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What maintenance and repairs is my landlord obligated to provide?

When you enter into a rental agreement in North Carolina, you should be able to expect the property owner or manager to meet certain landlord obligations. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, a landlord must ensure that a home, as well as common areas, are habitable and provide a safe environment for the occupants.

First and foremost, the landlord should meet all legal housing codes. Even if you, as a tenant, have agreed to let a few things slide, the landlord must comply as it is mandatory by law. He or she should make any repairs that need to be done to keep the place up to code within a reasonable amount of time from when you send written notification of the issue. What is reasonable depends on the nature and severity of the maintenance issue.

Repairs that fall on the landlord's shoulders include heating and ventilation systems, electrical issues, plumbing, problems of a sanitary nature and appliances that are included in the rental agreement. In some cases, the landlord might be responsible for fixing the water system or dealing with unacceptable levels of contaminants if any are present.

Landlords have an obligation to supply and install working smoke alarms at the home with batteries that work upon move-in and will need to replace promptly if you provided written notification that an alarm is faulty. He or she may be responsible for replacing the batteries, depending on the agreement you have made in the contract as to who will take on the responsibility for subsequent battery changes. The landlord also has to provide a carbon monoxide detector for each level of the home.

Keep in mind that you, too, have obligations in a rental property to help maintain the safety of the premises and the proper functioning of facilities and systems, such as avoiding activities that could lead to damage beyond the normal wear and tear and maintaining a reasonable level of cleanliness.

The information posted here is for educational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice.

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