As a landlord, it is important to make sure that you comply with state legalities and procedures when it comes to evicting a tenant. If you go about the eviction process incorrectly, you might set yourself up for trouble.
The most common reason for eviction in North Carolina is because tenants are not paying their rent. Many small landlords collect paper checks; asking their tenants to either snail mail the paper rent check, or drop it off at their house. Taking this approach is tedious and often time-consuming for the small landlord. A better approach is using online rent collection services offered by VerticalRent. Doing so will automate the tedious monthly task of collecting rent from your tenants.
But if your tenant decides to stop paying rent for whatever reason, you must first issue the tenant an eviction notice demanding the rent, and give the tenant ten days to pay. This notice is known as a "10-Day Demand for Rent" in North Carolina.
If your tenant is violating a term of their lease other than non-payment, the eviction notice must state what condition the tenant is violating and give them ten days to comply with the violated lease agreement(s). This notice is known as a "10-Day Demand for Compliance or Possession."
A "holdover" occurs when a tenant stays beyond the length of their lease term, and this is another cause for eviction. If you did not agree to renew the lease with your tenant and they remain in possession of the property after the end of the lease, the eviction notice will vary depending on the term of the past lease agreement:
- Two days to leave if the tenant paid rent weekly
- Seven days to leave if the tenant paid monthly
- One month to leave if the tenant paid yearly
Filing a Summary Ejectment
If you've issued your tenant an eviction notice and the deadline defined by the notice has expired, but the tenant remains in possession of the property, it is time to file a "Summary Ejectment" complaint in the Smalls Claims Court of the county in which the property is located. With the complaint filed and the filing fee paid, the court will issue a summons to be served by the county sheriff.
After the county sheriff serves the summons, an eviction hearing will be held. The landlord must be present at the eviction hearing in order to obtain the eviction. The tenant is not required to attend the hearing, but an absence will constitute an automatic loss of the case.
Both the landlord and tenant will present their sides of the story, along with documents and witnesses, before the county magistrate. At the end of the hearing, the magistrate decides who wins the case. If you win, the magistrate will award you a "Judgment of Possession," stating that you are entitled to the property and that the tenant must vacate.
If your tenant loses the eviction hearing, they have ten days to appeal the decision. If they do not appeal, they must vacate the property at the end of ten days. You can ask the court clerk to issue a "Writ of Possession," further enforcing the magistrate's decision, if the tenant has not vacated at the end of ten days. Within seven days of the Writ of Possession's issuance, the county sheriff will padlock the property, and the tenant will have a final seven days to remove any possessions from the premises. After these seven days, anything left on the property may be disposed of at your discretion.
As part of VerticalRent’s background check, you can order both a criminal and eviction report. Every eviction report also includes SSN verification, the issuing state, and the issuing year.
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