Landlord-Tennant Relationship

Communicating with your landlord using written correspondence is important and necessary in certain situations. Written correspondence serves as a follow-up and reminder of verbal conversations, and in the event of misunderstanding, provide clarification. It may also be required in certain situations with your lease agreement. Be sure to save a copy of all written communication with your landlord.

Maintenance/Repair Request (PDF)

Tenant's Notice of Intent to Move Out (PDF)

Forward Address Notice for Security Deposit (PDF)

Rights and Responsibilities of Tenants and Landlords

Tenants entering into any rental agreement (i.e., YOU) should make a concerted effort to learn about their legal responsibilities and become familiar with the protection granted to them under the law. The following information is not a substitute for legal advice, but is provided as a guide to help you evaluate reasonable expectations for landlords, building managers, and tenants.

Helpful Hints Regarding Written Documentation:

Get all agreements and commitments in writing and signed by all parties involved; keep copies of everything.

Always notify the landlord about any problems in person or over the telephone. Follow that first notification with a signed, dated letter noting the problems that you stated in your conversation. Putting the situation in writing will not only look business-like, but will also establish a record if there are problems later. Remember to keep a copy of everything for your records.

Although it may seem uncomfortable to request that you and your roommates agree to payment schedules, utilities, food, cleaning, etc. in writing, there are many important reasons to do so. Misunderstanding and miscommunication are common; written agreements can prevent small issues from becoming huge problems.

Keep copies of all documents pertaining to your rental (lease, work orders, maintenance requests, and move-in checklist). Take good notes, including date and time of all communications with your landlord. Having too much information is far better than not having enough.


Federal law prohibits discrimination by a lessor in the rental procedure. Under the law, landlords may not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, familial status, disability, or age. [Fair Housing Act under Federal law, and State Fair Housing Act under North Carolina General Statues § 41A-4 (1983).]

If you feel you have been discriminated against, it is to your advantage to act quickly: contact the Housing Assignments and Off Campus Housing Office [Insert email link] for more information on the North Carolina Fair Housing Law.

NC Landlord-Tenant Law –link:


Occupancy Limits

The City of Durham Unified Development Ordinance Article 16, Section 16.3 says of a one-family dwelling unit, “Where some or all of the occupants are unrelated by blood, marriage, or adoption, the total number of occupants that are unrelated, shall not exceed three.”