When a landlord or the property management company he hires to look after his rental home or condo rents out the property, it is done in good faith on the assumption that both parties will abide by the terms of the lease agreement. As a measure of abundant caution, the landlord/property management company often screens prospective tenants prior to signing a lease agreement. In most cases the relationship is cordial provided both parties respect and abide by the terms of the agreement. But situations do arise when a tenant violates them and forces the owner or his representative to evict them. What then is the eviction process and some of the other situations that arise out of it.
What are the legal grounds for eviction in North Carolina?
There are two primary reasons why a landlord may evict a tenant. These are for failure to pay the rent and for significant violations of the lease agreement through criminal or illegal activities such as drug trafficking or using the premises for immoral purposes.
What steps are to be followed in the eviction process?
Under North Carolina law retaliatory convictions are disallowed. A landlord cannot harass a tenant for requesting him to act according to the terms of the lease or for requesting repairs and similar actions which are incumbent on the landlord. The only way of evicting a tenant in North Carolina is by following the legal route.
The starting point in this process is by filing a complaint in the appropriate small claims court. The court will then serve a summons on the tenant which will indicate the hearing date of the case where the tenant will be required to make a court appearance. If the tenant fails to make an appearance, the court because of default will decide in the landlord’s favor.
Both parties are free to present evidence and argue their cases at the hearing and may be represented by attorneys. The court does not take too long to pass judgment and allows both parties 10-days to file an appeal. If it is decided in the landlord’s favor, the tenant is ordered to surrender the property, which the sheriff can enforce, if not complied with. Alternatively, if the court sides with the tenant, the tenant can remain on the property for the remainder of the lease’s term.
Can a landlord lock out or turn off utilities until the eviction process is completed?
Emphatically no. The law does not permit the landlord to take any provocative measures until the court legally evicts the tenant.
Talley Properties of Charlotte, NC
Talley Properties is one of the leading and most sterling property management companies in the Charlotte region of North Carolina. It has been providing property management and other real estate services to the community for over three decades now. It is well versed in real estate and rental laws since they apply to landlords and property managers. The company prides itself on delivering excellent service to its clients’ landlords and tenants.