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Renter's rights when repairs are needed

People who rent their home, townhome, condo or apartment dwelling in North Carolina know that they are not amassing equity in a residence or property but they do get to enjoy a level of freedom when it comes to having primary responsibility for maintaining a property. For some, the ability to make a quick phone call and have a problem fixed without receiving a bill is more than enough benefit to warrant renting versus buying.

There may be times when it is hard to know when a renter or a landlord is supposed to take care of a particular issue. As explained by SF Gate, one of the ways people can identify this is to look at what may have necessitated the repair. For example, if a tenant was moving a piece of furniture and in the process of doing so banged into the wall enough to make a hole, that may not likely be something that a landlord would be responsible for.

On the other hand, if a water pipe broke and a leak resulted, that may more likely be a landlord's responsibility. When a tenant notices a problem, alerting the landlord is a good first step. If the landlord or management agency contact does not respond in a reasonable amount of time, a tenant might be able to make a repair on their own. However, Trulia recommends that the tenant first provide notice to the landlord verbally and in writing.

The decision to take care of a repair and request either reimbursement or a reduction in rent should factor in the level of repair needed and if it impacts the true livability of the unit.

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