In the state of North Carolina, landlords wishing to evict tenants must use what is known as the “summary ejectment process.” Evicting individuals and/or families from either commercial or residential leased property is something that is taken very seriously in the Old North State. In fact, the court system tends to rule in favor of the tenants, more often than not, especially in cases of residential rentals.
In order for a magistrate to issue an eviction notice, the landlord must provide proof that all of the requirements for the summary ejectment statute have been followed, such as proper notice to the tenant. These matters are handled in small claims court and require valid reasons for the eviction. Examples of justification are:
- The tenant(s) have been found guilty of engaging in criminal activity
- The rent is past due and the responsible party has been given a 10-day extension in which to pay the amount in full
- The lease has expired and the renter(s) refuse to leave the property
- Some requirement of the signed lease has been not been met, for which eviction is the agreed upon consequence
After the decision to follow through with the eviction process is made, the landlord next files what’s known as a “Complaint in Summary Ejectment.” For cases in which rent in the amount of $5,000 or less is past due, the landlord can seek reimbursement in small claims court.
The tenant is notified about the complaint through the sheriff’s office. If money is owed, the tenant will be served with court papers in person. Otherwise, the official eviction notice is posted on the rental property premises. A hearing conducted in a court of law by a magistrate is the next step. At that time, it will be determined if the landlord will be able to regain possession of the property.
When it is discovered that the landlord is entitled to evict the tenant(s), the renter(s) will have 10 days to file an appeal in district court. The magistrate will determine how much of the past-due rent the tenant(s) must pay, which will then be posted as bond. The ongoing responsibility of rent must also be taken care of. When an appeal fails to take place, the clerk of the court may then issue a Writ of Possession so the sheriff can legally evict the tenant.
So, if you are having problems with a renter, avoid the temptation to just change the locks! To resolve these matters, the proper procedure must be followed. Attorney Wes Scott Jones is experienced in these matters and will be happy to discuss your situation. Please call Wes to schedule an appointment for a free consultation at 910-256-5800.