New Laws Affecting Landlords in North Carolina Repair of “Imminently Dangerous Conditions “Dirty Dozen” Effective October 1, 2009, NC Gen. Stat. 42-42(a) will be changed to add subscription 8 which will require landlords to repair or remedy any imminently dangerous condition once the landlord has actual knowledge or if you receive notice from the tenant. As-IS provisions in lease contracts as an excuse not to repair are specifically prohibited by NC GEN STAT 42-42(b) which states that: “ The landlord is not released of his obligations under any part of this section by the tenant’s explicit or implicit acceptance of the landlord’s failure to provide premises complying with this section, whether done before the lease was made, when it was made, or after it was made… WHAT ARE THE DIRTY DOZEN? 1. Unsafe Wiring 2. Unsafe flooring or steps 3. Unsafe ceilings or roofs 4. Unsafe chimneys or flues 5. Lack of Potable water 6. Lack of operable locks on all doors leading to the outside 7. Broken windows or lack of operable locks on all windows on the ground level 8. Lack of operable heating facilities capable of heating living areas to 65 degrees F when it is 20 degrees F outside from November 1 through March 31. 9. Lack of an operable toilet 10. Lack of an operable bathtub or shower 11. Rat infestation as a result of defects in the structure that makes the premises not impervious to rodents 12. Excessive standing water, sewage, or flooding problems caused by plumbing leaks or inadequate drainage that contribute to mosquito infestation or mold. Who does it applies to? If you must file a foreclosure action to regain possession of the property, these do not apply to you If you file an eviction/summary ejection action, then they apply to you. The tenant is always responsible to reimburse you for costs of repairs that are the tenant’s fault. Extended Time to Account for Use of Security Deposit Effective October 1, 2009, landlords are allowed up to 60 days to provide an itemization if you cannot determine the extent of your damages within the first 30 days after delivery of possession and termination of the tenancy. Stronger Penalties For Willful Non-Compliance with Security Deposit Laws Effective October 1, 2009, “ The willful failure of a landlord to comply with the deposit, bond, or notice requirements of this Article shall avoid the landlord’s right to retain any portion of the tenant’s security deposit as otherwise permitted under G.S. 42-51. Security Deposits from tenant in residential dwelling units shall be deposited into a trust account with a licensed and insured bank or savings institution located in the State of North Carolina. The landlord or agent shall notify the tenant within 30 days where his deposit is currently located … New Fees For Evictions Effective October 1, 2009, a landlord may charge certain fees related to an eviction of a tenant. However, these fees must be specifically provided by the lease. If you intend to charge such fees, you must ensure that all leases signed after October 1 contain provisions for these fees. You can only charge one of the following: Complaint-Filing Fee: A fee equal to 5% of the monthly rent, in addition to court costs, attorney’s fees, and any late fee owed. This can be charge if you filed a complaint for a default of the lease, and the tenant cured the default, and you elect to dismiss the case prior to trial. Court-Appearance Fee: A fee equal to 10% of the monthly rent, in addition to court costs, attorney’s fees, and any late fee owed. This can be charged if you filed a complaint for a default of the lease, you obtained a judgment, and the tenant did not appeal it. Second Trial Fee: A fee equal to 12% of the monthly rent, in addition to court costs, attorney’s fees, and any late fee owed. This can be charged if you filed a complaint for a default of the lease; you obtained a judgment; the tenant appealed the case to District Court, and you obtained a district court judgment. In terms of an eviction, you cannot charge any other fees besides late fees, court cost and attorney fees. For Section 8 or other subsidized leases, these fees are only on the tenant’s portion of the rent, not the gross rent Domestic Violence Protection Statutes A landlord shall not terminate a tenancy, fail to renew a tenancy, refuse to enter into a rental agreement, or otherwise retaliate in the rental of a dwelling based substantially on: (i) The tenant, applicant, or a household member’s status as a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking Evidence provided to the landlord of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking may include any of the following: 1. Law enforcement, court, or federal agency records or files 2. Documentation from a domestic violence or sexual assault program 3. Documentation from a religious, medical, or other professional. The New Law provides for changing of locks when tenant is a “protected tenant” Where the protected tenant DOES SHARE an apartment unit with the perpetrator of the domestic violence or sexual assault or stalking…. The protected tenant may give you oral or written notice that they are protected and request that the locks to the apartment be changed. Landlord must change locks to the apartment within 72 hours of request or notification. Protected Tenant will bear the cost of the lock change. Once locks are changed, landlord will be protected from liability as the result of the perpetrator. Where the protected tenants DOES NOT SHARE an apartment unit with the perpetrator: Landlord must change the locks to the apartment within 48 hours of request or notification. Protected Tenants may terminate the lease without penalty by providing landlord with 30 days written notice so long as they also provide landlord with a copy of a protective court order, or a criminal order restraining order or a valid Address Confidentiality Program card Lease Termination by Military Personnel Servicemen, whether active or temporarily deployed, may terminate a lease agreement without default if they provide landlord with 30 days written notice and termination will not be effective until 30 days after the next rental payment is due, so long as they can produce deployment orders lasting 90 days or longer. In a summary ejection, a military personnel or their dependent when appearing in court, have the right to request that the eviction be suspended for a period of up to 90 days. If the court finds good cause for the extension, one may be granted and the length of the extension is up to the discretion of the judge.