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Attorney General Josh Stein Takes Legal Actions to Protect North Carolina Homeowners

For Immediate Release:
Monday, March 4, 2024

Nazneen Ahmed (919) 716-0060

(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein today announced legal actions to help protect North Carolinians’ housing and homeownership. He is suing Canary General Contracting and Design for deceiving Charlotte homeowners and launching an investigation into real estate software company RealPage over concerns about anticompetitive conduct to raise the cost of rental housing.

Canary Lawsuit

Attorney General Stein is suing Canary General Contracting and Design and its operator Steven Sand and owner Khuneary Kim for running an unlicensed general contracting business and defrauding homeowners in Charlotte.

“We allege that Canary took people’s money and then left major home renovation projects unfinished or finished them so poorly they had to be redone,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “People invest a lot of time and money in their home, and I’ll hold accountable companies that deceive them.”

Canary allegedly didn’t start projects on time, didn’t complete the work, and often failed to secure building permits on behalf of the homeowners for the planned construction. Canary also allegedly collected advance payments for work it didn’t complete and left behind substandard work that was unsafe and did not meet code. In most instances, homeowners had to give up on the project entirely or hire a new contractor to tear down Canary’s poor work and redo the project.

The Department of Justice’s Consumer Protection Division has received 15 complaints against Canary, and North Carolinians have reported more than $250,000 in financial losses.

A copy of the Canary complaint is available here.

RealPage Investigation


Attorney General Stein is investigating RealPage, a software company that claims to provide analytics and services to help property managers and owners manage their properties and real estate. RealPage sells data products that help property managers use statistical models and information about rent and real estate contracts in the area to generate a rent to charge prospective tenants.

“Housing is already too expensive for so many North Carolinians,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “Companies cannot collude to illegally raise rents on tenants. My investigation into RealPage will shed light on whether this company’s operations violate the law and raise rental costs for residents.”

Attorney General Stein’s investigation is looking into whether RealPage uses non-public and sensitive competitive data as part of its modeling in violation of antitrust laws. Property managers can use that private information to raise rents in an area and leave units empty to keep those rents high, which worsens the affordable housing crisis and makes it difficult for North Carolinians to rent housing.

Heirs’ Property and Home Ownership Preservation

The Department of Justice will host a symposium to educate lawyers and community leaders on heirs’ property so they can help people maintain ownership of homes and land that have been passed down over generations. Attendees can learn more and register at

Heirs’ property is created when land is passed down and eventually owned by several descendant owners. These owners are often targeted by scam investment buyers or are at an elevated risk of losing their home to property tax foreclosures. Heirs’ property is more common in communities of color and is a key driver of the racial wealth gap.

Attorney General Stein has taken several steps to protect homeownership and increase affordable housing for North Carolinians. He worked with legislators to enact the Unfair Real Estate Agreements Act in 2023 to prohibit oppressive long-term agreements that undermine a person’s ownership of their home. He also sued MV Realty for allegedly employing such practices, and he reached a $13.5 million settlement with First National Bank to resolve allegations of racially discriminatory redlining in mortgage lending. Since 2017, he has won 18 lawsuits against contractors and home repair/renovation companies, totaling $3,135,179.48 in awards to benefit North Carolinians.