42-44. General remedies, penalties, and limitations.

(a) Any right or obligation declared by this Chapter is enforceable by civil action, in addition to other remedies of law and in equity.

(a1) If a landlord fails to provide, install, replace, or repair a smoke alarm under the provisions of G.S. 42-42(a)(5) or a carbon monoxide alarm under the provisions of G.S. 42-42(a)(7) within 30 days of having received written notice from the tenant or any agent of State or local government of the landlord's failure to do so, the landlord shall be responsible for an infraction and shall be subject to a fine of not more than two hundred fifty dollars ($250.00) for each violation. After December 31, 2012, if the landlord installs a new smoke alarm or replaces an existing smoke alarm, the smoke alarm shall be a tamper-resistant, 10-year lithium battery smoke alarm, except as provided in G.S. 42-42(a)(5a). The landlord may temporarily disconnect a smoke alarm or carbon monoxide alarm in a dwelling unit or common area for construction or rehabilitation activities when such activities are likely to activate the smoke alarm or carbon monoxide alarm or make it inactive.

(a2) If a smoke alarm or carbon monoxide alarm is disabled or damaged, other than through actions of the landlord, the landlord's agents, or acts of God, the tenant shall reimburse the landlord the reasonable and actual cost for repairing or replacing the smoke alarm or carbon monoxide alarm within 30 days of having received written notice from the landlord or any agent of State or local government of the need for the tenant to make such reimbursement. If the tenant fails to make reimbursement within 30 days, the tenant shall be responsible for an infraction and subject to a fine of not more than one hundred dollars ($100.00) for each violation. The tenant may temporarily disconnect a smoke alarm or carbon monoxide alarm in a dwelling unit to replace the batteries or when it has been inadvertently activated.

(b) Repealed by Session Laws 1979, c. 820, s. 8.

(c) The tenant may not unilaterally withhold rent prior to a judicial determination of a right to do so.

(c1) A real estate broker or firm as defined in G.S. 93A-2 managing a rental property on behalf of a landlord shall not be personally liable as a party in a civil action between the landlord and tenant solely because the real estate broker or firm fails to identify the landlord of the property in the rental agreement.

(d) A violation of this Article shall not constitute negligence per se. (1977, c. 770, s. 1; 1979, c. 820, s. 8; 1998-212, s. 17.16(k); 2008-219, s. 4; 2012-92, s. 3; 2016-98, s. 1.6.)