Renter’s Basics

NC Landlord Tenant Law

With an increasingly expensive housing market, many potential home buyers are shifting gears from purchasing a home to pursuing a rental property. This has created a rental market where prospective renters are jumping into the first option they can find. If you are a possible renter, it would be advantageous to familiarize yourself with North Carolina’s Landlord and Tenant laws found in Chapter 42 of the North Carolina General Statutes. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some basics.

A landlord may charge a security deposit at the beginning of the lease. The landlord must notify the tenant where the security deposit is being held within thirty (30) days of the beginning of the lease, and the security deposit should be returned to the tenant within thirty (30) days after the termination of the lease, barring any significant damage to the property. Normal wear and tear do not amount to damage or justification for the landlord to retain the security deposit. N.C.G.S. Chapter 42-50, 42-51, 42-52. A best practice would be to record the condition of the rental property at the beginning of the lease and have the landlord initial or sign the current condition document. This could help prevent any future disagreement on possible damage and/or withholding of a portion of your security deposit.

A landlord is obligated to provide a fit and habitable premises, meaning the electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air conditioning, and other appliances should be maintained in a good and safe working condition. N.C.G.S. Chapter 42-42.

If repairs or maintenance is needed, the tenant should notify the landlord in writing. The tenant may not choose to withhold rent while waiting on the completion of the repairs or maintenance unless a judicial determination has granted the right to do so. N.C.G.S. Chapter 42-44. In other words, make sure you allow the landlord a reasonable amount of time to make repairs.

Additional landlord and tenant resources can be found on the North Carolina Real Estate Commission’s website. For more in-depth information or specific questions, please contact our office.

Revolution Law Group is located in Greensboro, NC, and serves individuals and small businesses throughout the Triad and surrounding areas. To contact us please visit or call 336-333-7907.

The information included here is for informational purposes only, is not exhaustive of all considerations when creating documents, is not intended to be legal advice, and should not be relied upon for that purpose. We strongly recommend you consult with an attorney and do not attempt to create your own documents.