Code Enforcement: What apartment renters need to look out for - Greenville, NC | News | Weather | Sports - WNCT.com

Code Enforcement: What apartment renters need to look out for

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Holes in the walls. Mold in the vents. Missing smoke detectors.

Students trying to move into North Campus Crossing last week in Greenville were furious. When they showed up they found all kinds of problems.

While it may not be ideal, Code enforcement Officer AJ Basile says these conditions aren't unlivable as long as your landlord fixes the problem in a timely manner.

"Is there an actual time frame that's written in the code?" asked 9 on your side's Kristen Hunter.

"No it's actually item specific. If the property owner is overwhelmed for whatever reason and they have more pressing issues as far as air conditioning or lighting or electrical issues we'll let them get those issues fixed first," said Basile.

If your landlord doesn't meet that time frame they will get a citation.

Basile says there are steps you can take before you sign your name on the dotted line. Right when you walk in check the locks, door frame, lights and carpet. A stain or two is okay. An odor is not.

Mold will eventually form on vents if you don't clean them. While you should never move into an apartment with moldy vents, it is your responsibility as a tenant to keep them clean once you're there.

The same goes for your air filters.

"Your HVAC unit works that much harder to suck that air through that filter so a clean filter means it might not be a big difference in your bill.. but it is a difference," said Basile.

Working smoke detectors are a must. They should always be 10-12 inches from the wall.

"If there was a fire and the smoke were to actually come up the ceiling...it would actually roll. It wouldn't come all the way up to the ceiling," said Basile.

The next place to check: under the sink.

"A lot of times what happens is when a tenant moves in they notice that the baseboard or the bottom of under the sink is really soft and that is a clue that there's been a leak"

The soggy wood is a code violation and an indication of how well an apartment has been maintained.

Basile says call your landlord first if you have problems. Then call code enforcement. If nothing is being done, they can assess whether or not you have a legitimate problem.

Also, always inspect a place before you move in. Don't rely on a model apartment. Ask to take a tour of the apartment you will physically be living in.

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