In North Carolina it is illegal to perform a ‘self-help’ eviction; there is a legal procedure to follow to perform an eviction and if it is not followed correctly you, the property owner, could open yourself up to lawsuits from your tenants. Whether you are evicting your tenant or squatters, The Residential Buyer would like to remind you that squatters have rights.
In North Carolina in order to ensure the eviction process isn’t drawn out longer than it has to be ensure you follow the legal guidelines set out in the North Carolina General Assembly, Chapter 42. The thee (3) main phases in an eviction process consists of:
North Carolina state dictates that the property owner must give the tenant 5 days grace period, from the rent’s due date, to pay the rent before a notice can be given or late fees charged.
- After this grace period, the property owner may charge the tenant $15 or 5% of the monthly rent, whichever is greater.
- It is only after this grace period has ended that a property owner may serve a ‘10 days’ notice demanding rent or to face eviction.
- If a tenant is being evicted because they violated the terms of the lease, the notice may be given immediately.
- If the lease agreement has ended, a grace period is not necessary and the landowner can proceed to serving the tenant the notice.
- A notice can be served, at least, 7 days in advance of the lease ending (the notice must state, the end date for the lease agreement as well as the expected date for the tenant to vacate the premises.
- Court proceedings of this nature are usually filed with the ‘small claims’ court, the Superior Court of North Carolina hears small claims matters (small claims refer to claims that do not exceed $10,000). No attorney is required in these cases. After filing your case in the courts a summons will be issued and it will be the responsibility of the sheriff to serve the tenant with the court summons; the hearing will be held 14 days after the issuance of the summons.
- The Residential Buyer would like to advise against collecting any rent, from that specific tenant, after filing your case in the courts for it may jeopardize the case.
- Ensure you carry proof of non-payment of rent, copy of notice, the lease agreement and any other document(s) that will help your case.
- If the judge rules in favor of the tenant, you will have 10 days to file an appeal, while the tenant continues to occupy the property.
- If the judge rules in favor of the property owner, the tenant will have 10 days to file an appeal or vacate the property by the end of the 10 days.
- Immediately after the expiration of the timeline given to the tenant to appeal, and the tenant still has not vacated, the property owner may file for a writ of possession. An eviction will then be carried out, seven (7) days after the writ of possession was issued, by the county sheriff.
- With the sheriff present, the locks of the property will be changed by a professional locksmith (as required by North Carolina state). If the tenant left any belongings behind, it is the responsibility of the property owner to issue the tenant with a ‘7 days’ notice to collect.
- If the tenant does not retrieve their belongings, the property owner should not destroy or sell the tenants property but rather have the belongings moved to the sheriff’s storage facility where the tenant will be responsible for paying any storage costs associated with this.
Eviction Process take?
In the state of North Carolina, the eviction process usually takes a little over a month from start to finish.
It is important to note that there is currently an eviction moratorium, scheduled to expire on June 30th 2021; it was put in place because of the financial difficulties that have been caused by CoVid-19, it prevents evictions.
Eviction of My Tenant
If you’re concerned about following the eviction process correctly or perhaps just would rather not have to deal with it, then reach out to The Residential Buyer so that we can take care of the problem for you. We’ll buy the property as-is and handle the eviction process for you.