Grounds for Eviction in NC: A Guide for Landlords and Tenants
Whether you're a landlord or a tenant, it's crucial to know when eviction is permissible. Need a refresher on grounds for eviction? Read on!
Sometimes, landlords experience a nightmare tenant that warrants grounds for eviction. It might be a group of young renters who throw wild, loud parties that disrupt the neighborhood. Or a tenant who's often late with their rent or fails to pay it altogether.
But, what about the impact of COVID-19?
Eviction laws in Charlotte, NC have changed. An estimated 485,000 North Carolina residents are behind on their rent as a result of the pandemic. With the eviction moratorium set to expire at the end of March, many tenants and landlords are wondering about grounds for eviction.
Read on to learn more about what warrants grounds for eviction in Charlotte, NC and the rights of both landlords and tenants.
Terminating Tenancy Four Grounds for Eviction
Depending on the circumstances, the entire eviction process can take around one to three months. Landlords must follow the correct procedures when evicting a tenant. If they don't provide renters with enough notice, for example, tenants can sue their landlord for damages.
Nonpayment of Rent
Has your tenant missed a rent payment? According to eviction laws in Charlotte, NC, tenants have 10 days after receiving either written or verbal warning notice from their landlord to pay the amount owed.
If the tenant doesn't pay rent within 10 days following that notice, the landlord can file eviction papers on the 11th day.
As a response to the economic impact of COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has ordered the suspension of most evictions through March 31, 2021. Landlords can't evict tenants for not paying rent due to virus-related financial hardships. Renters also have access to government programs and assistance if they are unable to afford their rent payment.
Landlords have the right to evict tenants that fail to follow the terms of their lease. Depending on the rental agreement, common violations can include:
- Property damage
- Unauthorized pets or tenants
- Neighborhood disturbance
- Abandoned property
In these circumstances, landlords aren't required to give tenants the opportunity to correct the violation. They also don't need to provide a minimum amount of notice before providing an eviction notice.
At the end of the lease, landlords can give tenants the option of either renewing the lease for another rental period or letting the lease end, looking for new homes for rent in Charlotte, NC, and moving out.
Landlords have the option of choosing to not renew the rental agreement, as long as the tenant has enough notice before the end of the lease. Tenants that refuse to move out following the end of a lease are considered "holdover tenants."
In these situations, landlords can begin eviction proceedings without further notice.
The state of North Carolina wants to provide all residents with the ability to enjoy their homes in peace, safety, and quiet. Landlords can speed up the eviction process for tenants that are risking the health or safety of other tenants or neighbors.
That includes trafficking drugs or other criminal activities.
Tenant Rights When Fighting an Eviction
Depending on the circumstances, there are some situations where the tenant can fight an eviction. This can range from insufficient notice to vacate the property, to unclear lease terms surrounding an alleged violation.
Improper Notice or Protocols
As mentioned before, landlords need to provide tenants with notice following a missed rent payment. The amount of notice required depends on the terms of the rental agreement:
- Week-to-Week Lease: Two days of notice
- Month-to-Month Lease: Seven days of notice
- Year-to-Year Lease: One month of notice
If landlords fail to provide sufficient notice before filing eviction papers, the tenant may have a right to continue residing on the property until the proper amount of time has passed.
Landlords cannot take eviction proceedings into their own hands and are required to go through through the courts to remove a tenant from the premises.
"Self-help" eviction procedures include landlords changing the locks, harassing tenants, turning off utilities, or using another method to force a tenant to move out.
Renters have a right to safe, clean housing that is in good living condition. If landlords refuse to make necessary repairs or respond to complaints, tenants have a right to report health, safety or code violations.
Landlords cannot evict tenants for insisting on maintenance requests, complaining to the landlord, or filing a complaint with their local government agency.
The Eviction Process
Before filing eviction papers, landlords must provide tenants with sufficient notice that their rental agreement has been terminated. If the tenant fails to leave by the move-out date, the landlord can file eviction papers with the local county court system.
Landlords will file an eviction with their county's small claims court or district court, depending on the cost of damages. Claims under $10,000 should be filed with small claims court. Claims over $10,000 should be filed with the district court. Criteria for damages might vary, so check with the court system if you need guidance on where to file.
Next, summons and a copy of the complaint are served to the tenant by the county sheriff. Upon being served, Tenants have the option of either vacating the premises or fighting the eviction in court.
For both parties, it's important to come to court prepared with the right documentation. For landlords, this includes copies of the lease agreement and notice. For tenants, this includes proof of rent payment, property photos, and communications.
If the landlord wins the hearing, they can file for a "writ of possession" 10 days after the initial judgment (or immediately after winning an appeal). This allows them to remove the tenant from the property with the help of the county sheriff. If the tenant wins, they can continue living at the property.
Leaving Eviction Proceedings to a Property Management Team
As a landlord, if a tenant refuses to pay rent or damages your property, what do you do? A knowledgeable property management team acts as a valuable resource for landlords, guiding you through grounds for eviction and the legal process.
Our team will also attend all court proceedings on your behalf. Contact us today to learn more about our property management solutions and grounds for eviction. If you are planning on moving to Charlotte, NC soon, we can also help you find the perfect place.