This week we’ll look at some questions that people have asked us about the topic of landlord-tenant law in North Carolina. We would caution, however, that even if we cover a question on our blog, you should always come talk to us for advice. We cannot tell you what your legal options are until we know all the facts surrounding your situation, and a blog is never a substitute for personalized legal advice.
I think my landlord is charging me too much. Does landlord-tenant law in Jacksonville, North Carolina impose a rent cap? Is there a maximum amount of rent my landlord can charge?
Probably not. While income-based residential properties may have maximum rent amounts associated with them, landlords can generally charge whatever they want. If you do not want to pay the rent the landlord wants, you do not have to sign the lease. Reading the lease carefully and paying close attention to the terms that state the rental amount is the only way to be sure how much you’ll have to pay.
I’ve heard that Marines or other service members in residential leases can get out of them early. Is that true?
Possibly. Under the terms of the Servicemembers’ Civil Relief Act, or SCRA, and North Carolina landlord-tenant law, members of the armed forces do have some additional rights when it comes to residential leases. If you receive an unexpected permanent change of station (PCS) or have to deploy for more than 90 days, you may be able to terminate the lease prior to the termination date provided in the lease agreement.
However, if you signed the lease knowing that you would not be staying for the full time it covers, the protections afforded by the SCRA and North Carolina landlord-tenant law may be limited.
It’s also important to note that these kinds of issues are always better dealt with sooner rather than later. The SCRA and North Carolina landlord-tenant law establish notice requirements which ultimately affect the rent obligations of the service member. If you would like advice or guidance about your options, talk to us as soon as possible.
My landlord won’t fix a problem with my apartment/house. What can I do?
In some situations where there’s a problem with the property and the landlord won’t repair it, you can repair it yourself and potentially deduct the costs from your rent. However, you have to do this in a specific manner, and your options will likely depend on the terms of your rental contract as well as the exact circumstances. Since underpaying your rent can have negative consequences you should meet with a lawyer before engaging in any modifications of your lease agreement.