NC Eviction Procedures

12 Replies

Is there a specific procedure that is generally used for evictions in NC? If so where can I find that written out? 

Also.. was told by an attorney that if the amount is under $10,000, you can file a summery ejectment form in small claims. Has anyone had experience with this? 

I'm trying get down a system that is reliable in NC, so I can train future hires and not have to worry that they're trying to shotgun it. 

NC is actually very landlord friendly in my opinion. 

It will also depend on the reason you are evicting the tenant. Contract breach, hold over etc.. Assuming you are asking about tenants who fails the pay the rent.

Depending on your lease agreement, using the typical NCAR form the rent is due on the 1st. There is a 5 day free period to receive the rent. So if you know the tenant is not going to pay the rent, you should start the process on the 5th. 

You need to give the tenant a written notice to pay the rent or to leave the property. This is typically a 10 days notice.

If the tenant still does not pay and does not surrender the property, then on the 15th, you just go to the county court and file an summary ejectment (eviction notice)

The court will then send notice to the tenant to go to the court. This is usually within a week.

Then based on the court outcome, the tenant will need to leave the property. If they dont, the police will show up and help them move out.

In no case, you cannot force the tenant out on your own. You cannot shut utilities, change the locks etc. You need to do it all legally and correctly and you will get the tenant out within 3-4 weeks so if you have security deposit, assuming the tenant don't trash your place, you should be able to recover any losses.

From my experience, you will rarely get any payments back from the tenant. Even if you go to the small court and file a claim, the tenant will just not pay.. And getting a judgment to get the payment from their paycheck is extremely difficult. You pretty much just have to write off the loss and next time screen your tenants better :)

If you're looking in one specific town or county, make sure to look specifically into local regulations.  It's much more difficult to evict in Durham than say, Raleigh, even though it sometimes just comes down to how the judges work with the tenants based on local demographics.

@Abigail Cooper, why it is harder to evict in Durham than Raleigh? Because the judge or the law different between Durham and Raleigh? Could you please share a little more to help other landlord? Thanks.

@Huiping Sheng The eviction laws are based on Federal and State laws. The whole state of North Carolina falls under the state law (https://www.ncleg.net/gascripts/statutes/statutelo...) no matter what city or judge. 

However, as @Abigail Cooper mentioned, the judge might look at the circumstances differently depending on the reason for the evictions and the tenant. Eg section 8 tenant might go homeless and can't afford to pay vs a tenant who has the money but just dont want to pay. But regardless of this, the law is the same and your rights and the tenants rights are always the same.

Always treat your tenants with respect no matter the circumstances, stay professional and have your paperwork and notices in order and you won't have any issues.

I think the difference between Raleigh and Durham is that Durham has lower income neighborhoods and less educated private landlords so that might create more complicated situations then when dealing with a licensed real estate professional who is doing the eviction.

Originally posted by @Huiping Sheng :

@Abigail Cooper, why it is harder to evict in Durham than Raleigh? Because the judge or the law different between Durham and Raleigh? Could you please share a little more to help other landlord? Thanks.

 Hi Huiping,

In 20+ years of being a landlord for both residential and office/retail spaces, I've never had a problem evicting in Durham or in Granville County.  NC is a very easy state to initiate and carry out a court-ordered eviction.  Basically, file the eviction paperwork, have your landlord paperwork (lease, payment dates, missed payment dates, etc) ready, tell the magistrate (I've never had an actual judge adjudicate an eviction hearing) the tenant hasn't paid rent, and that's it.  Wait a week more before you can then instruct the Sheriff's department to carry out the eviction, then wait a few days until a deputy contacts you to arrange a specific day and time.  From beginning to end, it usually takes 4-6 weeks.

Originally posted by @Jiri B. :

@Huiping Sheng The eviction laws are based on Federal and State laws. The whole state of North Carolina falls under the state law (https://www.ncleg.net/gascripts/statutes/statutelo...) no matter what city or judge. 

However, as @Abigail Cooper mentioned, the judge might look at the circumstances differently depending on the reason for the evictions and the tenant. Eg section 8 tenant might go homeless and can't afford to pay vs a tenant who has the money but just dont want to pay. But regardless of this, the law is the same and your rights and the tenants rights are always the same.

Always treat your tenants with respect no matter the circumstances, stay professional and have your paperwork and notices in order and you won't have any issues.

I think the difference between Raleigh and Durham is that Durham has lower income neighborhoods and less educated private landlords so that might create more complicated situations then when dealing with a licensed real estate professional who is doing the eviction.

Absolutely. Thank you Juri B, I wasn’t being clear. The law is certainly the law, so from the perspective of a PM if they just need that information, it’s uniform. 

I agree that because Durham is lower income than Raleigh, that’s what sometimes effects the outcome. My PM has a harder time getting it done quick & clean in Durham vs Raleigh because magistrates have used discretion to occasionally grant tenants wiggle room.

Thankfully the one time I had to evict in Raleigh it was 3 weeks and done. 

Unfortunately, I have filed 200+ evictions in the last 3 years and found the following two statements added to my leases very helpful.

This first statement allows me to file an eviction without a ten day notice.

"Upon partial or nonpayment of rent, YOUR COMPANY is not required to give notice before filing an eviction.Tenant completely waives, or voluntarily relinquishes the right to notice pursuant to NC Gen.Stat.§ 42-3." 

This second statement allows me to accept partial rents without jeopardizing the validity of the eviction:

"Any payment made AFTER the eviction paperwork (Summary Ejectment) has been filed will be applied to the arrears and does not waive the tenant's breach for which the right of reentry is reserved and JBAC Properties, LLC's exercise of such a provision does not constitute a violation of Chapter 75 of the General NC Statutes."

I want to be very clear that under no circumstance do I surprise a tenant with an eviction. Nearly every eviction has ended in a handshake, a hug and many times the tenant thanks me in front of the judge. Evictions are already unpleasant. No need to fuel the fire with hostile words or threats. The trick to a successful eviction is No Surprises. Explain the process and the timeline to the tenant. If the eviction is solely about rent, I explain we do not want them to move out, we just want them to get to a zero balance and this process gives us a firm deadline. They usually understand and thank me for the time that the court allows.

Ps. This is not legal advice and I am not an attorney. This is just my experience.

@Andrew Clark great input!! Definitely agree on the explaining your tenant what is going on, what rights they have etc and no surprises. Making the whole situation very professional and polite. And actually creating a hostile situation or making threads to the tenant can turn against the landlord or property manager.

Are you using the NCAR 410-T forms? I believe this or similar language you mentioned is already part of the section 17b (Landlord’s Right to Possession) and d (Acceptance of Partial Rent)?