Need advice on NC Eviction process & laws

8 Replies

Hello everyone, I'm Anthony a small time landlord in North Carolina and just joined so I wanted to introduce myself. I'd love to hear from others from NC to help a newbie out. I'm going through a non paying tenant as I speak and need help with doing an eviction for my first time.

Thanks in advance


 @Anthony Santora   Hello, sorry to hear that, its not much fun. But in NC its not that hard a process. You essentially file through Small Claims Court and its called Summary Ejectment. 

- Make sure once you have filed you don't accept any payments from them. If you were having them direct deposit you'll need to close that account so they cant just go make a small deposit.

- Also when you have the court case, they likely won't show up which mean you can only get Possession (eviction) and not a money judgement. Sucks but thats how it is.

Good luck


Welcome to the forum!  Sorry to hear about your eviction.  On the bright side, this will be a good learning experience.

My first real eviction (not counting ones where they just left when I said to leave) was in Charlotte, NC.  I found the people at the courthouse who handle these things very helpful for information (and they had the right forms).

Here's the basic process as of a few years ago (you can look up, my property manager handles now).

-After the rent is 5 days past due, you can present the tenant with a "pay rent or quit" form.  Use the right form.

-After the 10 days waiting required, file a Summary Ejectment at the courthouse (this will cost you about $70).

-You'll get a court date around 2-3 weeks after filing this paperwork.  

-If you win, there's a 10 day waiting period for the tenant to appeal.  If they appeal, it's another 7-14 day wait for the next court date.

-If you win again (or if there's no appeal), but the tenant didn't leave, you have to file a Writ of Possession (another fee, like $70).  After a few days, you'll get a notice from the Sheriff's Dept to meet them at the property at a specific time and date (usually 7 days out).

-You wait outside the property for the sheriff's deputy to arrive.  Go to the property with him and he evicts the tenant.  He'll wait a few minutes for you to change the locks, so you have your tools and new locks ready to go.  The tenant may be nearby and not happy with you, so I suggest only changing the deadbolts to save time.

-You're responsible to store the tenant's personal belongings and give them notice for how long they have to pick them up (about 10-30 days I think).  You can dispose of them after this time expires.

I calculated once that it takes like 45 days to get your property back if you're fully on top of it and the tenant appeals.  It's a pain, but better than most states.   Knowing this process, I've helped tenants out who know they have to leave (e.g. paying for 1 months' storage, paying for a couple of nights motel, actually helping them move with my truck).   When I make this deal, I always make them sign a document saying they are voluntarily vacating the property back to me, have no rights to the property and they have removed all their personal belongings.   All who signed the lease must sign this document.

Good Luck!


You can read about state specifics on NOLO. They have a great book called Every Landlord's Legal Guide that I highly recommend you purchase. It covers everything from marketing, screening applicants, dealing with late rent, etc. It also includes a lot of sample forms you can edit to your liking.

Thank you so much for the responses, I'll be dealing with this in Guilford county courts. Do you think I'm better off hiring a lawyer or doing myself? I want to make sure it's done step by step properly.

Thanks again everybody.


If you plan on being a landlord for a while, I’d be heavily involved in the process even if you hire someone.  Go the courthouse and try and get some free advice from a clerk.

Price compare an attorney vs a property management company to handle for you (the latter handles all the time, might be a lot cheaper).

Good Luck!

Yes, I think you can add the late fee, it just cannot be the basis for eviction. But I would get this verified by a lawyer, who I recommend hiring for your first eviction proceedings. Eviction hearings for non payment of rent are very straight forward. Nevertheless, a lawyer can make sure that you play by the books in order to avoid your case getting thrown out should the tenant actually show up. 

Hi everyone, so tomorrow is my big day in court. I feel confident but also some butterflies because I'm not good at speaking in front of people. I do have a question though about when I'm in front of the judge, am I asking for a judgement for possession and money owed or I'm out of the past due rent, late fees and court costs?