Franklin, NC asked in Landlord - Tenant for North Carolina

Q: Is a landlord responsible to pay for relocation fees (such as a hotel) unexpectedly?

Our microwave, air fryer, stove, and oven doesn’t get hot, the fridge isn’t working, oven beeps and says bad power line when we turn a singular light on. The lights flicker bad, or don’t come on etc. This is because of unkept maintenance, it’s an old apartment complex… and I’m assuming the wiring is bad. But it’s cold, we can’t see to get ready for work, have to shower, and do dishes in dark, as well as can’t eat. So would they be responsible for paying for a hotel room in the process of repairing ? - North Carolina resident

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2 Lawyer Answers

A: The landlord would not but your renter’s insurance would typically pay for alternative housing if the premises are uninhabitable.

N'kia (NLN)
N'kia (NLN)
  • Cary, NC
  • Licensed in North Carolina

A: In North Carolina, a residential landlord must keep the premises in a fit and habitable condition. A landlord who fails to do so could be liable to its tenant for "rent abatement" and/or expenses (such as costs of alternative living arrangements). A landlord who charges rent for property that it knows isn't fit and habitable could be liable to its tenant for unfair and deceptive trade practices. Also, a landlord who rents out property that is not up to code could be liable to the government for fines/penalties.

What makes residential property fit and habitable is often debatable; the same can be said about what expenses a landlord is required to cover and under what circumstances. Although there are some general rules, every case requires a fact-specific analysis. (This is only legal information that may or may not apply to you.) For legal advice on your issue, including your specific rights and your landlord's specific responsibilities, you should consult with a knowledgeable attorney who can evaluate the specific facts.

Good luck!

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