A tree fell on my roof where I rent. Is landlord required to get us new housing?

UPDATED: May 1, 2017

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UPDATED: May 1, 2017Fact Checked

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does the landlord have to find housibg for myself and family because the house is uninhabitable

Asked May 1, 2017

1 Answer

Landlords in North Carolina have the responsibility to keep all rental units safe from danger. This includes trees around a property that are dead, leaning, or otherwise unsound. North Carolina weather patterns however, can create unpredictable situations like healthy trees falling on roofs unexpectedly. If this happens, landlords have certain options. They can provide a similar unit in a building to the renters during a repair period, or inform tenants of temporary housing off-site where a disaster reciprocity agreement is in place.

Though landlords are required to address repairs like damages caused to roofs by trees, the repair schedule sometimes does not coincide with lifestyles. In this case, tenants have other options. They can take advantage of laws regarding repairs and deductions. A tenant can withhold rent money until repairs are made, or they may deduct immediate repair costs from the rent. Either way, a landlord must make financial allowances for property destruction that was not the fault of the tenant, or creates a situation that makes a unit unlivable. Landlords are also not allowed to use security deposits to make repairs that are caused by acts of nature.

In extreme cases, tenants can file small claims court actions up to $5,000 against a landlord if it is officially deemed that a hazardous condition was left unaddressed. This includes having dangerous trees around a property. Case claims can include the costs associated with tenants finding a new place to live.

Answered May 2, 2017 by lawson

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