Are you looking for details on the North Carolina rental lease agreement? Do you want to know what laws exist for tenants and landlords dealing in North Carolina? Are you interested in knowing what disclosures are a must for signing an agreement? Keep reading to know the details.

What Is a North Carolina Rental Lease Agreement?

The North Carolina rental agreement is a deal that is signed between a landlord and a tenant to rent a property. This document consists of terms and conditions decided after negotiations between the parties involved.

These terms and conditions address issues like monthly rent, amount of security deposit, shared utilities, and others. The North Carolina rental lease agreement remains valid until its set validity date unless one of the parties terminates it.

Generally, the residential, as well as commercial property owners use this agreement. This is done to rent their property in exchange for the money. However, the landlord often first verifies the tenant to be able to rent the property.

Landlords use a rental application form to acquire information about the probable tenants. This information may include employment reference, previous landlords, tax return details, etc.

The North Carolina rental agreement is different from the North Carolina lease agreement. Both differ by their period of validity. The North Carolina rental agreement generally has a month to month basis. It renews itself each month unless one of the involved parties terminates it.

On the other hand, the lease agreement is valid for a decided duration. It has a start date and an end date. After reaching the end date, a new lease agreement is to be signed.

North Carolina Landlord and Tenant Laws

There are certain laws imposed by the state of North Carolina on both the landlords and the tenants. These laws must follow for both the parties involved in an agreement. Some of these laws include:

Security Deposit Limit and Return:

The state of North Carolina limits the amount a landlord can demand from a tenant as a security deposit. This is generally a 1.5 month’s rent for rental agreements that are month-to-month based. Whereas, the limit is kept as two months’ rent for agreements that have more than two months term.

Moreover, a landlord can also charge a deposit amount for pets, which is non-refundable. The law restricts the time-limit for returning the security deposit for the landlord to 30 days of a tenant moving out.

However, sometimes the claims of the landlord against the security deposit remain un-finalized within 30 days. In this case, a landlord can send an interim amount by 30 days and a final account by 60 days.

Small Claims Lawsuit:

In case a landlord doesn’t return the deposit to a tenant, the tenant has the option to sue the landlord. This can be done in the small claims court if the return amount goes up to $5000. However, a landlord being sued can defend himself in the court through a proper lawyer.

Late Fee and Rent Rules:

The law provides rulings regarding the rent paid by the tenant. A landlord can demand eviction from the tenant if the tenant fails to pay rent on time. Moreover, a tenant has a duration of 10 days allowed by the state to pay overdue rent or move out. After 10 days, the landlord can file a proper case for eviction.

Right to Withhold Rent:

The state of North Carolina allows the tenant to withhold rent if the landlord fails to get the necessary maintenance done. However, a tenant may also practice the repair and deduct method. This means that a tenant may get the maintenance done and deduct the charges from the rent to be paid.

Termination and Eviction Rules

The law specifies the conditions for which a landlord can terminate an agreement and demand for eviction from the tenant. These conditions include non-payment of rent or violation of lease terms by the tenant. Upon termination, if a tenant doesn’t move out the landlord can file a case for eviction through a proper lawyer.

North Carolina Lease Disclosures and Addendums

The state law of North Carolina requires some disclosures that the landlord must make in a lease agreement. These include:

Late Fee Disclosure:

This disclosure applies to all the rental units that charge a late fee. It is mandatory to mention the late fee in the agreement and the date should be assessed.

For payments based on months, a maximum of 5% of the rent can be charged as a late fee which amounts to greater of $15. However, for rents based on weeks, 5% of the weekly rent, amounting to greater of $4 can be charged as a late fee.

Lead-based Paint Disclosure:

This applies to buildings constructed before 1978. A landlord must disclose the information of lead-based paints under the Federal law of the US. It is mandatory for the landlord to mention the health hazards caused by such paints in the agreement.

Optional Disclosures and Addendums

There are some disclosures and addendums that are not mandatory by the law to state. However, it is a suggestion to state these disclosures in the agreement as well.

  • Landlord Name and Address: Complete name, address, and contact information of the landlord can be disclosed in an agreement. This is important to maintain a communication channel. Moreover, complete contact information helps the tenants to send legal documents/notice to the landlords.
  • Move-in Checklist: A landlord can provide an itemized list of damages existing already in the rented property. This helps to keep a track of damages that the new tenant causes in order to account for in the deposit return.
  • Returned Check Fee: It is a good idea for the landlord to disclose the fee they will charge the tenant for any check that bounces, in the agreement. The state of North Carolina limits this fee to a maximum of $25.
  • Shared Utilities: For units that have shared utilities, it can be mentioned clearly how these utilities are to be shared. How the bill is going to be calculated shall also be stated in the agreement.
  • Bed Bug Disclosure: It is important for the landlord to state in the agreement if the unit has a history of infestation. The current status and ways to handle it in the future shall also be mentioned.
  • Asbestos Disclosure: This applies to units constructed before 1981. A landlord can disclose the presence of existing asbestos.
  • Mold Disclosure: It is a suggestion that a landlord discloses the presence of mold in the rented unit. Moreover, the current status of the unit and future ways to handle can also be stated.

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You have read about the North Carolina rental lease agreement and the state laws regarding it. Moreover, you read about the mandatory and optional disclosures for the agreement.

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