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The Laws Every Chatham County Renter Should Know

Landlord-Tenant Law Book Open on a Desk

As a renter, it’s critical to understand the most significant state and federal laws governing your rights and duties. By familiarizing yourself with these laws, you can become a more knowledgeable and responsible tenant. This can improve your experience and help you avoid future problems with your landlord. As a renter, you should be familiar with the following laws: 

  • Warranty of Habitability. Generally implied warranty of habitability laws, which go by different names in different jurisdictions, are state laws aimed to ensure that your rental unit is habitable. In most jurisdictions, this implies the rental home complies with certain minimum requirements for things like heat, water, and electricity. 
  • Choosing a Tenant. Landlords have the authority to select their tenants under state and federal laws. However, the laws require that a landlord’s decision be based on creditworthiness, income, or previous history. They are not permitted to refuse to rent to someone on the basis of their skin color, religion, sexual orientation, familial status, or disability. 
  • Fair Housing Act. The Fair Housing Act is a federal legislation that bans landlords from discriminating against tenants on the basis of protected characteristics like race, religion, gender, national origin, or handicap. This 1968 statute allows tenants who believe they are being discriminated against on the basis of one or more of these traits to submit a complaint with the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), regardless of which state they reside in. 
  • Limiting the Number of Children. A landlord cannot refuse to rent to a tenant because of the number of children the tenant has, according to the Fair Housing Act. A landlord is likewise prohibited from prohibiting children from using common or outdoor areas, according to the statute. 
  • Service Animals. Service animals are considered a reasonable accommodation under federal rules such as the Americans with Disabilities Act, and landlords are not allowed to prohibit them. They can’t charge you an extra pet fee or raise your rent because you have a service animal. Landlords, on the other hand, may require that service animals be vaccinated, licensed, and registered in accordance with all applicable state and local regulations. 
  • Discriminatory Advertising. The federal Fair Housing Act, administered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, also prohibits landlords from discriminating in their rental property advertising. Discriminatory advertising includes, for example, placing an ad declaring that the landlord will not rent to single adults, persons of a specific age, or those who use wheelchairs. 
  • Security Deposits. There are rules that govern how your security deposit is handled by a Chatham County property manager. In most situations, the law allows a landlord to collect and store your deposit, with the possibility of using it to perform repairs if you are careless and cause damage while living there. There are federal limits on the amount of a security deposit that a landlord may charge – this amount is also controlled by state legislation. 
  • Illegal Lockouts. While there is no federal legislation that renders locking out a tenant illegal, state laws explain the legal eviction process and make locking out a tenant from their rental house an illegal conduct. Eviction is a legal procedure that must be followed precisely or the landlord risks having the tenant’s case dismissed by the court. 


If you’re looking for a Chatham County rental home and property manager who knows and will follow all tenant-landlord laws in North Carolina, Real Property Management Impact is who you can rely on. Browse our listings online to find your next rental home!

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