How to Evict a Holdover Tenant in North Carolina



Remember the friend that would come to the party, and refuse to leave?

They always stayed after, drunk, and would try to sleep on the couch?

This friend, although a great one, or perhaps a not so great one, simply wore out their welcome.

This friend is the holdover tenant.

And your job is to get rid of him.


The 5 Steps to Get Rid of the Holdover Tenant in North Carolina

1. Provide notice of non-renewal of the lease to the tenant. (Notice Requirement)

2. File and serve eviction papers on the holdover tenant (Complaint for Summary Ejectment)

3. Appear in court and request (Magistrate or District Court)

4. Obtain a judgment for possession (Court Findings)

5. Repossess your property. (Repossession and Disposal of Tenant Property)

Each one these steps have their own distinct process, and are covered more thoroughly in our blog How to Evict a Tenant in North Carolina.

We suggest you check that out for a more complete understanding of the eviction process.

For now, let’s get back to the holdover tenancy.

What is a Holdover Tenant in North Carolina?


A holdover tenant, simply put, is one that has stayed past the terms of their lease agreement.

Generally speaking, the landlord, or the tenant, has the option not to renew the terms of the lease at the end of the lease’s expiration date. There is no legal obligation, on either party’s part, to continue with the lease agreement.

A holdover tenancy is defined in North Carolina General Statute 42-26a, in relevant part, as:

Any tenant or lessee of any house or land, and the assigns under the tenant or legal representatives of such tenant or lessee, who holds over and continues in the possession of the demised premises, or any part thereof, without the permission of the landlord, and after demand made for its surrender

In plain English, because we hate the legal mumbo jumbo, this means that you as a landlord have asked the tenant to leave, after providing proper notice, and the tenant has refused to comply.

What is the Notice Requirement to Evict a Holdover Tenant?


The notice required to evict a holdover tenant in North Carolina will depend upon the term of the lease. There is no one size fits all approach for providing the notice

Weekly Tenancy: 2 Day Notice

Monthly Tenancy: 7 Day Notice

Yearly Tenancy: 1 Month Notice.

The notice you provide will be in the form of an Unconditional Notice to Quit, which is different than the Notice to Cure or Quit you would use for the 10 day period for an eviction for non-payment of rent.

An Unconditional Notice to Quit means that the tenant does not have an opportunity to correct the problem, but must leave by the date specified in your notice.

What Do I Do With the Holdover Tenant in North Carolina After Notice?


Once you provide notice to your holdover tenant to leave the property, or you will start the eviction proceedings, you wait the required days.

But make sure you are preparing for filing of the formal summary ejectment documents.

If the tenant leaves, then you conduct your inspection, and withhold any money from the security deposit for damages.

If the tenant stays, you being the eviction process on the tenant.

It is important to note, that you SHOULD NOT COLLECT RENT once you start the process. If you do, then the terms of the lease will automatically renew.

View the full process on how to evict a tenant by clicking here: How to Evict a Tenant in North Carolina.

Holdover tenants present their own unique set of problems. More than likely, for whatever reason, they are going to want to stay. What this means is that you may end up in a protracted eviction process, that could last for months.

We are Here to Help With Your Holdover Tenant.


At Linchpin Property Management, we are fortunate to be the only property management company in Fayetteville, North Carolina owned by a retired military attorney, and licensed North Carolina lawyer.

If you are a landlord or property investor dealing with a holdover tenant, reach out to use and we will answer your questions free of charge.

Don’t forget to read our entire guide on How to Evict a Tenant in North Carolina.

The Team at Linchpin Property Management.


The Pain in The Butt Disclaimer:

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.

Read our full disclaimer here: Legal Disclaimer