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Poor housing conditions are more than a simple nuisance for tenants in Raleigh. When a landlord fails to make necessary repairs, it could jeopardize the health and well-being of their tenants. These health complications could include infectious diseases, chronic illnesses, or even mental health issues.

If your landlord has failed to address poor housing conditions in your home, you could hold them accountable with the help of a knowledgeable personal injury attorney. By pursuing legal action on your behalf, a Raleigh poor housing conditions and landlord liability lawyer could assist you in the recovery of damages.

Implied Warranty of Habitability in Raleigh

As a tenant, it is typically not their responsibility to perform necessary maintenance and repairs. In exchange for rent, a landlord is required to take care of necessary repairs in a timely fashion. This obligation is known as the implied warranty of habitability.

This warranty is implied because it binds a landlord regardless of whether the lease provides for it or not. Under state law, it is unsaid that a landlord guarantees that any residence they hold out for rent is habitable. Habitability means that the apartment or home meets the most basic standards of living, including:

  • Access to potable water
  • Working locks on exterior doors
  • Functioning roof
  • Safe floors or steps
  • Safe wiring
  • Working windows with locks
  • Functioning heat

These requirements are thorough and require that a landlord address the issues promptly. There is no time limit on when the landlord must have a repair completed. However, the more serious the repair, the sooner the landlord should address it.

The responsibilities of the landlord are somewhat dependent on the language of the lease. For example, if the lease requires the tenant to maintain working gas or running water, the landlord is only required to ensure a tenant has access to these services. Landlords in Raleigh have no duty to ensure service remains active if the tenant is responsible for paying these bills individually.

Rental Abatement in Raleigh

When a landlord allows poor housing conditions, they could face legal action from a Raleigh poor housing conditions and landlord liability lawyer. The remedy available to a tenant for the failure to repair these poor conditions is known as rental abatement. Rental abatement allows a tenant to recover monetary damages based on the landlord’s violation of the implied warranty of habitability.

This action not only has the potential to reduce rent going forward, but it could also require the landlord to pay back a portion of the rent previously collected. The amount of damages for a successful rent abatement claim depends on the value of the property. The court will first consider the value of the rental property in its current, unsafe condition. Next, the court looks at the value of the property as it was warranted at the time of rental. If the court finds the landlord failed to timely address these habitability issues, they should next award the tenant the difference between what they paid in rent and what the uninhabitable apartment or home was actually worth.

Contact a Raleigh Poor Housing Conditions and Landlord Liability Attorney

From proving that your landlord failed to address poor conditions in a timely manner to showing the court what your rental was actually worth, an attorney could assist you with making the best out of your situation.

A successful rent abatement claim could lead to the return of some of your paid rent. To pursue this compensation, call a Raleigh poor housing conditions and landlord liability lawyer right away.