While a landlord in North Carolina has an obligation to maintain a property to ensure safety and proper function, your tenant has responsibilities, too. According to the North Carolina Department of Justice, in addition to paying rent as outlined in the lease, your tenant is also expected to provide the basic maintenance that comes along with living there in order to enforce your obligations.
The tenant must keep the area that he or she uses safe and clean and cannot create unsanitary or hazardous conditions on the residential part of the property or in any of the common areas. This includes disposing of all waste safely and in a timely fashion.
Fixtures throughout the structure, specifically those that the renter uses, must be kept clean. The tenant cannot destroy, damage or deface any property either deliberately or negligently. If flooding has occurred and the water is knowingly left on the floor, resulting in damages to flooring or cabinets, the tenant could be considered negligent and be responsible for repairs. He or she is also prohibited from removing any part of the property without the proper consent. For instance, a tenant cannot remove a tree from the yard or appliances provided by the landlord from the property without permission. However, the tenant is not responsible for the damage from normal wear and tear that comes along with occupying a space.
It is the responsibility of the tenant to let the landlord know via written notification if the smoke detector is in need of repairs or has to be replaced. While the landlord must provide a properly functioning alarm with fresh batteries upon move-in, your tenant is responsible for replacing batteries thereafter unless your lease states otherwise.
Finally, your renter must comply with the current housing and building codes that apply to tenants.
This information is to educate only and should not be used in place of professional counsel.