A landlord’s responsibility to maintain a unit

| Mar 12, 2020 | Landlord/tenant Matters |

One of the potential benefits of renting an apartment in North Carolina is that the landlord is responsible for maintaining it. For instance, a landlord could be required to replace carpets that are stained, torn or have reached the end of their useful lives. Typically, carpets used in rental units are expected to last for about five years. Residents who have pets are often expected to put up with stains or other imperfections their carpets may have.

Ideally, a carpet will be replaced or cleaned before a new tenant moves in. This reduces the chances that a new tenant will get sick or injured while walking on a dirty or torn carpet. In many cases, landlords will partner with pest control companies to minimize the chances of an infestation. If a pipe or faucet is leaking, it may be possible to take care of the problem within a day or two.

Tenants should also give their landlords 24 to 48 hours to repair other minor or moderate issues in their units. Landlords will likely inspect a unit after a tenant leaves to make sure that nothing is broken or needs to be replaced. Units are often painted when a tenant leaves. Long-term tenants can expect their rentals to be painted every three years or so depending on the quality of the paint.

Landlords generally have an obligation to make repairs or take other steps to ensure that a rental unit is safe and habitable. If a landlord fails to meet his or her obligation, it may be possible to withhold rent until the matter is resolved. An attorney could help a tenant who’s involved in a dispute with a property owner or property manager. Legal counsel may be helpful whether a matter is resolved in or out of court.

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