The Eviction Process: What Property Managers and Tenants Should Know
Every state has their own laws, policies, and regulations for the eviction process for which a tenant and property manager would undergo. When renting a home, it is important to note the eviction process that is stated in the lease and no matter what state you are located in, it is vital to understand the formality and timing of all parts of the process, for the tenant, landlord, or property management firm.
North Carolina’s Eviction Process
Step One: Eviction Notice
The first step in the North Carolina Eviction Process is the presentation of an Eviction Notice. The timing of the notice is dependent upon the reason the tenant is being evicted.
Reason: Non-Payment of Rent
This type of eviction notice is called a 10 Day Demand for Rent, which is exactly like what it sounds. The notice demands rent and is given to the tenant 10 days before the Summary Ejectment Complaint is filed.
If there is no written lease specifying the details of the notice, the property manager must demand rent payment and wait the appropriate 10 days before filing as well.
If the tenant is staying beyond their lease term and the landlord has given notice that the lease will expire on a specific date (stated on the lease agreement), the landlord must give an eviction notice in the following time frame:
- 10 Days if the tenant paid rent monthly
- 1 Month if the tenant paid rent yearly
- 30 Days for Mobile Home lot rental
Reason: At Will
When the eviction is not because of a breach of agreement, the property manager must tell you in advance of their intent to evict and the end of the leasing agreement. If there is a written lease agreement, all requirements must be followed.
If there is no amount of notice stated, it is up to the property owners discretion. If there is a lack of proper notice to a tenant, it could be used to dismiss the Summary Ejectment Complaint.
If there is no lease or the lease does not give specifics of the eviction process, the notice..
- Can be given verbally
- Must follow the requirements of the law
- Must state the intent to evict or vacate in the following time constraints:
- For non-payment of rent, 10 days
- A year to year lease, 30 days
- A month to month lease, 7 days
- A week to week lease, 2 days (not counting weekends)
Step Two: Summary Ejectment
After the Eviction Notice has been presented and the waiting period and rent still has not been paid, the property manager must go to the court to file a “Summary Ejectment” case to evict the tenant. A landlord legally cannot use any physical force to evict the tenant without going through the proper court procedures. They must go to the Small Claims court in the county the property resides in and fill out the Complaint Form from the court clerk. There will be a filing fee in order to process the complaint. Once the complaint has been filed and fee has been paid, the court will issue a Summons.
Step Three: Sheriff Serves the Summons
Once the eviction case is filed, the court will give a Summons and a copy of the Complaint to the County Sheriff. It is the Sheriff’s responsibility to deliver these documents to the tenant.
The Summons documents will include why the landlord wants the tenant to move out and when and where the court hearing will be held. It will be delivered to the tenant in person, by mail, or by tacking the papers to the tenant’s door within 5 days of issuance of the Summons, but not less than 2 days before the scheduled hearing and will require the tenant to appear not more than 7 days from the issuance of the Summons.
Step Four: Hearing in Front of Magistrate Judge
When the hearing proceeds, the landlord must be presented in order to win the eviction and the tenant must be present in order to contest. Each side will be given the proper amount of time to present their case, documents, and witnesses as evidence to their plee. Both sides of the court must bring ample evidence in order to win. At the end of the hearing the Magistrate will make a decision. They can order the tenant to vacate the property, pay for any back rent or damage to the property, or both.
Tender of Rent
If the reason the tenant is being evicted is for non-payment of rent only, and is marked properly on the complaint paperwork, then the process of eviction can stop by paying the “Tender of Rent” or otherwise known as presenting the rent and court costs at the hearing. At the hearing, you must bring the full amount of rent owed plus court costs and communicate to the magistrate that you are ready and able to pay it to the landlord.
You cannot dismiss the case by presenting tender rent if the property manager is evicting you for other reasons such as breach of lease or holdover.
Step Five: Judgment
If the property owner wins the case, the judge will award the landlord a “Judgment for Possession.” This court order say the landlord has the possession of the property and the tenant must vacate the premise. They will also order the tenant to pay the landlord an allotted amount of money called a “money judgement”.
If the tenant is not present for the hearing, or the tenant loses the appeal, the tenant must completely leave the property at the end of a 10 day waiting period. The sheriff will send you a document in the mail stating the exact date and time when you will have to leave. A tenant may decide to appeal the verdict during this time and the tenant must give notice to the landlord. The case will be heard again in District Court if the appeal is approved.
If the tenant does not vacate or there is any issue with removal, the landlord can contact the Clerk of the Court to issue a “Writ of Possession”. After the “Writ of Possession” is issued, within 3 days the Sheriff will notify the tenant, and 7 days following the notice the Sheriff will padlock the property.
Once the property is padlocked, the tenant must contact the landlord to arrange an appointment to get all remaining belongings out of the home. The tenant will have 7 days to remove all personal items or the landlord may dispose of it. The landlord is only obliged to give you one opportunity to retrieve your personal items.
Eviction is a very harsh way to end a relationship between a property manager and tenant. It is important for tenants to understand how much they can afford when searching for apartments or homes for rent and property managers to do their due diligence when screening prospective tenants. Understanding and communication is key.
If you are looking for cheap, affordable homes for rent in the Greensboro, Asheboro, and High Point area, check out the available properties that Schwarz Properties, property management firm, has today!