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As a tenant in Durham, you have certain rights related to the conditions of your housing. Regardless of the terms of your lease, state law holds your landlord to specific requirements. If they fail to address any dangerous or unhealthy conditions in your rental home or apartment in a timely manner, you could be entitled to monetary compensation.

A dedicated personal injury attorney might be able to review the conditions of your home and advise you of your chances for compensation. The process of pursuing this compensation can be complex. Thankfully, a Durham poor housing conditions and landlord liability lawyer could guide you with pursuing monetary damages.

Landlord Housing Conditions Requirements in Durham

North Carolina Statute Section 42-42 sets out a number of requirements for landlords in Durham. The statute requires to meet certain basic safety requirements like providing working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Additionally, the statute requires the landlord to remedy or repair any “imminently dangerous” conditions on or around the rental property.

It is important to note that a landlord is only responsible for conditions they are aware of. As long as they have actual knowledge or formal notice of an imminently dangerous condition, they are required to address the issue. This notice could be oral or written. A landlord is under no obligation to repair a condition they are unaware of and are unlikely to face liability if they lacked notice of how severe the condition was. Some of the conditions covered by the statute include:

  • Unsafe steps or flooring
  • Lack of access to potable water
  • Dangerous wiring
  • Lack of working toilets
  • Unsafe chimneys
  • Unsafe roofs or ceilings
  • Plumbing leaks

The statute requires landlords in Durham to fix these conditions no matter how they occur, but it does provide the option for the property owner to recoup their expenses from the tenant if they caused the condition.

What is Rent Abatement?

When a landlord violates their duties and allows poor housing conditions, they could face liability from a Durham poor housing conditions and landlord liability lawyer representing an injured victim. This legal action is known as rent abatement. Rent abatement allows a tenant to recover compensation for the diminished value of their home based on unsafe conditions. A court typically calculates these damages as the difference between the rent a tenant paid and the value of the rental property when considering the dangerous condition.

Requirements to Pay Rent Throughout the Claims Process

One step a tenant is required by law to take while pursuing a claim against their landlord is continuing to pay rent. There is a common misconception that by failing to maintain the rental property safely, a landlord is not entitled to recover rent until the repairs are made. This is not the case in Durham. Renters must continue paying rent each month unless a court orders them to do otherwise. Should they prevail with their rent abatement claim, they could recover that money in the future.

The failure to pay rent – even when the property is uninhabitable – could result in eviction proceedings against the tenant. Not only could this further complicate the tenant’s housing situation, but it could also cost them additional out-of-pocket costs.

Speak with a Durham Poor Housing Conditions and Landlord Liability Attorney

If your landlord has failed to address a dangerous condition in your rental home, you could be entitled to monetary compensation. While compensation could be available in your case, obtaining it can be challenging.

You could improve your chances of recovery with skilled legal counsel by your side. Call a Durham poor housing conditions and landlord liability lawyer as soon as possible.