New landlords often quickly discover that when it comes to figuring out who is responsible for the care and treatment of the rented property, it can be complicated. But, it doesn’t have to be overwhelming and it can be extremely rewarding. The key is knowing who is responsible for what. Read on to understand which responsibilities fall to the landlord, and which belong to the renter.
First, it’s important to know that landlords and tenants are entering into a contract, even if the agreement is only made verbally. This means that North Carolina’s laws automatically become part of the agreement, whether written or not. Further, the basic rules in the laws will always apply – even if the two parties agree to waive parts of an agreement. For example, if a tenant states that they don’t mind not having access to clean water, because of the law, the landlord must still make sure there is a safe water supply.
TIP: Rules are rules. Landlords and tenants cannot agree that certain parts of the safeguards in the law can be ignored. They can’t.
North Carolina’s laws are generally pretty straightforward. They can be found in North Carolina’s Statutes Chapter 42, Article 5. In short, the laws state that the landlord is responsible for some of the basic structural components related to the property. This includes things like providing safe electrical wiring, providing a sanitary space, having operable toilet fixtures, installing smoke or carbon monoxide detectors, and eradicating mold or rodents if found.
The landlord agrees when they enter the contract that they will provide the basic conditions that create a livable environment and that they will make repairs when necessary in a timely manner.
Overall, North Carolina is considered to be a landlord-friendly state. While it is true that the landlord has a lot of responsibility, they also have the ability to do things that other states prohibit, such as the power to enter a property without permission or change the rent payment amount. Landlords have a responsibility, and they also have rights. These rights are provided to the landlord when the tenant abides by their responsibilities. Keep reading.
When renting, the tenant agrees to abide by certain rights that belong to the landlord. Full payment of the rent at the time specified in the agreement is mandatory. In North Carolina, if the tenant fails to pay the rent on time, a 10-day Notice to Quit can be issued by the landlord; if this doesn’t work and payment is still not made, the landlord can begin a legal eviction process. The landlord is legally able to do this, even without prior notice being made to the tenant.
TIP: Evictions can be tricky. There are multiple resources to help the landlord navigate the process. To make sure the eviction is legal, use tools and forms that are specific to North Carolina. EZlandlordforms.com is a one-stop shop for landlords, with rental agreements written by North Carolina lawyers.
The tenant has other responsibilities, of course, beyond paying rent when it’s due. The tenant must be sure that they are caring for the condition of the property. This means they are responsible for disposing of trash and waste properly, and for keeping components and fixtures operable, safe, and clean. If something goes wrong with something in the property, such as a toilet backup or faulty wiring, the tenant should make the landlord aware as soon as possible. Note – if the landlord fails to correct problems that threaten a habitable living space, the tenant does have the right to withhold rent.
Tenants must comply with North Carolina laws related to noise – they should be aware that they cannot disrupt the neighbors or other tenants on the property.
Finally, tenants are responsible for not being negligent and allowing damage or destruction of the rental. This could include allowing pets to destroy carpets, or allowing trash to accumulate where it is a hazard. Generally, tenants should make efforts to keep the rental as reasonably safe and sanitary as they found it. If this becomes difficult because of broken equipment in the property, they should speak up so the landlord has the opportunity to fix the situation and restore the rental to a habitable condition.
Having clear communication from the start and a strong agreement that sets out the expectations for both the renter and the landlord can make renting a property much easier. By knowing North Carolina’s laws around the responsibilities of each party –and enforcing them—the landlord/renter relationship can be mutually satisfying. By using the correct forms at the start of the agreement process, like those at EZlandlordform.com, the rental experience has a great chance of being positive for both parties. For information on purchasing, lease purchase or rent to own, contact a local Realtor
TIP: From the start, agree on expectations and determine the responsibilities of the landlord and those of the renter. This is the path to a successful rental relationship.