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NCG Real Estate, LLC - NCG Real Estate & Neal C. Goodwin Violates Tenant's Rights
Posted on Monday, January 31st, 2011 at 2:00pm CST by 0dd41f54
Product: Rental Leasing Agreement
Company: NCG Real Estate, LLC
On December 1st, 2010 I entered into a lease agreement with NCG Real Estate to occupy one-half of a duplex. My willingness to assume possession of this unit, which was in a terrible state of filthiness prior to my efforts, and thereby allow NCG Real Estate to show/lease out my previous unit, the other duplex unit in this case, which was clean prior to and upon transfer of the lease, seemed mutually beneficial at the time. I would assume possession of a larger unit, and NCG Real Estate would be able to lease out my previous unit more easily as it was clean and less costly. In keeping with the previous good will/good faith relationship between NCG Real Estate and myself, upon possession of the new unit, I performed several minor repairs and remedied the deplorable filth left by the previous tenants at my own cost. Here is a list of services I rendered in order to make this unit remotely habitable:
Replaced the missing sink strainers
Replaced the kitchen sink faucet aerator screens
Replaced a full-bath florescent light fixture starter
Replaced a full-bath florescent light fixture bulb
Replaced twelve bulbs in various unit light fixtures
Bagged and removed five bags of trash from unit property
Bagged and removed two bags of trash from inside the unit
Dusted entire unit
Removed stains from the carpet with chemical carpet cleaner
Vacuumed the carpet multiple times to remove the embedded dirt and pet hair
Cleaned both bathrooms floor-to-ceiling with mildewcide/stain remover
Replaced sediment clogged full-bath showerhead
Cleaned the kitchen countertops
Swept and mopped the kitchen
Cleaned grease from the kitchen cabinets
Cleaned grease from kitchen vent fan grill
Cleaned the range and oven
Swept and mopped the hardwood floors
Swept the garage, front porch, and laundry room
Attempted to replaced HVAC filters (upon which damage to HVAC system was found)
I provided these services in lieu of the difference between the deposit of this unit ($775.00) and the previous unit ($495.00), and in keeping with a verbal agreement NCG Real Estate and I made at the signing of the transferred lease. Based on that agreement I was to receive a receipt, within 30 days of possession of this unit which showed the deposit paid in full. This receipt was never received.
Furthermore, after moving my possessions into the unit, I performed a move in inspection of the premises. During that inspection, I found that the HVAC return vent was not fully sealed, opened onto the crawlspace, and therefore did not meet NC HVAC Mechanical Code. As there was obvious damage to the HVAC system, I could not, in good conscious, fill the empty HVAC fuel tank and test the system.
I contacted NCG Real Estate via email on December 7th, 2010 to report the need for a repair to the HVAC system duct work and requested NCG Real Estate provide the initial fuel for a full test of the HVAC system. As it is my responsibility to pay for the unit utilities, I suggested that after the repair was made, the fuel tank filled by the property manager, and a test of the system performed, that I would be happy to leave the tank in a full condition upon closure of the lease.
I did not receive any communication from NCG Real Estate for three days. On December 11th, 2010, I submitted a repair request via the NCG Real Estate maintenance request link on the company website and called the property manager, Neal C. Goodwin, directly. I received a text message reply from Mr. Goodwin on December 11th, 2010 which stated, "I have your emails and I am awaiting an estimate from (a repair person) and an OK from the owner, I will follow up with the owner on Monday."
NCG Real Estate did not contact me for seven days. In response to this lack of communication, I sent a letter to NCG Real Estate via Certified USPS mail on December 18th, 2010. This letter contained copies of my initial repair requests, pictures of the HVAC duct work in need of repair, a copy of NC GS 42-42 (Landlord to provide fit premises) with relevant sections highlighted, and an extraction of the relevant portions of the NC HVAC Mechanical Code.
The property manager, Neal C. Goodwin, confirmed receipt of my letter on December 20th, 2010 and arranged to inspect the HVAC duct in need of repair. The inspection was performed by Mr. Goodwin and his repair agent, on December 23rd, 2010.
On December 29th, 2010, after no repair had been performed to the HVAC system and my receiving an email from the property manager in which he refused to provide fuel for a test of the HVAC system upon repair, I filed complaints with the North Carolina Real Estate Commission and the North Carolina Department of Justice.
A repair was made to the HVAC return duct on December 30th, 2010. This repair did not meet NC Mechanical Code. Furthermore, I received information from the owner of the on-site fuel tank, which indicated two years of HVAC system disuse. Out of concern for my safety, I could not have the HVAC fuel tank filled or use the HVAC system until such time as the system was properly repaired and tested by the property manager. At this point I contacted the City of Raleigh to perform an inspection of the HVAC system for code compliance and safe operation.
After informing the property manager of my initial complaints to the North Carolina Real Estate Commission and the North Carolina Department of Justice, I received a letter from NCG Real Estate on January 6th, 2011 informing me that my lease had been terminated. This termination letter claimed that the property had been sold by the owner. After performing a little research via the Wake County Website, I have found no indication that this property has been sold as the owner's late husband, is still listed as the property owner. I have also asked my immediate neighbors, who are related to the owner, if the property has been sold and they have insisted that it has not.
On January 24th, 2011 I received a copy of the City of Raleigh's inspection report concerning this property. The owner's late husband is, again, listed as the property owner. Furthermore, this report provides third-party verification of my concerns regarding the safe operation of the HVAC system. This report cites numerous other violations of the City of Raleigh's Minimum Housing Code and calls into question the safe occupancy of this entire property. This evidence provides absolute proof that my initial complaint was made as a good faith attempt to exercise my rights to seek safe housing and also provides proof of NCG Real Estate's continued violation of NC GS 42-42.
In response to my complaints, Neal C. Goodwin has retained an attorney to represent him and implied retaliatory legal action against me. I have had no choice but to retain an attorney of my own in order to prevent such frivolous legal action and presumably reach some sort of solution to this situation. My attorney has written to Neal C. Goodwin; however, no solution to this situation has been found or agreed upon.
As a private individual, I do not have the means to enforce North Carolina's General Statues or ensure the good conduct of real estate agents licensed by the North Carolina Real Estate Commission. I do, however, have a responsibility to inform the state and the general public of business practices which endanger public well being. NCG Real Estate's negligent, illegal, and immoral business practices clearly violate:
NC GS 42-42 which specifically states that "The landlord shall: (1) Comply with the current applicable building and housing codes, (2) Make all repairs and do whatever is necessary to put and keep the premises in a fit and habitable condition, (8) Within a reasonable period of time based upon the severity of the condition, repair or remedy any imminently dangerous condition on the premises after acquiring actual knowledge or receiving notice of the condition." Furthermore, NC GS 42-42 defines "Lack of operable heating facilities capable of heating living areas to 65 degrees Fahrenheit when it is 20 degrees Fahrenheit outside from November 1 through March 31" as an "imminently dangerous condition."
NC GS 42-37.1 which specifically states that "A good faith complaint to a government agency about a landlord's alleged violation of any health or safety law, or any regulation, code, ordinance, or State or federal law that regulates premises used for dwelling purposes" is protected by law. Also, "a tenant may raise the affirmative defense of retaliatory eviction and may present evidence that the landlord's action is substantially in response to the occurrence within 12 months of the filing of such action of one or more of the protected acts."
Furthermore, North Carolina Real Estate License Law 93A-6 specifically states that the North Carolina Real Estate Commission has the power to take disciplinary action. Upon its own initiative, or on the complaint of any person, the Commission may investigate the actions of any person or entity licensed under this Chapter, or any other person or entity who shall assume to act in such capacity. If the Commission finds probable cause that a licensee has violated any of the provisions of this Chapter, the Commission may hold a hearing on the allegations of misconduct. The Commission has the power to suspend or revoke at any time a license issued under the provisions of this Chapter, or to reprimand or censure any licensee, if, following a hearing, the Commission adjudges the licensee to be guilty of: (8) Being unworthy or incompetent to act as a real estate broker in a manner as to endanger the interest of the public, (10) Any other conduct which constitutes improper, fraudulent or dishonest dealing, (15) Violating any rule or regulation promulgated by the Commission.
Although I received a copy of a Letter of Inquiry addressed to NCG Real Estate from the North Carolina Real Estate Commission on January 9th, 2011 and provided the NCREC with a copy of the City of Raleigh's inspection report, I have yet to be contacted directly by that agency.
I am fully aware that the wheels of justice turn slow at times; however, I find it completely unacceptable that NCG Real Estate continues to carry NC Real Estate Broker's License #239742 and NC Mortgage License #I-143014 without restriction, reprimand, censure, or revocation while clearly committing offenses which indicate moral turpitude.
I urge all consumers seeking safe housing or a real estate broker to avoid NCG Real Estate and Neal C. Goodwin.