What to Know About Renting in North Carolina

North Carolina is a fantastic state to live in: it’s got beautiful beaches, a strong sports presence, is home to quality higher education, and has Southern charm.

If you’re looking to move there, be it Jamestown apartments or a studio in Raleigh, you should familiarize yourself with not only the market currently but the rules and regulations for renters.


Landlord Rights Are Often Emphasized

If you look at the history of the Southern United States, it’s no wonder many things swing in favor of the landlord in a rental situation.

Southern states historically relied on agriculture, so they place a high value on land ownership, shaping renting laws to protect the rights of landowners and their properties.

Many parts of the landlord-tenant relationship to look at when discerning what is in favor of who are security deposit maximums, deadlines for returning security deposits, rent increase notices, repair and deduct policies, withholding rent policies, landlord’s access to the property, termination notices for nonpayment, regular termination notices for tenancies at will, termination notices for lease violations, and abandoned tenant property.

Security Deposits

The landlord is not required to collect a security deposit but if they do there are certain parameters in which they must act regarding it.

The maximum amount the landlord may charge for week-to-week tenants is two weeks’ rent. Month-to-month tenants can be charged up to 1.5 times the monthly rent price. For a longer, fixed-term lease, the maximum amount the landlord may charge is two months’ rent.

In North Carolina, landlords are required to return security deposits within 30 days of the end of a lease. All or a portion of the deposit can be withheld for damage in excess of normal wear and tear, any unpaid rent or utility bills, lease breaches, and any costs due to eviction such as court costs and costs of re-renting the unit.

What A Landlord Must Disclose

There are several things a landlord must let you know about prior to your lease going into effect.

Federal law requires landlords to give known information on lead-based paint and hazards, and must give an EPA-approved information pamphlet to the renter.

Tenants must be made aware of any structural damage that can include water, fire, smoke, insects, and mold.

Make sure you’re clear on who is responsible for what utilities. If a landlord has agreed in the lease to pay for any utilities such as water, gas, or electric, they are then liable to the tenant if a utility company has cut off service because of nonpayment by the landlord.

What Must Be In Your Rental Agreement

Rental agreements are required for tenancies of a year or longer, and certain things must be included in these agreements.

Outside of the names of the landlord and tenant, it must also include an adequate description of the property being leased.

Other items outlined are who is liable for utility expenses, price of rent, date rent is due, penalties for late rent payments, any provisions regarding painting, and whether pets are allowed.

The agreement must also explicitly outline both the landlord’s responsibilities and the tenant’s responsibilities.

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