Landlord-Tenant Law Resources

North Carolina

Please note: we are not attorneys. Information about North Carolina landlord-tenant law was sourced from the North Carolina General Assembly website providing a thorough table of contents of all state statutes. We have done our best to pull the landlord-tenant statutes but you should always do your own research and remember that laws change. To find a licensed attorney serving North Carolina please go to the North Carolina Bar Association to utilize their attorney referral service.

Working links to statutes are in bolded red. Working links to documents are in bolded purple.

NC General Rules & Regulations

General Statutes:

Guides in PDF:

Security Deposits

  • Maximum: Not to exceed two weeks rent if a tenancy is week-to-week, one and one-half months rent if a tenancy is month-to-month, and two months rent for terms greater than month to month. NCGS § 42-51

  • Deadline for Returning: 30 days, unless the landlord requires additional time to evaluate damages, upon which an interim notice may be sent within 30 days, with a final determination within 60 days. NCGS § 42-52

  • Interest: N/A

  • Separate Bank Account: 

    • Landlord is required to deposit the funds into a trust account with a licensed and insured bank or savings institution in the State of NC, or furnish a bond from an insurance company licensed to do business in NC. NCGS § 42-50

    • The landlord must notify the tenant within 30 days after the beginning of the lease term of the name and address of the bank or institution where his deposit is currently located or the name of the insurance company providing the bond. NCGS § 42-50

  • Pet Deposits: A reasonable non-refundable pet deposit is permitted. NCGS § 42-53

  • Move-Out Checklist/Itemized List of Damages and Charges: Required. NCGS § 42-52

  • Record Keeping of Deposit Withholdings: N/A

  • Receipt of Deposit: N/A

Rent, Fees, & Tenant Rights

  • Application Fees: N/A 

  • Rent Is Due: N/A

  • Rent Increase Notice: N/A

  • Late Fees:

    • Monthly Rent Payments: landlord may charge a late fee of $15.00 or five percent (5%) of the monthly rent, whichever is greater.                NCGS § 42-46(a)(1)

    • Weekly Rent Payments: landlord may charge a late fee of $4.00 or five percent (5%) of the weekly rent, whichever is greater.                    NCGS § 42-46(a)(2)

  • Prepaid Rent: N/A

  • Reasonable Attempt by Landlord to Mitigate Damages, including to Re-rent: N/A

  • Tenant Right to Withhold Rent for Failure to Provide Essential Services (Water, Heat, etc.): N/A

  • Tenant Right to Deduct Rent for Repairs Made: N/A

Notices & Entry

  • Notices to Terminate Tenancy: 

  • Move-Out Inspection Appointment Notice: N/A

  • Notice before Entry: N/A. Standard operating procedure is 24-hour notice.

  • Entry Notice for Non-Emergency Maintenance and Repairs: N/A. Standard operating procedure is 12 to 24 hours.

  • Entry Notice for Showings: N/A. 

  • Emergency Entry Without Notice: N/A

  • Entry During Extended Absence of Tenant: N/A

  • Notice of Pesticide Use: N/A

  • Self-Help Evictions: If tenant unlawfully evicted, landlord becomes liable for actual damages incurred to tenant. NCGS § 42-25.9

  • Abandonment of Personal Property: Considered abandoned 5-7 days after lawful repossession of the property and formal written notice to the tenant. Specific instructions required. NCGS § 42-25.9 and NCGS § 42-36.2 

Duties, Disclosures & Protections

  • Domestic Violence: 

    • Proof of Status: Landlord is entitled to verify claim of Domestic Violence status. NCGS § 42-42.2

    • Protection from Termination: Landlord cannot terminate a tenancy, fail to renew a tenancy, or refuse to enter into a rental agreement with a victim of domestic violence. NCGS § 42-42.2

    • Early Termination Rights: A tenant is allowed to terminate a lease with 30 days written notice and proof of Domestic Violence status.       NCGS § 42-45.1

    • Locks: Upon request and per situation, the landlord must change or re-key the locks at the tenant’s expense within 48-72 hours. NCGS § 42-42.3

  • Lead Disclosure: Landlords must disclose all known lead paint hazards and provide tenants, as an attachment to a written lease, with an information pamphlet on lead-based paint hazards

  • Retaliation: For 12 months thereafter, a landlord must not terminate or refuse to renew a lease to a tenant who has filed an official complaint to a Government Authority, been involved in a tenant’s organization, made a good faith complaint, or exercised a legal right. Other actions are also prohibited. NCGS § 42-37.1

NC Licensing, Courts, & Attorneys

  • Business License Requirement: No state statute. Check local jurisdictions for requirements.

Additional Links:

North Carolina Court System

North Carolina Department of Justice

LawHelpNC.org – Renting and Evictions

North Carolina Bar Association

North Carolina Lawyer Referral Service

Legal Aid of North Carolina

Additional Resources

Landlord-Tenant Matters 

REALTORS® Associations

Housing Authority Links

See Also

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