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North Carolina Eviction Notice basics

An Eviction Notice tells tenants that legal action will follow if they do not comply. They may need to comply by paying all the rent due or by satisfying the terms of the lease. Eviction Notices can also be used in North Carolina for no cause evictions.


Use the North Carolina Eviction Notice document if:

  • Your tenant owes rent.
  • Your renter has violated the lease agreement.
  • You wish to end a month-to-month rental situation.
  • You do not want to renew an existing lease.
  • You want to start the process of evicting a holdover tenant.
  • You want to terminate a lease because of illegal use of the property.

You need to carefully follow the legal eviction process to evict a tenant successfully. If you do not know the local landlord-tenant laws you should consult with a lawyer to learn about city or county specific laws and review Chapter 42 of the North Carolina General Statutes to review current state landlord-tenant laws.

Other names for this eviction document: NC Eviction Notice, 10-Day Demand for Rent, Demand of Compliance or Possession, Notice to Quit


What is an Eviction Notice?

An Eviction Notice starts the process of evicting a tenant with or without cause. An Eviction Notice lets the tenant know that legal proceedings may follow if they do not comply by paying rent or satisfying the terms of their lease. Notices can also be used to inform those who do not have a lease or whose lease is expiring that they need to plan to move. An Eviction Notice cannot force a tenant to move, you need a court order for that, but it does start the formal eviction process.

For North Carolina, we provide 10-Day Demand for Rent (with cause), Demand of Compliance or Possession (with cause) and Notice to Quit (expired lease) notices. If you need a different type of property management document, see our essential landlord legal documents.


What information is needed to complete this Eviction Notice?

You simply need to submit a few items of information to make the Eviction Notice letter using our document builder. To complete the form, you need:

  • Address of the property
  • Landlord's name and address
  • Name of tenants (all tenants listed in the lease)
  • Date of lease the agreement (effective date or when they moved in)
  • Type of eviction: non-payment, lease violation, end of month-to-month or expired lease
  • Amount due if applicable, which dates rent was not paid
  • Date they must vacate the property if they cannot pay
  • Lease violation, if applicable, and how many days to comply

The Rocket Lawyer document builder will use your information to make the Eviction Notice including the legal language required. When the document is completed, you can download it in PDF or Word format. You can login to your Rocket Lawyer account and edit the document at any time.


How to deliver an Eviction Notice?

You can deliver the notice in any manner that you would normally deliver written correspondence to a tenant. You can post the note to their door, mail it, or deliver it in-person. It is best if you attempt to ensure that the tenant actually receives the notice. If you post it to their door, take a picture of the post on the door and date it. If you do not deliver the notice properly, the tenant may claim you did not provide due notice. If formal processes are initiated the clerk of the superior court will issue a summons to the renter. The summons may be delivered in a variety of ways including by phone or in person.


What is a Summary Ejectment?

A Summary Ejectment is a process unique to North Carolina. A Summary Ejectment is what landlords file with the courts to start the formal eviction process. If you've attempted to work with your tenants and have properly given them notice, the next step is to ask the court clerk for a Complaint form to file a Summary Ejectment case. In North Carolina, this process is handled in the small claims or the district court (if under $10,000 is owed).


What kind of notice do I use for holdovers?

A holdover tenant is one whose lease is about to expire or has expired. If you do not plan on renewing a lease, you need to provide to them a Notice to Quit within a certain amount of time.

The time required is:

  • Two days for week-to-week tenancies
  • Seven days for month-to-month tenancies
  • One month for year-to-year leases
  • 60 days for mobile home lot rentals

What is a Writ of Possession?

If you win your eviction case or the tenant doesn't win their appeal, a Writ of Possession may be issued. A Writ of Possession gives the tenant ten days to vacate. The sheriff will notify the tenant within three days of the Writ of Possession and can padlock the property within seven days after that. If the tenant leaves belongings behind, you need to dispose of the property in a lawful manner. You or the sheriff may choose to put the items into storage or if the value is low, donate them to an approved charity.


Do not attempt a "self-eviction"

In every state it is not lawful to perform a "self-eviction," you must go through the formal legal process. "Self-eviction" practices include harassing the tenants, changing the locks, turning off utilities, blocking access to the property or moving their belongings. If you do not know what might be considered harassment consult with a lawyer or your local housing authority.

To learn more about the eviction process in general, see Eviction Notice.


North Carolina Evictions: Tenant Rights

While state laws often slant towards favoring the landlord or property management company, renters do have tenant rights. If you have paid your rent and have not violated the terms of your lease, you may be able to contest an eviction. You may benefit from hiring a local lawyer or by acquiring services from free legal services offered in your area. You must show up in court if you want to contest an eviction. If you lose, you have ten days to appeal.

Here are some answers to some common questions about evictions in North Carolina:

When can I be evicted for late rent?
In North Carolina, a landlord can start the eviction process ten days after the Rent Demand letter is posted. Check the current statutes, since laws may change.

Do I have to appear in court?
If you plan to fight your eviction, yes. If you already know you are going to be evicted, such as you can't pay rent, going to court may still benefit you. If you attend the court proceeding, you can learn what the magistrate's decision is right away rather than waiting for a notice.

Does North Carolina allow early lease termination for military deployment?
If you are in the Armed Forces of the United States, Active Guard or Reserve, you may be able to quit your lease early if you are required to relocate. You still have to pay your rent but you will generally not be liable for damages resulting from terminating the lease early.

Can I fight an eviction?
If you feel you have grounds to fight the eviction, you'll want to appear in court with evidence that supports your case. You may be able to defend against an eviction if you have paid your rent and you feel that you have not violated the terms of your active lease. You may also have a defense if your landlord didn't properly serve notice or harassed you excessively. When you appear in court bring evidence such as images of premises proving damage or need for repair, rent receipts or banks statements showing proof that rent was paid, witnesses or Affidavits if needed, and records of all communications including notices, phone calls, emails, phone conversations and text messages.

What happens if I am evicted?
If the court decides on the side of the landlord, a sheriff can forcibly remove you from the property. Once deadlines have passed, they can change the locks and you will not have immediate access to any possession you may have left behind. Evictions and judgments are also usually included in your rental history making it harder for you to rent in the future.

What happens to my possessions if I can't move them in time?
If you are evicted and leave behind possessions or were not able to move everything out before the locks were changed, in most cases your items will be put into a paid storage facility. You will be given the option to pay to get your belonging out or if you cannot pay your items may be sold or otherwise disposed of. If you leave property worth less than $750 the landlord has the option to give your property to a nonprofit. They have to post on the property and or where rent is paid where your possessions were donated.

To learn more about renters rights, see our tenants legal help center.


Sample North Carolina Eviction Notice

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North Carolina Eviction Notice basics

You need to carefully follow the legal eviction process to evict a tenant successfully. If you do not know the local landlord-tenant laws you should consult with a lawyer to learn about city or county specific laws and review Chapter 42 of the North Carolina General Statutes to review current state landlord-tenant laws.

Other names for this eviction document: NC Eviction Notice, 10-Day Demand for Rent, Demand of Compliance or Possession, Notice to Quit


What is an Eviction Notice?

An Eviction Notice starts the process of evicting a tenant with or without cause. An Eviction Notice lets the tenant know that legal proceedings may follow if they do not comply by paying rent or satisfying the terms of their lease. Notices can also be used to inform those who do not have a lease or whose lease is expiring that they need to plan to move. An Eviction Notice cannot force a tenant to move, you need a court order for that, but it does start the formal eviction process.

For North Carolina, we provide 10-Day Demand for Rent (with cause), Demand of Compliance or Possession (with cause) and Notice to Quit (expired lease) notices. If you need a different type of property management document, see our essential landlord legal documents.


What information is needed to complete this Eviction Notice?

You simply need to submit a few items of information to make the Eviction Notice letter using our document builder. To complete the form, you need:

  • Address of the property
  • Landlord's name and address
  • Name of tenants (all tenants listed in the lease)
  • Date of lease the agreement (effective date or when they moved in)
  • Type of eviction: non-payment, lease violation, end of month-to-month or expired lease
  • Amount due if applicable, which dates rent was not paid
  • Date they must vacate the property if they cannot pay
  • Lease violation, if applicable, and how many days to comply

The Rocket Lawyer document builder will use your information to make the Eviction Notice including the legal language required. When the document is completed, you can download it in PDF or Word format. You can login to your Rocket Lawyer account and edit the document at any time.


How to deliver an Eviction Notice?

You can deliver the notice in any manner that you would normally deliver written correspondence to a tenant. You can post the note to their door, mail it, or deliver it in-person. It is best if you attempt to ensure that the tenant actually receives the notice. If you post it to their door, take a picture of the post on the door and date it. If you do not deliver the notice properly, the tenant may claim you did not provide due notice. If formal processes are initiated the clerk of the superior court will issue a summons to the renter. The summons may be delivered in a variety of ways including by phone or in person.


What is a Summary Ejectment?

A Summary Ejectment is a process unique to North Carolina. A Summary Ejectment is what landlords file with the courts to start the formal eviction process. If you've attempted to work with your tenants and have properly given them notice, the next step is to ask the court clerk for a Complaint form to file a Summary Ejectment case. In North Carolina, this process is handled in the small claims or the district court (if under $10,000 is owed).


What kind of notice do I use for holdovers?

A holdover tenant is one whose lease is about to expire or has expired. If you do not plan on renewing a lease, you need to provide to them a Notice to Quit within a certain amount of time.

The time required is:

  • Two days for week-to-week tenancies
  • Seven days for month-to-month tenancies
  • One month for year-to-year leases
  • 60 days for mobile home lot rentals

What is a Writ of Possession?

If you win your eviction case or the tenant doesn't win their appeal, a Writ of Possession may be issued. A Writ of Possession gives the tenant ten days to vacate. The sheriff will notify the tenant within three days of the Writ of Possession and can padlock the property within seven days after that. If the tenant leaves belongings behind, you need to dispose of the property in a lawful manner. You or the sheriff may choose to put the items into storage or if the value is low, donate them to an approved charity.


Do not attempt a "self-eviction"

In every state it is not lawful to perform a "self-eviction," you must go through the formal legal process. "Self-eviction" practices include harassing the tenants, changing the locks, turning off utilities, blocking access to the property or moving their belongings. If you do not know what might be considered harassment consult with a lawyer or your local housing authority.

To learn more about the eviction process in general, see Eviction Notice.


North Carolina Evictions: Tenant Rights

While state laws often slant towards favoring the landlord or property management company, renters do have tenant rights. If you have paid your rent and have not violated the terms of your lease, you may be able to contest an eviction. You may benefit from hiring a local lawyer or by acquiring services from free legal services offered in your area. You must show up in court if you want to contest an eviction. If you lose, you have ten days to appeal.

Here are some answers to some common questions about evictions in North Carolina:

When can I be evicted for late rent?
In North Carolina, a landlord can start the eviction process ten days after the Rent Demand letter is posted. Check the current statutes, since laws may change.

Do I have to appear in court?
If you plan to fight your eviction, yes. If you already know you are going to be evicted, such as you can't pay rent, going to court may still benefit you. If you attend the court proceeding, you can learn what the magistrate's decision is right away rather than waiting for a notice.

Does North Carolina allow early lease termination for military deployment?
If you are in the Armed Forces of the United States, Active Guard or Reserve, you may be able to quit your lease early if you are required to relocate. You still have to pay your rent but you will generally not be liable for damages resulting from terminating the lease early.

Can I fight an eviction?
If you feel you have grounds to fight the eviction, you'll want to appear in court with evidence that supports your case. You may be able to defend against an eviction if you have paid your rent and you feel that you have not violated the terms of your active lease. You may also have a defense if your landlord didn't properly serve notice or harassed you excessively. When you appear in court bring evidence such as images of premises proving damage or need for repair, rent receipts or banks statements showing proof that rent was paid, witnesses or Affidavits if needed, and records of all communications including notices, phone calls, emails, phone conversations and text messages.

What happens if I am evicted?
If the court decides on the side of the landlord, a sheriff can forcibly remove you from the property. Once deadlines have passed, they can change the locks and you will not have immediate access to any possession you may have left behind. Evictions and judgments are also usually included in your rental history making it harder for you to rent in the future.

What happens to my possessions if I can't move them in time?
If you are evicted and leave behind possessions or were not able to move everything out before the locks were changed, in most cases your items will be put into a paid storage facility. You will be given the option to pay to get your belonging out or if you cannot pay your items may be sold or otherwise disposed of. If you leave property worth less than $750 the landlord has the option to give your property to a nonprofit. They have to post on the property and or where rent is paid where your possessions were donated.

To learn more about renters rights, see our tenants legal help center.

Use the North Carolina Eviction Notice document if:
  • Your tenant owes rent.
  • Your renter has violated the lease agreement.
  • You wish to end a month-to-month rental situation.
  • You do not want to renew an existing lease.
  • You want to start the process of evicting a holdover tenant.
  • You want to terminate a lease because of illegal use of the property.
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