Posted in Blog  
  on Feb 23, 2016

Summary of North Carolina Renters Rights

Renters in North Carolina are entitled to some specific rights when they enter into a lease with a landlord. Here is a summary of what those rights happen to be.

1. Landlords Must Perform Certain Duties.

A landlord must have their property meet all applicable building and hosing codes. Repairs must be made at all times for a unit to be maintained in a habitable condition. Appliances must also be kept in good working order, common areas must be kept safe, and smoke detectors must be provided.

2. Landlords Cannot Waive Their Duties.

There are many leases in North Carolina which have landlords waiving the duties that state law dictates they must perform. These waivers are not generally considered valid should tenants take their landlord to small claims court.

3. Renters Cannot Withhold Rent For Repairs.

North Carolina only allows the withholding of rent if the landlord allows for it in writing or a judge/civil magistrate has ordered it to happen. If a tenant takes a landlord to court over a repair issue, a more common outcome is an order of rent abatement, which allows for a reduce responsibility to the tenant until the repair is made.

4. There Are Security Deposit Limitations.

Landlords can only charge 1.5x the monthly rent as a one-time security deposit. Pet deposits are non-refundable and in addition to the security deposit, but must be “reasonable.” The remainder of a security deposit my be returned within 30 days of moving out with an itemized list of any deductions.

5. There Is No Required Notice For Entry.

North Carolina “recommends” at least 24 hours' notice before a landlord enters a premises, but there is no statute with a specific time frame on the state level for a required notice. Maintenance or emergency repairs has an expectation of entry as the tenant has generally notified the landlord of a situation at the rental unit.

6. Tenants Can Request That Their Locks Be Changed.

Landlords have up to 72 hours to change the locks on a rental unit when tenants make such a request. This occurs at the tenant's expense. This summary of North Carolina renters rights is intended to serve as a guide only. If your issue is not covered here, then be sure to consult with the specific NCGS statutes that govern your situation or seek out local legal assistance.