Contract (Including Landlord-Tenant) Law

Durham/Raleigh attorney representing clients in preparation and review of contracts as well as court action for breach or enforcement.

Q:  I signed a 1-year lease with my landlord two months ago.  The front porch has a hole in it and the sink leaks.  My landlord will will not fix them.  I called the county inspector and they said the house is in violation of building codes.  My landlord has threatened to throw me out of the house and change the locks.  Can he do this?

A:  No, the landlord cannot throw you out and change the locks.  This is called self-help and is against the law.  As long as your lease is valid, it is a binding contract and your landlord can only evict you for a breach of the lease or violation of law.  The landlord would need to file the eviction in court.

Contracts can be verbal or written.  Verbal contracts are common between individuals.  Many verbal contracts can be enforced in North Carolina.  However, North Carolina law requires some contracts to be in writing to be enfoceable.

Residential and commercial leases are contracts.  Most verbal residential leases can be enforced against either the landlord or tenant.  One common problem with a verbal lease is the lack of clarity as to what the parties really agreed to when the rental started.  North Carolina law provides rights and responsibilities of both landlords and tenants outside of a lease, but it does not address all of the issues that can arise between parties.

Many people do not realize how often they enter into contacts.  Gym memberships, car purchases, warranties and cell phone contacts are some examples.

The terms of a contract become important when it is time to enforce it.  Contract drafting is important to head off future problems between parties. Some people believe you can sign a contact then cancel it (call rescission) within a short period of time. This is not always the case.  Review of contracts before you sign is important to protect your interest.  Our firm can draft a contract to protect your interests and fight for you in court when there is a contract dispute.

Have you been served with an eviction notice?  Has your landlord failed to make repairs to the property?  Has your tenant failed to make rental payments?  Do you need a contact drafted or reviewed by a lawyer?  Please contact our office for all of your contract needs.

4819 Emperor Blvd., Suite 400
Durham, NC  27703

Link:  Landlord-tenant statutes