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I am a renter in Charlotte, NC. The master bathroom has a…

Hello. I am a...

Hello. I am a renter in Charlotte, NC. The master bathroom has a fiberglass tub that has cracked and leaked through normal wear and tear.. The landlord claims the bathtub was fully functional at move-in and that its repair is my obligation. They are demanding $1,000. I do not believe I should be responsible for maintenance of the bathtub. Does North Carolina have clear laws about responsibility for rental unit plumbing, toilets and bathtubs?

Lawyer's Assistant: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state the property is in?

Yes; I indicated Charlotte, NC

Lawyer's Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?

No, nothing has been filed or reported.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

Only that the townhouse is part of an HOA, and the quality of the materials is marginal.

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Answered in 1 minute by:
3/9/2018
RealEstateAnswer
Category: Real Estate Law
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Hi! I will be the professional that will be helping you today. I look forward to providing you with information to help with your question and concern

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Hello, and thank you.

Good morning. Unless the lease requires that you pay for something like this or it was your fault, the cost of repair would fall on the landlord and it is their duty and responsibility. North Carolina law requires landlords to provide tenants with fit and safe housing by making repairs and maintaining rental property in compliance with codes. Your landlord is also required to maintain and repair appliances that the landlord has provided. This includes plumbing, heating and air conditioning units, refrigerators, and stoves, etc.

42-42. Landlord to provide fit premises

(a) The landlord shall:

(1) Comply with the current applicable building and housing codes, whether enacted before or after October 1, 1977, to the extent required by the operation of such codes; no new requirement is imposed by this subdivision (a)(1) if a structure is exempt from a current building code.

(2) Make all repairs and do whatever is necessary to put and keep the premises in a fit and habitable condition.

(3) Keep all common areas of the premises in safe condition.

(4) Maintain in good and safe working order and promptly repair all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air conditioning, and other facilities and appliances supplied or required to be supplied by the landlord provided that notification of needed repairs is made to the landlord in writing by the tenant, except in emergency situations.

(5) Provide operable smoke detectors, either battery-operated or electrical, having an Underwriters' Laboratories, Inc., listing or other equivalent national testing laboratory approval, and install the smoke detectors in accordance with either the standards of the National Fire Protection Association or the minimum protection designated in the manufacturer's instructions, which the landlord shall retain or provide as proof of compliance. The landlord shall replace or repair the smoke detectors within 15 days of receipt of notification if the landlord is notified of needed replacement or repairs in writing by the tenant. The landlord shall ensure that a smoke detector is operable and in good repair at the beginning of each tenancy. Unless the landlord and the tenant have a written agreement to the contrary, the landlord shall place new batteries in a battery-operated smoke detector at the beginning of a tenancy and the tenant shall replace the batteries as needed during the tenancy. Failure of the tenant to replace the batteries as needed shall not be considered as negligence on the part of the tenant or the landlord.

(6) If the landlord is charging for the cost of providing water or sewer service pursuant to G.S. 42-42.1 and has actual knowledge from either the supplying water system or other reliable source that water being supplied to tenants within the landlord's property exceeds a maximum contaminant level established pursuant to Article 10 of Chapter 130A of the General Statutes, provide notice that water being supplied exceeds a maximum contaminant level.

(7) Provide a minimum of one operable carbon monoxide detector per rental unit per level, either battery operated or electrical, that is listed by a nationally recognized testing laboratory that is OSHA-approved to test and certify to American National Standards Institute/Underwriters Laboratories Standards ANSI/ UL2034 or ANSI/UL2075, and install the carbon monoxide detectors in accordance with either the standards of the National Fire Protection Association or the minimum protection designated in the manufacturer's instructions, which the landlord shall retain or provide as proof of compliance. A landlord that installs one carbon monoxide detector per rental unit per level shall be deemed to be in compliance with standards under this subdivision covering the location and number of detectors. The landlord shall replace or repair the carbon monoxide detectors within 15 days of receipt of notification if the landlord is notified of needed replacement or repairs in writing by the tenant. The landlord shall ensure that a carbon monoxide detector is operable and in good repair at the beginning of each tenancy. Unless the landlord and the tenant have a written agreement to the contrary, the landlord shall place new batteries in a battery-operated carbon monoxide detector at the beginning of a tenancy, and the tenant shall replace the batteries as needed during the tenancy. Failure of the tenant to replace the batteries as needed shall not be considered as negligence on the part of the tenant or the landlord. A carbon monoxide detector may be combined with smoke detectors if the combined detector does both of the following: (i) complies with ANSI/UL2034 or ANSI/UL2075 for carbon monoxide alarms and ANSI/UL217 for smoke detectors; and (ii) emits an alarm in a manner that clearly differentiates between detecting the presence of carbon monoxide and the presence of smoke. This subdivision applies only to dwelling units having a fossil-fuel burning heater or appliance, fireplace, or an attached garage. Any operable carbon monoxide detector installed before January 1, 2010, shall be deemed to be in compliance with the provisions of this subdivision.

(b) 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, unless a governmental subdivision imposes an impediment to repair for a specific period of time not to exceed six months. Notwithstanding the provisions of this subsection, the landlord and tenant are not prohibited from making a subsequent written contract wherein the tenant agrees to perform specified work on the premises, provided that said contract is supported by adequate consideration other than the letting of the premises and is not made with the purpose or effect of evading the landlord's obligations under this Article.

§ 42-43. Tenant to maintain dwelling unit

(a) The tenant shall:

(1) Keep that part of the premises that the tenant occupies and uses as clean and safe as the conditions of the premises permit and cause no unsafe or unsanitary conditions in the common areas and remainder of the premises that the tenant uses.

(2) Dispose of all ashes, rubbish, garbage, and other waste in a clean and safe manner.

(3) Keep all plumbing fixtures in the dwelling unit or used by the tenant as clean as their condition permits.

(4) Not deliberately or negligently destroy, deface, damage, or remove any part of the premises, nor render inoperable the smoke detector or carbon monoxide detector provided by the landlord, or knowingly permit any person to do so.

(5) Comply with any and all obligations imposed upon the tenant by current applicable building and housing codes.

(6) Be responsible for all damage, defacement, or removal of any property inside a dwelling unit in the tenant's exclusive control unless the damage, defacement or removal was due to ordinary wear and tear, acts of the landlord or the landlord's agent, defective products supplied or repairs authorized by the landlord, acts of third parties not invitees of the tenant, or natural forces.

(7) Notify the landlord, in writing, of the need for replacement of or repairs to a smoke detector or carbon monoxide detector. The landlord shall ensure that a smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector are operable and in good repair at the beginning of each tenancy. Unless the landlord and the tenant have a written agreement to the contrary, the landlord shall place new batteries in a battery-operated smoke detector and battery-operated carbon monoxide detector at the beginning of a tenancy and the tenant shall replace the batteries as needed during the tenancy. Failure of the tenant to replace the batteries as needed shall not be considered as negligence on the part of the tenant or the landlord.

(b) The landlord shall notify the tenant in writing of any breaches of the tenant's obligations under this section except in emergency situations.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Wow! Well that is a very thorough reply, and I appreciate citing North Carolina law and sections. That is excellent. Thank you!

You are welcome. Please let me know if there is anything else, as I would be happy to respond. If not, please remember to rate my help at this time at the top of this page, prior to leaving, so I can receive the proper credit, for our time together. A 5 STAR rating is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Can you make a referral for a real estate attorney or firm in
south Charlotte, NC (Ballantyne area)?
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Well, it would be small claims court, wouldn't it since it is just under $1,000. So I suppose a referral is not necessary

I am sorry but the site does not allow that nor is there anyone I could refer you to, I am sorry to say.

Ask Your Own Real Estate Law Question
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
No problem. Thank you for the quick and thorough reply. I have no further questions. I will rate you five starts and you've earned it well!

Thank you and I appreciate it.

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