Resolution on Tenants’ Rights

Carrboro is unlike most communities in North Carolina (and throughout the United States) in its high proportion of renter-occupied housing. At our annual retreat on Sunday, the Board of Aldermen adopted the resolution below to recognize recent work by Orange County Justice United, EmPOWERment, Inc, the UNC Civil Legal Assistance Clinic, and the Orange County Human Relations Commission in developing a “Declaration of Tenants Rights and Obligations” (English- and Spanish-language versions).

A RESOLUTION ENDORSING ORANGE COUNTY JUSTICE UNITED’S EFFORTS TO INFORM TENANTS OF THEIR RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS

WHEREAS, according to the 2008-2012 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, approximately 65 percent of occupied housing units in Carrboro are occupied by renters; and

WHEREAS, tenants and potential tenants of rental housing may face unfair treatment, including disparate assessment of rent and fees; poor maintenance; improper eviction procedures; and discriminatory acts; and

WHEREAS, Orange County Justice United has worked previously with the Town of Carrboro, property owners and managers, and a variety of community partners to address instances of unfair treatment of tenants; and

WHEREAS, federal fair housing law and Chapter 42 of the North Carolina General Statutes define the rights and obligations of tenants and landlords; and

WHEREAS, Orange County Justice United, EmPOWERment, Inc, and the Orange County Human Relations Commission recently worked with students from the UNC Civil Legal Assistance Clinic to draft a “Declaration of Tenants Rights and Obligations”; and

WHEREAS, Orange County Justice United and EmPOWERment, Inc, held three fair housing workshops in 2013 to present information about tenants’ rights and to solicit public comment on the Declaration; and

WHEREAS, the Declaration summarizes the rights and obligations of tenants in Orange County, North Carolina, and provides a list of resources for tenants and potential tenants who are seeking additional information and assistance; and

WHEREAS, the Orange County Board of Commissioners, the Chapel Hill Town Council, and the Greater Chapel Hill Association of Realtors have endorsed the Declaration;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED:

SECTION 1. The Board of Aldermen endorses the efforts of Orange County Justice United to inform tenants of their rights and responsibilities.

SECTION 2. The manager is directed to assist Orange County Justice United in identifying methods of disseminating the “Declaration of Tenants Rights and Obligations” to tenants, potential tenants, residential property managers, and landlords in Carrboro’s planning jurisdiction.

SECTION 3. This resolution shall become effective upon adoption.