North Carolina Landlord Tenant Laws

The following information regarding North Carolina landlord tenant laws is not intended to provide legal advice. Instead, it is designed to help you by answering the most common questions, from evictions to security deposits to withholding rent. Read the full North Carolina rent statutes linked at the end of the article.

Can a Landlord Enter Property without Permission in North Carolina?

North Carolina landlord tenant laws do not require landlords to give tenants notice before entering the property. However, standard practice is to provide at least 24 hours of notice. Accepted reasons for entering the property include emergencies, non-emergency repairs or maintenance, and showing prospective tenants the unit.

How Long Does a Landlord Have to Fix Something in North Carolina?

North Carolina landlord tenant laws do not explicitly outline a timeline in which landlords have to fix properties and make repairs. However, tenants can file for “rent abatement” or a rent rebate in Small Claims Court in these cases. Tenants will need to show that the landlord was aware of repairs, such as via written notice.

How Much Notice Does a Landlord Have to Give a Tenant to Move Out in NC?

North Carolina landlord tenant laws outline when landlords must notify tenants by if they plan to terminate or make changes to a lease, and vice versa. For month-to-month leases, there must be seven days of notice. For year-to-year leases or those with other definite terms, landlords must notify the tenant, or vice versa, within a month of the end of the lease.

On leases lasting between one week and one month, notice must be given at least two days in advance. In the case of mobile home leases, notice must be given at least 60 days in advance.

Can a Landlord Evict You for No Reason in NC?

No, landlords cannot evict tenants for no reason. Acceptable reasons for eviction include staying on the property after the lease ends, not paying rent, breaching the lease terms, and criminal activity, such as drug trafficking.

The eviction process in NC must always start with an eviction notice. This written notice must include the date by which the landlord wants the tenant out, and it must be posted on the building or personally given to the tenant. After giving notice, landlords file eviction proceedings in district or small claims court, depending on whether the damages are more or less than $10,000, respectively.

If the lease includes a termination clause in case of a violation, then landlords can end the lease with unconditional quit notices. This can be implemented immediately.

Further Reading: Read North Carolina General Statutes § 42-26(a).

Can I Withhold Rent in NC?

No, you cannot withhold rent in North Carolina, except if your landlord provides written consent or you get a court order that lets you do so.

How Much Should a Landlord Charge for Security Deposit?

Landlord-tenant law NC limits security deposits to no more than two months in the case of rental agreements that are more than two months long or no more than one-and-a-half months of rent for agreements that are month-to-month. In the case of week-to-week agreements, the maximum security deposit is two weeks of rent.

In addition to this, landlords can charge a non-refundable pet deposit, but it must be “reasonable.”

Further Reading: Read Article 6: Tenant Security Deposit Act.

How Long Does a Landlord Have to Return a Security Deposit in NC?

North Carolina law requires landlords to return the security deposit within 30 days following the tenant moving out. There is an exception in the case where landlords cannot yet finalize their claims against tenants. In that case, they need to send a temporary or interim account within 30 days and the final amount in 60 days or less.

What Can a Landlord Deduct From a Security Deposit in North Carolina?

Landlords can withhold part or all of the security deposit for unpaid rent, breach of lease, excessive wear and tear, court costs, unpaid utility bills, other unpaid bills, and costs associated with removing and storing possessions after eviction. These deductions must all be included in an itemized list that the landlord must provide within 30 days of the tenant leaving the property, along with the remainder of the security deposit.

Further Reading: Read Article 6: Tenant Security Deposit Act.

How Long Does It Take to Evict a Tenant in North Carolina?

When landlords evict tenants instead of choosing to terminate the lease, there are state requirements as to how much notice tenants must receive. Eviction for unpaid rent requires 10 days’ notice. Eviction for not vacating the property after a week-to-week lease must have two days’ notice, which increases to seven days for month-to-month contracts and a months’ notice for year-to-year notice.

There are not any minimum notice requirements for the eviction process in NC when eviction is due to lease violations unless the lease specifies them. There is also no minimum notice for eviction due to criminal activities.

Is North Carolina Landlord-Friendly?

Yes, North Carolina is landlord-friendly, especially given that evictions can be immediate in certain circumstances, and no notice is required to enter the property.

Resources for North Carolina Landlord Tenant Laws

Read more of our state landlord tenant law guides here.

Note: This content is not intended to substitute, replace, or be construed as professional legal advice. It is for referential purposes only and not meant to replace the advice of your legal counsel, legal representation, and or lawyer. Please consult your professional legal representation or lawyer to be sure your lease is compliant with any state and/or federal laws.