Code enforcement demands landlord fix run-down rental

Code enforcement demands landlord fix run-down rental


by BILL MCGINTY / NewsChannel 36 Staff

Bio | Email | Follow: @billwcnc

Posted on January 10, 2012 at 5:37 PM

Updated Friday, Nov 1 at 7:29 AM

LOWELL, NC --  Landlord Nancy Lynch did not want to speak to the NewsChannel 36 I-Team when asked her about her rental home that has a giant hole in the floor hidden beneath the $100 linoleum.

“Get that camera off of me,” Lynch said, adding “I have a right not to answer if I don’t want to.”

Lynch did have to talk to Lowell Code Enforcement, who inspected the house and called the floor “dangerous and hazardous” for the renters.

Renter Lisa Shannon described how her fiancé Ron Dominy fell through the floor on Sunday. 

Shannon had to call 911 and the fire department had to rescue him from under the house.

“He was completely under the house,” Shannon said.

Code enforcement met with Lynch Tuesday about the floor and leveled a directive.

“She’s going to have to repair that floor.  I have given her five days,” said Sam Leggett with Lowell Code Enforcement.

But the rub here is how did that hole get there?  Lynch says the floor was fine in July.

NewsChannel 36 asked Lynch if she still believes the tenants caused the damage and the hole.

“Do you think I would have put new tile over a hole,” said Lynch.

But the tenants and the building inspector think it was something else.

“Someone probably stepped on the floor and it was weakened because of termite damage and it broke through,” Leggett said.

“Hey, I know what I’m doing.  I have been doing this since 1983.  I didn’t fall off no banana boat," countered Lynch.

Lynch says Lisa and Ron are bad tenants who don’t pay their rent.  In fact she’s suing them for $645 in lost rent.  Lisa and Ron say they intend to move out and then countersue for injuries caused from falling through the floor.

“I’m glad he’s going to make her do something about it.  That way it’ll be safe for another family,” Shannon said.

This link specifically addresses landlord-tenant rent issues under North Carolina state law. In Part 12, it states “The North Carolina Attorney General never recommends that you stop paying rent if you have a problem with your landlord.”