North Carolina Landlord and Tenant Duties

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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