Action 9: Knowing your rights as a tenant

by: Jason Stoogenke Updated:

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CHARLOTTE - When Gustavius Tolbert’s apartment flooded, he did something many might do, and it cost him his home.

“And I see something clear in the kitchen and I’m like ‘what is that?’ and then I open this bathroom. And that’s when I see the water started traveling,” said Tolbert.

A pipe burst during one of the recent cold spells. Water flooded his home and ran under his floor.

Worried about mold and mildew building up underneath, he turned to Action 9 and Jason Stoogenke.

“I just want my floors fixed. I can’t live in something like this, and right now I can’t afford to move,” said Tolbert.

Action 9 contacted the property management company, Kinley, and a manager quickly responded.

“I told Gustavius we would replace his floors. I also told him that we would...need to...find a match and if we could not we would replace with a different...floor,” the manager said.

The manager also wrote that he asked his vendor to apply a microbial to help prevent mold or mildew. The problem seemed solved, but Tolbert said he had not paid his rent out of principle.

Attorney General Roy Cooper says tenants have to pay if they want to keep their rights.

“Under North Carolina law, a tenant cannot withhold rent even if the landlord is not abiding by the contract,” Cooper said.

Tolbert contacted Stoogenke, and told him Kinley was evicting him.

Click here to see documents from the City of Charlotte and the Attorney General for more information about your rights as a tenant.