When you are done reading about the North Carolina Eviction Process below, we recommend you purchase the corresponding North Carolina Eviction Notice to be delivered to your Tenant.
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North Carolina Eviction Laws
The foundation of the North Carolina Landlord Tenant and Eviction Laws are found in Chapter 42 of the North Carolina General Statutes. These are the laws passed by the North Carolina Legislature that spell out the duties and remedies in the Landlord Tenant relationship. If you are a landlord in North Carolina, it is a very good idea to take the time to read and become familiar with these laws.
The first step in the North Carolina Eviction Process is giving the tenant an Eviction Notice. If the landlord is evicting the tenant for non-payment of rent (most common reason), then the notice must demand the rent, and give the tenant 10 days to pay it before a Summary Ejectment (Eviction) Complaint is filed. This notice is called a 10 Day Demand for Rent.
If the tenant is being evicted simply because they are staying beyond their lease term (called a holdover), and the landlord told them that the lease would expire and they would have to move out, then the time period in the notice is different. So for a landlord to evict a tenant for a holdover, the notice period is as follows:
- 7 Days if the tenant paid rent monthly
- 1 Month if the tenant paid rent yearly
- 30 Days for Mobile Home lot rental
After the landlord has given the tenant the proper Eviction Notice and has waited out the notice period, the landlord now must go to court and file a “Summary Ejectment” case to evict the tenant if they are still in possession of the property. It is illegal for a landlord to physically evict a tenant without going through court procedures. The landlord should go to the Small Claims court in the county where the property is located. The landlord should ask the court clerk for the Complaint form to file a Summary Ejectment case. There will be a filing fee to do this. Once the landlord files the case and pays the filing fee, the court will issue a Summons.
Sheriff Serves the Summons and Complaint
Once the eviction case is filed, the court will give a Summons and a copy of the Complaint to the County Sheriff. It is the County Sheriff’s job to deliver these documents to the tenant. These documents will tell the tenant when and where the eviction court hearing will be. The Summons will require the tenant to appear not more than 7 days from the issuance of the Summons. The Sheriff may serve the Summons by mail or in person within 5 days of issuance of the Summons, but not less than 2 days before the scheduled hearing.
Hearing in Front of Magistrate Judge
The landlord must be at the hearing that is set in order to win the eviction. The tenant must show up in order to contest the eviction. Each side will have an opportunity to tell their side of the story, and to present documents and witnessess as evidence. It is recommended that the landlord bring as much evidence as possible in order to win. At the end of the hearing the Magistrate will make a decision. The Magistrate can order the tenant to move out, award money damages (for back rent or damage to the property), or both.
Judgment for Possession
If the landlord wins the eviction case, the magistrate judge will award the landlord a “Judgment for Possession.” This is a court order that says the landlord is entitled to possession of the property and that the tenant has to vacate. The magistrate judge can also award a “money judgment” that says the tenant must pay the landlord a certain amount of money.
10 Days to Appeal
If the tenant loses the case, the tenant will have 10 days to appeal the verdict. If the tenant decides to do this, they must give the landlord notice that they are appealing. If the tenant appeals, then the case will have to be heard again in District Court.
Writ of Possession
If the tenant does not appeal the magistrate judge’s decision, or if the tenant loses the appeal, then the tenant has to vacate at the end of 10 days. If the tenant does not vacate, then the landlord can ask the Clerk of the Court to enforce the judgment by issuing a “Writ of Possession.” Within 3 days the Sheriff will notify the tenant of the Writ of Possession. Within 7 days the Sheriff will padlock the property. The tenant will then have 10 days to remove all personal property, or else the landlord may dispose of it.
Next Step: We recommend you purchase the corresponding North Carolina Eviction Notice to be delivered to your Tenant.
This site strives to have the most current information on state eviction laws and forms, however, legislatures and judges’ rulings are always changing the laws. The information on this site is to be used as a guide, and is not to be used as legal advice, or as a substitute for the advice of an attorney. If you believe any information on this site is incorrect or needs to be updated, please Contact Us immediately.