embroiled in the same kind of dispute again and again. HKA and other consulting firms say that adopting emerging technologies could help contractors to avoid these situations.

What to consider before signing a construction contract

A well-drafted construction contract in North Carolina will include the price for the work and the terms of payment. Foreseeable risks should also be addressed to protect both parties. It's important for everyone involved in the agreement to understand exactly what they are committing themselves to because once it's signed, the contract usually cannot be changed.

To avoid disputes with construction contracts, the price needs to be clearly laid out. In addition to an hourly rate, any other fees (or at least an estimate) should be included. The payment method also needs to be included. Sometimes, installment payments can be arranged if a lump sum is not feasible. Include information regarding payment penalties if it's reasonable or necessary to do so.

Learn more about construction contract disputes

Few things can derail home remodeling projects or grind commercial development projects to a halt like construction contract disputes. When these disputes arise, time is wasted, which means money is wasted. To get the best results when dealing with a construction contract dispute, you should protect your interests.

All forms of remodeling and construction projects involve many parties and lots of moving pieces. If one party does not fulfill their part of the contract, it can delay the whole project. Delays, defects, nonpayment disputes, and failing to perform the entire obligation set out in the contract are all common reasons behind construction breach of contract claims. The main goal when resolving a dispute is to protect a person's financial rights.

It's a brand new home. What could be wrong with it?

How good will it feel to purchase a home that no one else has ever lived in? If you are fortunate enough to have the opportunity, you may have jumped at it. After you sign your purchase agreement, the question of a home inspection could arise.

If you don't quite understand this question, you aren't alone. After all, it's new construction and no one has lived there. Aren't home inspections only needed to find out what may be wrong with an older, already occupied home? No. Newly constructed homes can also have similar issues, and it would be wise to find out before you close the deal. After all, this may be the largest purchase you ever make, you don't want to waste your money and face expensive repairs.

Why structures aren't always built properly

Construction defects could make it difficult or impossible to live or work in a North Carolina building. Defects can be the result of design errors, the use of inferior materials, or a failure to take environmental factors into account. For example, if a roof is not designed or installed properly, it could result in water getting into the home. If the roof uses defective shingles, it may also be at a higher risk of letting water get into the home.

Pest or other problems could also occur if shingles or other roofing materials are defective. In some cases, the people responsible for constructing a home or building make mistakes that result in significant damage. For instance, if a foundation is not laid properly, it could cause cracks that let water into the structure. This may result in mold or other types of mildew growing in a basement or other interior spaces.

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