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WiseOwl58
WiseOwl58, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 3628
Experience:  Experienced real estate lawyer and real estate broker.
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I rent a home in North Carolina. I have been out of hot

Customer Question

I rent a home in North Carolina. I have been out of hot water for 8 days, 7 of those the landlord has been aware of. They just contacted me yesterday saying they assigned my work order to a company for repair. They have sent 2 emails with 2 different company names.
JA: OK. The Real Estate Lawyer will need to help you with this. Because laws vary from state to state, could you tell me what state is this in?
Customer: The company contacted me today saying that they will need to look at it and give a quote. They came, looked and quoted my rental company. The repair was approved. They stated they will need to replace the water heater. I asked them for their North Carolina plumbing license and they stated they do not have one. They are relying on another companies General Contractors license, which does not cover plumbing anyways.
JA: Have you consulted a lawyer yet?
Customer: I am in North Carolina
JA: Is there anything else the Real Estate Lawyer should be aware of?
Customer: No
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Real Estate Lawyer about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  WiseOwl58 replied 7 months ago.

You have the legal right not to have to pay rent for the days that the landlord did not provide you with hot water. Under North Carolina law, there is an implied warranty of habitability in every lease, meaning that the landlord is required to provide you with a place that is clean, safe and livable. Since there was no hot water, you cannot take a shower and do personal hygene. That is unacceptable. You should deduct that many days from the next rent payment and send an explanation to the landlord as to your deduction.

Please rate 4 or 5 and close out the question. Good luck to you. I wish you all the best.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Do I have any recourse about them hiring a non-licensed handyman to do the water heater replacement? If they refuse to hire a licensed plumber, what amount of time is acceptable to stay in the house. Can I be constructively evicted so I will not be required to live in the house? I am afraid the repair will be subpar, not to mention illegal and be a danger to my family.
Expert:  WiseOwl58 replied 7 months ago.

Yes, based on the fact that they hired a non-licensed contractor, you have the right, under North Carolina law, to terminate the lease entirely and to move out without any furether obligation to pay. You should put the landlord on notice that he is required to use a licensed contractor, otherwise, you will terminate the lease and move without any further obligation (and the landlord will be required to return your entire security deposit, nevertheless).

Now, Please rate 4 or 5 and close out the question. Good luck to you. I wish you all the best.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
How would about terminating the lease because they used a non-licensed contractor. What statue gives me this authority?
Expert:  WiseOwl58 replied 7 months ago.

It's not a statute, it's the case law of North Carolina. You should give the landlord written notice that you are terminating for the landlord's breach and give the reason why--use on unlicensed contractor makes the living units unsafe. There could be a fire, flood etc.

Now, the way this site works is you need to rate the answer 4 or 5 and close out the question now. Please accept the answer and give a positive rating so that I get credit for my work.

Please rate 4 or 5 and close out the question. Good luck to you. I wish you all the best.

Expert:  WiseOwl58 replied 7 months ago.

Please rate 4 or 5 and close out the question. Good luck to you. I wish you all the best.

Expert:  WiseOwl58 replied 7 months ago.

Please rate 4 or 5 and close out the question. Good luck to you. I wish you all the best.

Expert:  WiseOwl58 replied 7 months ago.

Please rate 4 or 5 and close out the question. Good luck to you. I wish you all the best.

Expert:  WiseOwl58 replied 7 months ago.

The way this site works is now you need to accept the answer and rate it 4 or 5.

Please rate 4 or 5 and close out the question. Good luck to you. I wish you all the best.