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.
A simple HVAC inspection prior to the onset of winter can typically identify any potential problems. Yet what about those issues that arise during the winter, such as a furnace malfunction? When the heat goes out, your landlord is not afforded the luxury of addressing such issues when they can. The law specifically states that any heating problems that prevent a residential structure from being heated to at least 65 degrees when it is 20 degrees outside (and during the period of November 1 through March 31) must be immediately addressed.
You can discover more about your landlord's wintertime obligations by continuing to explore our site.