Property Law

At Strickland Agner Pittman, our Goldsboro property law attorneys help residents dealing with complex property issues in Wayne County and beyond. Property disputes can encompass a wide variety of situations, from landlord-tenant relations, zoning issues, disputes among neighbors, homeowners association disputes, mechanic’s liens, issues with trusts and other banks accounts, and more. Property law also encompasses real estate litigation on both the buyer and seller sides.

Types of Property Law

There are many different types of property law. Here are a few of the most common:

North Carolina Homestead Laws

Sometimes, we all fall upon difficult financial times. North Carolina legislature has laws written in place to ensure that even if a family is faced with financial hardship, they will not have to fear losing their home. These laws, called Homestead Laws, allow homeowners to declare a limited portion of their property as a “homestead,” protecting it from creditors in the event of bankruptcy. In North Carolina, up to $1,000 worth of property can be considered a homestead. 

Despite homestead law protection, there are still four types of creditors that can force the sale of a homestead in order to collect outstanding debt. These creditors are:

  • The state, county, or municipality in order to collect past-due property tax
  • Mortgage creditors to whom the property was guaranteed as credit for the mortgage
  • Contractors, mechanics, and builders owed payment for work on the property
  • Any creditor with a pre-existing lien on the property prior to the homestead establishment

North Carolina Landlord & Tenant Rights

Landlord and tenant relationships can be highly complex. There are countless North Carolina laws governing the landlord-tenant relationship, which often leads to confusion about the legal obligations of each party. Strickland Agner Pittman is well-versed in Goldsboro property laws concerning landlord-tenant responsibilities, so rest assured you will be protected. 

North Carolina Tenant Responsibilities

The North Carolina tenant responsibilities, as outlined in North Carolina General Statute 42-43(a), are as follows:

  • Keep the occupied premises clean and safe
  • Dispose of all garbage in a clean and safe manner
  • Keep all plumbing fixtures in the occupied unit as clean as their condition permits
  • Do not deliberately or negligently destroy, damage, or remove the provided smoke alarms or carbon monoxide alarms
  • Accept responsibility for all damage or removal of any fixtures within the occupied unit (unless the damage was caused by ordinary wear and tear, acts of the landlord, defective products used or supplied by the landlord, acts of third parties not invited by the tenant, or natural forces)
  • Notify the landlord, in writing, of the need for replacement or repairs to a smoke alarm or carbon monoxide alarm. Unless otherwise noted, the tenant is responsible for replacing the batteries in battery-operated safety alarms during the tenancy.

North Carolina Landlord Responsibilities

The North Carolina landlord responsibilities, as outlined in North Carolina General Statute 42-42(a), are as follows:

  • Comply with current applicable building and housing codes
  • Make all repairs necessary to keep the premises in a habitable condition
  • Keep all common areas of the premises in safe condition
  • Maintain in good and safe working order all facilities and appliances supplied or required to be supplied by the landlord, provided that the tenant notifies the landlord in writing (with exception for emergencies) of needed repairs
  • Provide operable smoke alarms
  • Notify tenants if the water being supplied exceeds a maximum contaminant level (if applicable)
  • Provide one carbon monoxide alarm in working condition per rental unit per level if the rented unit contains a fossil-fuel burning heater, appliance, or fireplace, or an attached garage
  • Repair or remedy any imminently dangerous condition on the premises after acquiring knowledge or receiving notice of the condition

North Carolina Adverse Possession Laws

Adverse possession is a concept that allows a trespasser–either a stranger or neighbor, but more often than not the latter–to claim ownership of someone else’s land. In a case of adverse possession, the burden of the proof lies on the trespasser to provide enough evidence to convince the court they are entitled to the title of the land. 

In order to substantiate the claim, the trespasser’s possession must be:

  1. Hostile: against the right of the true owner and without permission
  2. Actual: exercising control over the property
  3. Exclusive: existing in the possession of the trespasser alone
  4. Open and Notorious: using the property as the rightful owner would, without attempt to hide their occupancy
  5. Continuous for the Statutory Period: typically 20 years

In a typical Goldsboro, NC neighborhood, a neighbor could file for adverse possession if they were unaware of the actual property lines and unknowingly built a shed in their neighbor’s backyard. If the land possession has been hostile, actual, exclusive, open and notorious, and has existed for over twenty years without complaint by the rightful owner, the shed-builder could file for ownership of that land under adverse possession. 

For more information on adverse possession in Goldsboro, contact Strickland Agner Pittman for a free consultation.

North Carolina Property Damage

If you’ve ever had your property damaged in Goldsboro, NC or surrounding Wayne County, the property lawyers at Strickland Agner Pittman can help. According to North Carolina statutes, the willing and wanton damage, injury, or destruction of land or anything fixated or attached to it (i.e.: buildings, fences, gates, etc.) is considered injury to real property. This charge is classified as a class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum 12-day jail sentence and a fine. 

Property damage in Goldsboro, NC is not an offense to be taken lightly. Though the damage itself can be done in mere minutes, the effects of damaged property can be devastating to the owner. For assistance in property damage cases, contact the attorneys at Strickland Agner Pittman. 

Goldsboro Property Lawyers

Our Goldsboro property lawyers are committed to securing you the best possible outcome for your case. Our extensive property law experience in Goldsboro and the surrounding areas means we can present you with a range of options coming from an informed perspective. 

Don’t wait to get the counsel you need. Talk with an expert Wayne County property lawyer today. Simply fill out the form for a free consultation or give us a call at (919) 735-8888 to discuss your case.

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