A North Carolina landlord who is being sued by the state’s Attorney General over security deposit violations says his lease is to blame. . . . In a news interview, he explains that he found the form lease on a realtors’ website, and did not realize that the security deposit provisions in the form contradicted current security deposit laws in North Carolina.Landlord Says Lease Form to Blame for Legal Woes, American Apartment Owners Association, August 22, 2013.
Other landlords can learn from the mistake. When using online rental forms, be sure to choose forms from a source that has both state-specific and up-to-date forms. One problem with using forms from websites is the difficulty in determining whether the law has changed since the form was posted.
It’s always a good idea to run the online form past an attorney before using it for the first time. That way, you catch any mistakes early on, before mass-producing the problem for every tenant.
The Attorney General says he will be seeking a $5,000 penalty against the landlord for each security deposit violation.