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North Carolina General Legal Blog

What makes a rental agreement legally valid?

Whether you're a tenant or landlord in North Carolina, knowing the basics about rental agreements is a must. Certain elements must be present for an agreement to be considered valid, and if these elements are not present, then legal issues can easily arise. The Balance explains what makes an agreement legally binding and which elements call into question a document's validity.

All rental agreements must contain some basic information. This includes the identity of the landlord and tenant, the amount of rent due each month, how rent should be paid, the address of the property, the length of the lease, as well as other elements. While it is best practice to have your rental agreement in writing and signed by both the landlord and all adult tenants, an oral lease can be enforced in North Carolina.

How should I deal with a bad contractor?

Home renovation is rarely easy. If your contractor performs subpar work, you're probably in search of a way to recover on the cost of improvements or have repairs made to restore your home. House Logic explains what you should do if your contractor isn't living up to his end of the bargain.

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Your approach will differ when bidding on public vs. private jobs

The construction industry heavily relies on the bidding process when it comes to obtaining contracts for projects. If you own a construction company here in North Carolina that routinely bids on private contracts, then you already know this.

What you may not be aware of is that the bidding process differs, depending on whether you seek a public or private contract. If you want to expand your company into the public contract arena, then it may do you good to obtain some information regarding the process.

What are the common causes of construction accidents?

Construction work sites are often filled with safety hazards. If you are a construction worker in North Carolina, you should be aware of these hazards so you can stay safe at work. If you are an employer, then knowing the risks enables you to make a safer workplace for your employees. Construct Connect explains there are some areas that get a lot of attention because they usually cause fatal accidents, but there are other common issues that lead to regular injuries even though they may not be fatal. Knowing about all hazards is important, so here is a look at some of the less talked about issues.

A prevalent hazard on construction sites is nails. They get stepped on or you scrape yourself with them. While it may not seem like a major issue, such injuries could lead to infections and illness. This is a similar issue with other construction materials that may cause minor injuries that could lead to something more severe.

What should I look for in a landlord?

There is a lot of advice for landlords about choosing good tenants, but if you are on the other side of things, you may wonder if there is advice for choosing a good landlord in North Carolina. After all, the landlord of a property really has an effect on your overall living situation.

Zumper suggests that you pay attention when interacting with landlords while you check out potential rentals. The way they interact with you can tell you a lot about how they will be as a landlord. You want someone who is open and honest. If there are problems with a unit, the landlord should own up to them. He or she should not avoid answering questions. If you have trouble getting in contact with a landlord, that is a red flag. Imagine renting from him or her and trying to report an emergency, such as a water leak. You do not want to have a hard time getting in contact.

What are some common contract loopholes?

If you create a contract in North Carolina, you want it to be airtight. Any loopholes could come back to haunt you. According to USA Today, there are a few common loopholes a person may use to get out of a contract with you. In many cases, these loopholes are not in the actual writing of the contract but rather in the formation of the agreement between you and the other person.

A loophole that doe relate to the contract wording is when the contract is not specific or clear. If the other person does not know what he or she is agreeing to do or does not fully understand the agreement because the wording is not clear, he or she could legally break the contract or avoid your attempts enforce the contract.

Using experts for claims of differing site conditions

Contractors and project owners in North Carolina, know that large undertakings have many moving parts. Contract provisions often identify typical issues, and the methods for handling them. This is especially true when discussing site conditions. The contract should also address procedures for communicating and documenting unforeseen circumstances. When issues occur outside the contract parameters, there are several alternatives, innovative solutions, and cost-effective methods to avoid the cost and expense of litigation.

According to Spire Consulting Group, differing site conditions can cause unexpected delays, affecting project timelines and overall cost. In locations where the underground conditions are questionable, experts with the knowledge and experience quantifying the impact of the circumstances investigate the situation thoroughly. They may also determine the appropriate value of the damages, raising a wide range of questions:

  • What were the conditions prior to the start of the project?
  • Were there stipulations within the contract regarding the conditions?
  • Did the site differ from the contract description?
  • Was the situation reasonably unforeseeable?
  • Were there actual damages that resulted from the unanticipated conditions?

What obligations do landlords have in North Carolina?

Whether you're a renter or the owner of a property, it's important to know who is responsible for what in a leasing situation. While tenants are beholden to the terms contained within the lease, landlords also have quite a few obligations according to the law. In this case, the North Carolina Consumers Council offers the following information.  

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Arbitration or mediation for your business disputes

If you are facing a contract dispute with an employee, customer or other North Carolina business associate, you are probably already feeling the stress at work and in your personal life. The threat of a lawsuit can be paralyzing because the outcome is uncertain, and you dread the drain such an event will have on your company's finances and resources.

There are alternatives, however, and you may find your opponent is just as reluctant to become entangled in a long and contentious court battle. If the other party is willing to try alternative dispute resolution methods, you may be able to settle your differences in a positive manner that may even allow you to salvage your working relationship.

How does a hurricane affect construction?

If you have a construction project in the works during the hurricane season in North Carolina, it is natural to worry about what impact a storm could have. The reality is a storm impacts the construction industry in many ways. It may lead to serious delays with your project. Not only that, but the damage sustained might have a great impact on whether you can move forward or not.

According to Dodge Data & Analytics, a hurricane's biggest impact is slowing down any current construction. The main reason is that clean up must occur before projects resume. In addition, companies must assess damages and make new plans accordingly.

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