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Landlord-Tenant Law in Jacksonville, North Carolina – Part 2

Last week we looked at some common questions people have about landlord-tenant law in Jacksonville, North Carolina. This week we’ll look at some additional questions that people have asked us about the topic. We would caution, however, that even if we cover a question on our blog, you should always come talk to us for advice. We cannot tell you what your legal options are until we know all the facts surrounding your situation, and a blog is never a substitute for personalized legal advice.

I think my landlord is charging me too much. Does landlord-tenant law in Jacksonville, North Carolina impose a rent cap? Is there a maximum amount of rent my landlord can charge?

Probably not. While income-restricted housing properties do have maximum rent amounts associated with them, landlords can charge whatever they want. If you do not want to pay the rent the landlord wants, you do not have to sign the lease. Reading the lease carefully and paying close attention to the terms that state the rental amount is the only way to be sure how much you’ll have to pay.

I’ve heard that Marines or other service members in residential leases can get out of them early. Is that true?

Possibly. Under the terms of the Servicemembers’ Civil Relief Act, or SCRA, members of the armed forces do have some additional rights when it comes to residential, and even commercial, leases. If you receive an unexpected permanent change of station (PCS) or have to deploy for more than 90 days, you can usually withdraw from any residential or commercial lease you might have signed.

However, if you signed the lease knowing that you would not be staying for the full time it covers, the SCRA will not apply to your situation.

It’s also important to note that these kinds of SCRA issues are always better dealt with sooner rather than later. Even if you’ve entered into a lease knowing you’ll have to leave before it expires, you might be able to come to a new agreement with the landlord. If you’d like advice or guidance about your options, talk to us as soon as possible.

My landlord won’t fix a problem with my apartment/house. What can I do?

In some situations where there’s a problem with the property and the landlord won’t repair it, you can repair it yourself and deduct the costs from your rent. However, you have to do this in a specific manner.

For example, you have to send the landlord a certified letter stating the problem and asking the landlord to fix it. Only after that can you repair the property yourself and deduct the expense from your rent, but only if you and the landlord have a written agreement stating that the landlord will allow it.