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North Carolina General Legal Blog

Is there a hidden danger in your home?

Your home should provide you with sanctuary from the rest of the world. When you get home at the end of a long day, you can shut out the world, sit in your favorite chair and breathe a sigh of relief -- or can you?

That deep breath you take could make you sick if you have a hidden danger in your home. Many people are unaware that their homes contain black mold that is making them sick. When you rented or purchased the place, you had no idea of the danger that lurked inside the walls, and the landlord, construction contractor or previous owner failed to make sure the home was free of the toxic substance or make the proper disclosures.

What are the required elements for a valid real estate contract?

When you are buying or selling a piece of real estate, it is important that you understand how to write a legal contract. If you fail to include any of the required elements or the seller does, then it makes the contract invalid. This can lead to serious issues down the road. The following are the required elements for a real estate contract, according to the North Carolina Real Estate Commission.

Your contract must contain an offer. It needs to explain the terms and conditions, but you can decide what exactly those are. The offer itself is the only required element. There also must be an acceptance of the offer. That means the person signing the contract is accepting whatever offer and accompanying terms and conditions are outlined. Along with this, you have to explain what is being given in the offer and what you will receive in return. In this case, you would be offering the property and receiving payment.

Altercation between landlord and tenant leads to criminal charges

It may go without saying that a landlord can become frustrated when their tenants in Raleigh fail to pay them the rent. Multiple missed payments may prompt them to take action either to enforce their rental agreement or commence eviction proceedings. Such situations can understandably become contentious, which is why state and local officials establish very clear guidelines on how landlord-tenant matters are to be resolved. Unfortunately, there may be times when one (or both) parties to a rental agreement refuse to follow such regulations. 

When this happens, results like those that came from a recent case in Maryland are often the outcome. A city councilman is currently facing criminal charges after the tenant of his basement apartment claims that he forced his way into her home and assaulted her in front of her young son. The man allegedly threw objects and furniture during his tirade, and even said disparaging things about his parents to the boy. The incident spilled outside into the street, where the boy eventually called 911. Authorities were dispatched but the councilman left the scene before they arrived. 

Detailing your landlord's duties during the winter

With winter fast approaching, many in Raleigh are currently ensuring that HVAC systems in their homes are capable of keeping them warm when called upon. When you live in a rental property, that responsibility falls on your landlord. The trouble is that the definition of "comfortable conditions" during the winter months can differ from person-to-person. Given the cost that it takes to keep a structure heated, your landlord may be tempted to only do what they think is minimally necessary to keep you relatively comfortable. This line of thinking has led many tenants to come to us here at the Triangle Law Group complaining that their landlords do not care that they are cold. 

Fortunately, the law is very clear about exactly how warm a residential property must be kept in order to remain up to code. According to the North Carolina Department of Justice, local building codes require that all structures be capable of heating every room designated as a living area to 65-70 degrees. On top of that, all walls, windows and doors must be weather tight, keeping cold air from entering your residence and warm air from escaping. 

What should I know about subleasing?

Subleasing is a situation where a person renting or leasing commercial property rents all or a portion of the space to a third party. This situation can be quite complex, and issues can easily arise when the right information isn't made available. TheBalance.com goes over a few important details when it comes to subleasing so landlords and tenants remain protected.

What happens if there are damages

How can I legally protect my construction business?

There is a legal component to all construction projects that is often overlooked. Even if you feel that a job went off without a hitch, there is a chance that you could face litigation down the line. While you can't always prevent conflicts from occurring, Construction Business Owner recommends the following steps to greatly decrease the chance that issues occur.

Good record keeping is a must

Common defects in home construction

Your North Carolina construction company takes pride in its work, and you find satisfaction in building homes where the owners will raise families and make memories. You rely on the recommendations of your satisfied customers to keep your client base growing. When you or your subcontractors face accusations of doing substandard work, your business may falter.

No homeowner wants to spend time and money dealing with a construction defect that may place their belongings at risk as well as the health and safety of their families. Some defects are easy to see during an inspection, but others may not reveal themselves for months or even years after the homeowner has taken residency. If your company works with developers in building tract homes, you may be more susceptible to these kinds of defects. Most construction defects fall under the categories of design, materials and workmanship.

A closer look at the purpose and benefit of a security deposit

When landlords and tenants enter into a contractual agreement in North Carolina, they often arrange a security deposit in an agreed-upon amount that will be returned to the renters at the close of the contract if certain terms and conditions are met. A tenant's failure to uphold their end of the deal could mean the landlord is able to keep the deposited amount to help in righting whatever wrongs the tenant committed. 

While some tenants may view security deposits as a nuisance, they can actually be quite beneficial in protecting both parties from being taken advantage of. On the landlord's side, a security deposit gives them a bit of protection. In the event their tenants damage the property, they have a small foundational resource with which to fix those problems. On the tenants' side, a security deposit can guarantee their residence so long as they abide by the terms designated in their contract. 

Reducing stress during a construction dispute

Construction disputes surface for many reasons and can place a great deal of strain on a person's life. If you run a construction firm and are in the midst of a dispute, you may find that the dispute is having a negative impact on your life in other ways, such as your relationships with friends and loved ones or your ability to enjoy certain activities. These disputes can certainly be very stressful, and it is important to look for ways to lower your stress levels during such times.

One of the first ways people can reduce stress is to develop a comprehensive understanding of the disagreement and their options. Sometimes, these disagreements can be resolved without any legal action, while others inevitably end up in court. Either way, knowing the ins and outs of each party's standpoint, as well as laws that are relevant to the case, can be tremendously helpful.

Dispute over the construction of a large hotel on public land

An interesting part of the construction industry in North Carolina that many people do not see is all of the work that goes into negotiating terms and conditions before a new-build pops up. Long before a new building ever becomes visible to passers-by, there are rigorous communications that take place between land owners, community leaders and potential developers to agree on how to use the land for the most productive and environmentally friendly purpose. 

Sometimes, as demonstrated in a recent story out of Fort Myers, Florida, construction disputes can occur when two or more parties are unable to reach an amicable agreement about how a plot of land should be used. In this situation, a plot of land was approved for the construction of a large hotel, the Luminary Hotel, and now community members are fighting its approval. They claim that in a contract that was initially created in 1936, it was stated that the land would never be developed for anything other than a public park or yacht basin. Despite the ongoing contention, construction on the hotel has already begun. 

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