If you are a landlord in North Carolina, it’s very important that you keep up with how the rental business is regulated on the state and federal level. You want to take every precaution to ensure that your business is compliant with the law. This article is designed to help keep you aware of the laws in your state and keep you out of any issues in the future.
Let’s take a look at some of the most important things for you to keep in mind about North Carolina landlord tenant laws.
There is no rent control in North Carolina
Some states regulate the amount that landlords can charge for rent by enforcing a limit. North Carolina does not have any statewide restrictions regarding the amount for rent.
The median price for monthly rent in North Carolina as of April 2023 is $1,900, but this number steadily increases each month that it is recorded. The median rent in Charlotte—the state’s most populated city—is a little higher at around $1,975. These prices are good to keep in mind. Even though there is no rent control, you still want to make sure that your prices are competitive in your area. Consider what amount is likely to be most effective both for you and your tenants.
There are restrictions on late fees
The amount that you are able to charge for rent is not regulated in North Carolina, but the amount you can charge for late fees is. These amounts vary between whether you charge your tenants weekly or monthly rent.
If you charge monthly rent, the amount that you can require for late fees is either 5% of the rent amount or $15, whichever value is greater. Considering the median monthly rent cost in the state, 5% is likely to be the higher value. For weekly rent, it is the greater value between $4 and 5% of the rent amount.
Additionally, the state requires landlords to give tenants a minimum of 5 days after the initial deadline to pay their rent without penalty. It is only after this grace period that late fees may be collected.
The tenant has 15 days to pay rent before the landlord can evict
North Carolina eviction law states that if a tenant has not paid their rent and a landlord is considering taking eviction action, the landlord is required to give the tenant a 10-day rent demand notice before they are able to take any action. If a tenant pays their rent in this 10-day period, the landlord cannot take any action towards eviction on those grounds.
The mandatory 5-day grace period cannot be included in this period, and the 10-days only begins thereafter. This means that, in total, a tenant has 15 days after the deadline to submit rent before a landlord is able to take any action.
You must follow fair housing laws when accepting tenants
The federal Fair Housing Act was first enacted in 1968 and illegalizes housing discrimination on the grounds of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, familial status, or disability. These protections are upheld by the North Carolina Fair Housing Act, which went into effect in 1983.
However, North Carolina landlords are able to refuse a tenant based on the findings of a criminal background check. It is advisable that you consider each tenant on a case-by-case basis, though, and not allow merely the existence of a criminal record to influence your decision. Take each applicant into separate context and carefully consider whether you feel what you find raises concerns either with safety or with the ability to fulfill the terms of your lease agreement.
As the owner of a rental business, you are responsible for keeping track of the rules and regulations of your state and making sure that your practices abide by them. It can be difficult work, but considering the time and effort that you undoubtedly put into your business, it is also necessary and important.