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North Carolina Leases and Rental Agreements Laws

Landlords in Chapel Hill with some rowdy Tarheels on their hands and renters in Raleigh who can’t get their heat fixed both know the same thing: understanding your rights and responsibilities under North Carolina’s landlord and tenant laws can keep you out trouble. This is a brief summary of lease and rental agreement law in North Carolina.

Rental Agreements Laws

The relationship between landlords and tenants is regulated at the state level, through lease and rental agreement laws. Typically, these laws place limits on how much of a security deposit a landlord may require and which types of discrimination are prohibited. North Carolina lease and rental agreement laws limit deposits to two-month’s rent for leases over one month, while prohibiting discrimination on the basis of familial status.

Lease and Rental Agreement Laws in North Carolina

See the following chart to learn more about North Carolina's lease and rental agreement laws.

Code Section

41A-4; 41A-6(e); 42-50, et seq.

Terms of Leases

Landlord may treat tenant as trespasser and eject or may recognize him as tenant with presumption of year-to-year tenancy. (Murrill v. Palmer, 80 S.E. 55); this presumption is rebuttable and will yield to the actual intention of the parties (Gurtis v. City of Sanford, 197 S.E. 2d 584 (1973)


Limits: week-to-week, 2 weeks rent; month-to-month, 1 ? months rent; over month-to-month, 2 months rent; interest on deposits not required; deposit must be returned within 30 days of termination


No discrimination on basis of race, religion, color, sex, national origin, handicap, or familial status; housing for older persons exempted.

Uniform Residential Landlord & Tenant Act Adopted?


Because North Carolina has not adopted the Uniform Residential Landlord & Tenant Act (URLTA), your responsibilities as a landlord or your rights as a tenant will depend on the stipulations in your particular lease or rental agreement. Be sure to always review your lease carefully before signing it. There are some general rules regarding tenants' rights and guidelines for getting your security deposit back as a renter. Tenants must keep their part of the premises clean and safe and may not deliberately or negligently remove, damage, or destroy any part of the premises. On the other end, landlords must comply with local building and housing codes, make repairs in a timely fashion, and keep the premises in a habitable condition.

North Carolina Leases and Rental Agreements Laws: Related Resources

If you still have questions about your lease, you can contact a North Carolina landlord-tenant attorney to schedule a consultation. You can also visit FindLaw's Tenant Lease Agreement FAQs or Rental and Lease Agreements section for additional articles and resources.

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