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North Carolina Landlord Tenant Laws

January 17, 2023

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Quick Facts

Required Disclosures 

Lead-based paint 
Utility disclosure 
Security deposit location 
Residential property disclosure statement 
 
Rent and Fees 

Application Fees: N/A 
Rent Control: Banned 
Late Fee Limit: $15 or 5% of monthly rent 
Grace Period Minimum: 5 days 
 
Security Deposits 

Amount Limit: 2 months’ rent 
Interest: N/A 
Return Within: 30 days 
Fair Housing Protections 

Race 
Color 
National origin 
Religion 
Sex 
Familial status 
Disability 
 
Entry 

Notice: N/A 
Permitted Times of Entry: N/A 
   
Eviction Notices 

Rent Demand Notice: 10-day pay-or-quit notice 
Lease Violation Notice: Unspecified
Unconditional Notice to Quit: Unspecified

North Carolina Landlord-Tenant Law 

Understand the essential North Carolina landlord tenant laws before enforcing your own rental policies. Find more information in the North Carolina state law code.  

Required Disclosures 

Lead-based paint  

(Title X, Section 1018

Landlords in all 50 states must include information about lead-based paint hazards in the rental agreements for most properties built before 1978. Sellers and landlords must distribute an EPA-approved information pamphlet called “Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home” and disclose any known lead hazards in the property. These obligations were established by Section 1018 of the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992. 

Security Deposit Location 

(NCGS § 42-50

Landlords in North Carolina must disclose to their tenants the name and address of the bank or institution where the deposit is located, or the name of the insurance company providing the bond, within 30 days after the lease term begins. 

Utility Disclosure 

(NCGS § 62-110(h-i)

North Carolina landlords who agree to supply and pay for certain utilities in the lease must include a disclosure stating the owner’s liability should the utility company cut off service. If utility service will be cut off in the future due to nonpayment, the landlord must also give written notice to the tenant. 

Residential Property Disclosure Statement 

(NCGS § 47E-4, 4.1

Owners who lease with the option to purchase properties with one to four dwelling units, if the lessee does not intend to occupy the dwelling, are required to provide this disclosure statement about the characteristics and condition of the property. Sellers who meet these criteria must also include the Mineral and Oil and Gas Rights Mandatory Disclosure Statement

Rent and Fees 

  • Rent Due Date: Rent in North Carolina is due on the date specified in the lease. 
  • Application Fees: Rental application fees are not regulated in North Carolina.  
  • Rent Increases: Rent control is banned in North Carolina. No city or county in the state may “enact, maintain, or enforce any ordinance or resolution which regulates the amount of rent” for single-family or multi-unit residential or commercial properties owned privately (NCGS § 42-14.1). 
  • Late Fees: $15 or 5% of monthly rent, whichever is greater. If rent is due in weekly installments, landlords cannot charge more than $4 or 5% of weekly rent, whichever is greater (NCGS § 42-46(a)).  
  • Grace Period: 5 days (NCGS § 42-46(a)). 
  • NSF/Bounced Check Fee Maximum: A new law passed by the North Carolina Legislature in 2019 increased the NSF fee maximum to $35 instead of $25 (NCGS § 25-3-506). If your tenant’s rent check bounces because of insufficient funds or no account, you may charge an NSF processing fee of up to $35. 
  • Withholding Rent/Repair and Deduct: If the landlord fails to make necessary repairs within a reasonable amount of time, tenants in North Carolina cannot withhold rent or repair and deduct unless agreed to in the lease. However, tenants may file an action in Small Claims Court for a rent rebate or refund (NCGS § 42-41). 

Security Deposits 

  • Deposit Limit: Security deposits in North Carolina must not exceed two weeks’ rent for week-to-week tenancies, one and one-half months’ rent for month-to-month tenancies, and two months’ rent for terms greater than month to month (NCGS § 42-50). 
  • Interest: No state statute requires North Carolina landlords to pay interest on security deposits. 
  • Return Within: 30 days (NCGS § 42-52). 
  • Deposit Location: Security deposits should be deposited in a trust account with a licensed and federally insured depository institution, another authorized to do business in this State, or the landlord may furnish a bond from a licensed insurance company in North Carolina (NCGS § 42-50). 
  • Withholding: Landlords may withhold funds from the security deposit for damage to the premises, damages due to nonpayment or nonfulfillment of the rental period, unpaid bills, the costs of re-renting the property after a breach of lease, the costs of storing the tenant’s property after eviction, and court costs for evictions (NCGS § 42-51). Landlords may not withhold funds for conditions due to normal wear and tear (NCGS § 42-52). 

Tenant Screening and Fair Housing Protections 

Protected Classes 

  • The federal Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing based on race, color, religion, gender, national origin, familial status, and disability (Title 24 USC § 3601-3607). The North Carolina Fair Housing Act reaffirms these protections (NCGS § 41A-4). 

Credit Reports 

  • North Carolina landlords are subject to the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) (15 USC § 1681), which outlines the responsibilities of landlords to protect tenant credit information. According to the Act, landlords may not share tenant credit information with anyone without a legal reason to view it. They must also investigate disputed information, dispose of credit reports after use in tenant screening, and notify applicants when their credit score or history was the reason for their denial. 

Criminal Histories 

  • Criminal background checks may be used during tenant screening in North Carolina as grounds to refuse to rent a property (NCGS § 42-14.5). 
  • North Carolina landlords should follow HUD recommendations for using criminal background checks fairly. This includes avoiding blanket policies for denying applicants with criminal convictions, assessing applicants and their criminal histories on a case-by-case basis, and only denying an applicant when they demonstrate a risk to the safety of other residents or the property. 

Entry 

  • Advanced Notice: There is no state law in North Carolina requiring landlords to give advance notice before entering a property. 
  • Permitted Times: North Carolina state law does not designate any time-of-day restrictions for entering. 
  • Emergency Entry: There are no laws in North Carolina regarding emergency entry without notice. Since landlords are not required to give advanced notice before entry, emergency entry is also permitted.  

Eviction Notices 

Evictions are complex legal processes often poorly understood by both parties. Before pursuing eviction in North Carolina, consider hiring an experienced real estate attorney and be sure to review the North Carolina eviction process in more detail.

  • Rent Demand Notice: 10 days to pay or quit (NCGS § 42-3). This notice is in accordance with North Carolina eviction laws.
  • Lease Violation Notice: Unspecified. Landlords in North Carolina may file for eviction immediately after a tenant has broken the lease.
  • Unconditional Violation Notice: Unspecified. Landlords in North Carolina may file for eviction immediately in case of severe violations illegal activity.

Other Laws and Facts About North Carolina 

  • Reasonable, nonrefundable pet deposits are permitted in North Carolina (NCGS § 42-53). 
  • The median rent rate in North Carolina is $1,850. 
  • The median rent rate in Charlotte is $1,975. 

6 thoughts on “North Carolina Landlord Tenant Laws

  1. Is the landlord required to issue full disclosure about the condition of the property to the tenant?

    1. Federal, state, and local laws frequently mandate that landlords disclose specific information and policies to tenants. While these regulations can vary by location, they generally require landlords to provide these disclosures before tenants move in. I’m not certain about the specific aspect of ‘property condition’ you are referring to, but we recommend checking your local and state laws for guidance. Innago offers valuable real estate educational resources to its users, but please be aware that we cannot provide legal advice.

    1. Hey Betty, Innago offers valuable real estate educational resources to its users. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide any legal advice for evictions due to the non-payment of rent. Nonetheless, we wish you the best of luck!

    1. Hey Michael! Innago offers valuable real estate educational resources to its users. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide any legal advice for your specific case. Nonetheless, we wish you the best of luck!

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