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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.  

Maintain Building Codes

Every state and some local municipaltities have housing and building codes. Failure to follow these codes can lead to legal issues for the owner of the property. They may also cause harm to the tenants, who are covered by the laws within the North Carolina Residential Rental Agreements act. Building codes govern everything from the physical structure to a home's plumbing system and are in place to ensure dwellings in the state remain safe and sanitary.

Ensure Proper Fire Safety

When it comes to fire safety, all homes must have working smoke alarms. It's up to landlords to choose functioning alarms that have been appropriately tested by an approved organization (such as Underwriters' Laboratories, Inc.) Smoke alarms must also be placed properly throughout the home to ensure they're effective in the event of a fire.

Repair the Home As Necessary

When issues arise within the rental property, tenants must notify their landlords as soon as possible. At this point, it's up to the landlord to repair the issue as necessary, paying special attention to issues that could pose a health risk. This includes things like plumbing issues, heating and cooling problems, and structural repairs. If repairs are not made in a timely manner, renters are not permitted to withhold rent, however. This matter must be taken up by the local magistrate if repairs are not made.

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