North Carolina Eviction Laws
North Carolina eviction laws are not as straight forward as you may think.
A firm understanding of the eviction laws in North Carolina is essential for you to learn as a landlord, otherwise you run the risk of not being able to evict your tenant.
We have a comprehensive guide which covers all of the North Carolina eviction laws, and provides you with a step by step process, including the necessary forms, as to how to evict a tenant in North Carolina.
If this is your first time going through the eviction process, or you need a little help, we highly recommend you read the guide at the link below:
For now, we will provide you with a brief overview of the eviction laws in North Carolina
North Carolina Eviction Laws: Legal Basis for an Eviction
The first thing you should be aware of is the fact that you must have a legal basis for an eviction.
What this means is that the eviction process must be because of a violation of the lease agreement, or one that is allowed by North Carolina eviction laws.
Some of the reasons for an eviction include:
- A violation of the lease terms;
- Non-payment of rent;
- Illegal activity;
- Staying past the terms of the lease agreement; and
- Damage or destruction of property
These are just a few of the reasons you can evict a tenant under the North Carolina eviction laws, and do not comprise all of the reasons as to why you would have to evict a tenant.
Remember, you can put in your lease agreement almost anything you want in relation to tenant behavior, but it must be rational, and non-discriminatory in nature.
Notice For Eviction Under North Carolina Law
The next requirement under the North Carolina eviction law is that you provide the tenant with notice of the eviction. You must also provide the tenant within the right time frame.
The time frame will vary depending on the type of eviction action you are pursuing in North Carolina.
In accordance with North Carolina eviction law, the following timeframes apply:
Illegal activity: No notice is required.
Lease Violation: No notice is required.
Holdover Tenant: Depends on the initial lease agreement. Weekly Tenancy: 2 days; Monthly Tenancy: 7 days; Greater than Monthly: 30 days.
In the event you are attempting to evict a tenant with no lease, you will have to provide 30 days notice.
You can get a copy of a the notice, as well as all of the documents you need for your eviction at our blog, How to Evict a Tenant in North Carolina (see how we keep mentioning it? That means it must be pretty important to read!!)
North Carolina Eviction Laws: The Summary Ejectment Process
When landlords refer to the North Carolina eviction law, what they really mean are the laws that apply to summary ejectments.
The summary ejectment process includes providing the notice we stated above, filing a Complaint for Summary Ejectment, servicing the complaint on the tenant, and then going to court. For purposes of clarity, we will just refer to the summary ejectment process as the eviction process.
Now let’s get to the overview of the summary ejectment process, and the applicable North Carolina eviction laws.
Filing of the Eviction Complaint in North Carolina
Filing your eviction complaint is essentially the first formal step to get you into court under North Carolina eviction laws.
You will file the eviction complaint with the Clerk of Court in the county where your property is located. Make sure you fill out the complaint completely, otherwise it will get kicked back. The good thing is most clerks will look it over and guide you through the process if you omit something important.
The clerk will then give you a copy, as well as the date for you to appear in court.
After you have filed the complaint, under North Carolina eviction laws, you are going to have to get the complaint served on your tenant.
Service can be done a number of ways under North Carolina eviction law, but we suggest you have the complaint served by the Sheriff’s office.
Once the Sheriff has served your tenant, the next step under the eviction laws is to go to court.
North Carolina Eviction Court
The eviction court is not as scary as it may seem.
In fact, North Carolina Eviction Laws make it easy for you to go to court and evict someone on your own. The process is designed for self-representation.
But you want to make sure you are prepared. Preparation is the key.
Some things you want to bring include:
- A copy of your lease agreement
- Any notices your sent to the tenant
- Any electronic communications you sent to the tenant (email, text, social media)
- A witness who has firsthand knowledge of the facts and circumstances
- Financial information indicating non-payment
- Police reports
- Photos or video of damaged property or lease violations
We provide you with detailed instructions, as well as a checklist on how to properly prepare for, and what to do in eviction court in our guide How to Evict a Tenant in North Carolina (third time we mentioned it so, it must be important. Just read it!).
North Carolina Eviction Laws: After Receiving a Judgment
After receiving your judgment from the court, you can’t just go and repossess your property. The law doesn’t work that way, and any attempt you make to get into the property right after your judgement is known as a self-help eviction under North Carolina eviction laws, and it is illegal.
Under North Carolina laws, a tenant has 10 days to appeal a finding by the court that they should be evicted. During this time period, you can’t go into the property and take possession.
You must wait.
We know the eviction timeline is long, and you are frustrated, but don’t do anything against your interest.
Hopefully the tenant just leaves and doesn’t file an appeal.
If the tenant doesn’t leave, and doesn’t file an appeal, then you are going to have to get a Writ of Possession, and have the Writ of Possession served by the Sheriff.
Again….you are going to have to wait.
Once the Sheriff formally executes the Writ of Possession, you can then reclaim your property.
Wrapping Up North Carolina Eviction Law
There is a lot more to the summary ejectment process, and what we just said is pretty much an oversimplification of it.
To get a better understanding of the eviction laws in North Carolina, and to understand the right way to go about the eviction process, please make sure you read the detailed guide we have been talking about throughout on How to Evict a Tenant in North Carolina.
Not only will you get a better understanding, but you will get access to all the forms, notices, and the procedures you have to follow in North Carolina eviction court.
If you have any questions about the process, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
At Linchpin Property Management, we are fortunate to be the only property management company with a CEO who is a retired military attorney, and licensed North Carolina lawyer.
You can rest assured your asset will be protected to the greatest extent of the law.
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As always, information on this website is not intended to constitute legal advice, or the retention of our property management services, and is for general information purposes only.
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