North Carolina Landlord Tenant Law

North Carolina Landlord Tenant Laws are governed by the General Statutes, Chapter 42, Landlord and Tenant. The statutes explain terms, the rights and responsibilities of the parties and remedies for violations.

No part of this information is a substitute for legal advice. If you have questions regarding North Carolina Landlord Tenant Law or believe you have cause for a claim under these statutes, you should seek the advice of a qualified attorney.

North Carolina Landlord Tenant Law

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North Carolina Landlord Tenant Law – Security Deposits

You can charge tenants a security deposit under North Carolina Landlord Tenant Law, but there are specific conditions governed by Article 6, Tenant Security Deposit Act. Under § 42-50 Deposits from the tenant, security deposits paid by tenants “shall not exceed an amount equal to 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.” Landlords are held “fully accountable” for the security deposit, which “shall be deposited in a trust account with a licensed and insured bank or savings institution located in the State of North Carolina or the landlord may, at his option, furnish a bond from an insurance company licensed to do business in North Carolina.” Landlords must notify tenants where security deposit funds are held. Security deposits may only be used by the landlord for certain purposes, including non-payment of rent or water, if the water bill is the responsibility of the tenant, damages to the premises, cost of re-renting the premises due to tenant’s breach of the lease, costs of removing and storing property of the tenant “after a summary ejectment proceeding.”

The landlord must return the security deposit within 30 days of termination of the tenancy. If the landlord withholds any part of the security deposit for damages, an itemized listing and the amount withheld for each item must be provided to the tenant in writing, along with the remainder of the security deposit. Landlords cannot withhold any portion of the security deposit for normal wear and tear.

North Carolina Landlord Tenant Law – Smoke detectors

North Carolina Landlord Tenant Laws require landlords of North Carolina rental properties to provide smoke detectors and at least one carbon monoxide detector within the premises. North Carolina Landlord Tenant Laws are very specific about smoke detector requirements, making the smoke detector notice imperative to include in your North Carolina Landlord Forms. With the smoke detector notice, provided at the beginning of every tenancy, you have proof that you have complied with § 42-42 (a) (5) which specifically states that landlords must:

Provide operable smoke alarms, either battery-operated or electrical, having an Underwriters’ Laboratories, Inc., listing or other equivalent national testing laboratory approval, and install the smoke alarms in accordance with either the standards of the National Fire Protection Association or the minimum protection designated in the manufacturer’s instructions, which the landlord shall retain or provide as proof of compliance.

Since December 31, 2012, landlords are required to install a tamper-resistant, 10-year lithium battery smoke alarm. North Carolina Landlord Tenant Law requires carbon monoxide detectors in every rental property, pursuant to § 42-42 (a) (7). The carbon monoxide detector must meet these standards:

  • A minimum of one operable carbon monoxide alarm per rental unit per level, either battery-operated or electrical
  • Listed by a nationally recognized testing laboratory that is OSHA-approved to test and certify to American National Standards Institute/Underwriters Laboratories Standards ANSI/UL2034 or ANSI/UL2075
  • In accordance with either the standards of the National Fire Protection Association or the minimum protection designated in the manufacturer’s instructions

If a tenant notifies the landlord that a smoke detector or carbon monoxide detector is defective, the landlord is required to repair or replace it within 15 days. If a landlord fails to install proper smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors “within 30 days of having received written notice from the tenant or any agent of State or local government of the landlord’s failure to do so,” the landlord can face a fine of up to $250 for each violation. If a tenant damages or destroys a smoke detector or carbon monoxide detector, the tenant must reimburse the landlord for the cost of replacement or face up to a $100 fine.

North Carolina Landlord Tenant Law – Eviction of Drug Traffickers and Other Criminals

In accordance with Article 7, tenants may be evicted for certain criminal activities. Under § 42-63(a) the grounds for expedited eviction include:

(1) Criminal activity has occurred on or within the individual rental unit leased to the tenant; or

(2) The individual rental unit leased to the tenant was used in any way in furtherance of or to promote criminal activity; or

(3) The tenant, any member of the tenant’s household, or any guest has engaged in criminal activity on or in the immediate vicinity of any portion of the entire premises

Expedited eviction is also permitted if a tenant allows a person formerly barred from the premises back inside.

North Carolina Tenant Screening allows you to quickly eliminate unqualified applicants and rent to the best tenants while North Carolina Landlord Forms provides you with professionally created landlord forms.

North Carolina Tenant Screening Background Checks

A key component of landlord tenant laws is also North Carolina Tenant Screening Background Checks. We’ve dedicated an entire page to it because of its importance. Visit North Carolina Tenant Screening Background Checks to screen your tenant.

North Carolina Landlord Forms

All states require a variety of forms to rent an apartment to a tenant and North Carolina is no exception. Check out American Apartment Owners Association’s North Carolina Landlord Forms now.

Nationwide Landlord Tenant Laws

Looking for landlord tenant laws outside of North Carolina? The American Apartment Owners Association offers helpful landlord tenant laws for all 50 states. Click on any of the states listed below and go directly to its landlord tenant law page. To visit the homepage of landlord tenant laws, click here.