In North Carolina, the eviction process is governed by the North Carolina General Statutes, particularly Chapter 42, and involves several stages and requirements. The eviction process in North Carolina generally involves the following steps: the written notice, filing the eviction complaint, the summons and complaint, a hearing, a writ of possession, and the actual eviction.
The first step in the North Carolina eviction process involves a written notice being provided to the tenant by the landlord. Generally, the written notice informs the tenant that they need to vacate the premises, though the type of notice provided to the tenant usually depends on the reason for the eviction. For example, if the landlord intends to provide notice because the tenant failed to pay rent, then the landlord must give the tenant a 10-day notice. On the other hand, if the landlord intends to evict the tenant because of lease violations, then the landlord is typically required to provide a 30-day notice period.
If the tenant fails to comply with the written notice provided by the landlord, then the landlord begins the second step of the North Carolina eviction process. The second step involves the landlord gaining the ability to file an eviction complaint with the local county courthouse. The complaint must include the reason that the landlord is evicting the tenant, details about the lease agreement, and a mention of any outstanding rent still owed by the tenant and/or a claim for any damages caused by the tenant during their occupation of the premises.
Once the complaint has been filed with the local county courthouse, the third step of the North Carolina eviction process begins. This step involves the court, particularly the Clerk of Superior Court, issuing a summons and complaint. The summons and complaint must be served on the tenant. Service is usually performed by an officer. An officer may mail a copy of the summons and complaint to the tenant no later than the end of the next business day or as soon as possible to the tenant’s last known address. The officer may also, within five business days of the summons being issued, attempt to call the tenant to request that they visit the office or schedule an appointment to receive delivery of service from the officer. If the phone call with the tenant is not performed by the officer or it is unsuccessful or does not result in service, then the officer must make at least one visit to the place of abode of the tenant within five days of the summon, but at least two days before the day that the tenant is required to answer the complaint. A copy of the summons and complaint may be served on a person of suitable age and discretion who is residing in the tenant’s home. Following service of the complaint and summons, the tenant has a specific period, usually 7 days, to respond to the complaint.
Service of the complaint and summons marks the beginning of the fourth step in the North Carolina eviction process. If the tenant does not respond to the complaint within the period specified by the law, then the court may enter a default judgment against the tenant in favor of the landlord. However, if the tenant contests the eviction and responds to the complaint promptly, a hearing will be scheduled where both the tenant and the landlord can present their cases. A verdict in favor of the landlord generally results in the court issuing a writ of possession. The writ of possession gives the sheriff the authority to remove the tenant from the property. Typically, the sheriff provides the tenant with notice of the date and time of eviction. The results of the court’s verdict, generally represent the fifth and sixth steps, with the writ of possession being the fifth step if the court rules in favor of the landlord.
The sixth step in the eviction process in North Carolina, when the court rules in the landlord’s favor, is the actual eviction. On the date scheduled by the sheriff, the eviction will be carried out. The sheriff’s office will oversee the removal of the tenant and their personal property from the premises. After that, the landlord may change the locks.
It is important to note that the eviction process is a complex process, which involves meeting several specific requirements that can vary depending on the circumstances. Given the complex nature of the eviction process, both a landlord and a tenant must be represented by an attorney to ensure that their rights are protected and that the process goes smoothly.
At King Law, there are attorneys throughout North and South Carolina who handle these types of cases and can represent you in this unique situation. Call our toll-free number at 888-748-5465 (KING) to request a consultation with one of these experienced attorneys.