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Questions and Answers on: Renting Residental Real Estate

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The relationship between you (the tenant) and a landlord begins when you enter into a contract— typically a lease. The terms of a lease generally are not dictated by law. However, many of the duties that you owe to each other are controlled by statutory law and cannot be “bargained away.”

This pamphlet focuses on questions that frequently arise during the landlord-tenant relationship. Although the term “apartment” is used throughout, you should be aware that the questions and answers apply equally to other types of residential rental properties.

For information on tenant security deposits, unlawful discrimination in rental housing, condominiums and townhouses, and other consumer housing issues, contact the North Carolina Real Estate Commission (919/875-3700) and request a free copy of a “Questions and Answers” brochure on any of these topics or visit the Commission’s Web site ( for a pdf version. Other written materials are available from the Consumer Protection Section of the Attorney General’s Office (919/716-6000). If you are a member of the U.S. Armed Forces, you should obtain a copy of the brochure, Questions and Answers on: North Carolina Military Personnel Residential Lease Termination. And for fair housing (discrimination) issues, call the North Carolina Human Relations Commission (919/807-4420) or your local fair housing agency. In addition, you may wish to review Chapter 42 of the N.C. General Statutes and consult a private attorney.