There are several statutes in North Carolina that are designed to protect the rights of both landlords and tenants. It is wise for both to have an understanding of landlord and tenant law to avoid potential legal repercussions. While it is not the goal of this article to provide you with every law on the books, it is meant to give you some key aspects of the laws that may be less known by both landlords and tenants.
Evictions are one of the most misunderstood aspects of landlord and tenant law, not to mention an emotional situation. Landlords can run afoul by not having a legal reason for eviction. You cannot evict just because you don’t like someone, or they said or did something to upset you. There needs to be a clear lease violation, criminal activities, non-payment of rent, or refusal to move at end of lease that is not being renewed. Tenants should know that there are defenses for eviction cases, such as an improperly served eviction notice, you’ve been discriminated against, the eviction is in retaliation after exercising your rights, or the lease violations are insignificant in nature.
Rents, deposits, and late fees are also covered by landlord and tenant law. For example, all tenants have a 5-day grace period in which late fees cannot be imposed and the fee cannot exceed 5 percent of the rent. Deposit limits depend on length of lease agreement: 2 weeks’ rent for weekly agreements, 45 days’ rent for month-to-month agreements, and 2 month’s rent for leases longer than a month. Pet deposits are not set by landlord and tenant law but must be considered to be within reason.
Whether you are a landlord or a tenant, you can turn to us at GPS Law Group for advice on landlord and tenant law matters. Our attorneys have 58 years of combined experience and we are committed to providing you with the best legal representation possible for your real estate, family law, estate law, and other legal matters.