As a landlord in North Carolina, have you ever been curious about the state’s laws regarding the process of evicting a tenant? While no landlord ever wants to be in this situation, sometimes it’s necessary to evict a tenant from your rental home, and that’s why as a landlord it’s crucial to be familiar with the legal process.

Attempting to evict a tenant without following the legal procedures defined by North Carolina’s landlord-tenant laws could result in tangible legal consequences. That’s why we at House in Order Property Management have provided our comprehensive guide to North Carolina’s eviction process.

What is the Eviction Process in North Carolina

The eviction process can be lengthy. In North Carolina, it can take around 1 to 3 months to evict a tenant from your rental home, depending on the reason for eviction and which court the case is held in.

If your tenant files an appeal, then the process can take even longer! But does it take so long to evict a tenant from your property? Keep reading to find out what you need to know about the legal eviction process in North Carolina.

Eviction Notice and Legal Cause

The first thing to know when it comes to the eviction process is the reasons that a landlord may legally evict a tenant. In North Carolina, a landlord may only begin the eviction process if there is a just cause.

person holding up an eviction notice

The following are the valid reasons why a landlord may evict their tenant:

  • The tenant fails to pay their rent on time
  • The tenant stays on the property after the lease has ended
  • The tenant violates the terms of the lease agreement
  • The tenant participates in illegal activity on the rental property

Regardless of the reason for eviction, a landlord cannot just kick their tenants out of the property. According to landlord-tenant laws in North Carolina, every tenant must be provided with proper notice before eviction. The type of eviction notice varies depending on the reason.

These are the types of notices:

  • Nonpayment of Rent: If a tenant in North Carolina fails to pay their rent on time, then the landlord may give them 10 days’ notice to either pay the due rent in full or be evicted from the property.
  • No Lease / End of Lease: If the tenant does not have a lease or the lease has ended, then the landlord may give the tenant 7 days' notice for eviction.
  • Violation of Lease and Illegal Activity: If the tenant has violated the terms of the lease agreement by, for example, damaging the rental home or they have participated in illegal activity on the property, then no notification will be needed for eviction, and the landlord may immediately proceed with filing an eviction lawsuit.

Once you have a legal reason and have identified the type of notice to use. The next step to the eviction process, is to serve the tenant with the eviction notice.

landlord handing a tenant an eviction notice across a desk

This can be done in any of the following ways:

  • Delivering the notice to the tenant in person
  • Leaving a copy of the notice with someone of “suitable age” who lives with the tenant in question
  • Posting a copy of the notice on a visible place of the rental home like the front door

The Court Hearing

The next step in the eviction process is for the landlord to file a complaint with the court. Then, the summons and complaint will be served to the tenant by a sheriff. This is when the court hearing will be scheduled.

In North Carolina, both the landlord and the tenant are required to be present at the eviction hearing. If the tenant fails to be present at the hearing, then the judge may rule in favor of the landlord by default, and the tenant will have to move out of the rental home.

If the judge rules in favor of the landlord at the eviction hearing, then a writ of possession will be issued and the eviction process will move to the next step.

The Writ of Possession

This refers to the final notice that a tenant may receive to vacate the rental home and remove their belongings before the sheriff returns to the property and removes them.

judges gavel on a desk with a scale and model of a house

If the court has ruled in favor of the landlord, then the writ of possession may be issued within 10 days of the ruling. This gives a tenant enough time to file an appeal should they wish to do so.

Bottom Line

The legal eviction process must be properly followed. Now that you’ve read our comprehensive guide on the eviction process in North Carolina, you will be prepared should this unfortunate situation ever arise. As a landlord, you should also remain informed about all regulations pertaining to handling or breaking a lease, security deposit laws, and rent increase policies.

Have any more questions about evictions, landlord-tenant laws, or any other aspect of your rental property? We would love to answer them! Contact our knowledgeable team here at House in Order Property Management today to receive only the highest quality property management services.

Our experience makes us uniquely qualified to provide you with any advice you may need to help your rental home succeed. Whether you need more information on navigating landlord-tenant laws, or would like someone to manage your rental properties on your behalf, we are here for you!

Disclaimer: This blog should not be used as a substitute for legal advice from a licensed attorney in your state. Laws change, and this post might not be updated at the time of your reading. Please contact us for any questions you have in regards to this content or any other aspect of your property management needs.