Eviction Process In Wake County, what you need to know
One of the challenges landlords face when owning rental properties in Raleigh, NC and in the whole Wake County is having to evict bad tenants. This happens when a tenant is lawfully removed from a property he rented from a landlord in accordance to the NC eviction laws. These laws should always be followed by landlords whenever they are renting out their properties to anyone. However, these laws can also be disputed by the tenant on different grounds. Keep in mind we are not attorneys so please talk to your attorney or any lawyer if you are about to evict a tenant.
Reasons Why Eviction Happens
In general, there are actually four primary reasons why a tenant can get evicted from a leased property. Firstly, and probably the most common reason, is that the tenant has not been paying the rent. Secondly, a certain condition or conditions of the rental agreement has been breached by the tenant.
Thirdly, the property is still being occupied by the tenant even if the term of the lease has already ended and that the landlord has not consented to his extended stay. This is called a hold-over tenant. Lastly, criminal activities, such as drug trafficking, are being committed by the tenant. These grounds can drive the lessor to evict such tenant.
How Does A Landlord Evict A Tenant in Raleigh, NC?
As per NC eviction laws, the right kind of eviction notice needs to be served by the landlord to his tenant first before the eviction process in Wake County can be enforced. The notice should include all pertinent information regarding the cause of eviction and the appropriate action that should be done by the tenant. The kind of notice served to the tenant depends on the cause of eviction.
If the lessee has not paid his rent, then, a ten-day notice to quit should be served by the landlord to the individual before going through the eviction process in Wake County. The notice is also sometimes called as a notice to quit or pay since payment is demanded through such document. If payment has not been made within ten days, legal papers can be filed by the lessor to lawfully evict the tenant on the eleventh day.
A leasing agreement is usually made between the tenant and landlord. In this case, if a certain term of such agreement has been breached by the tenant, then, it is the legal right of a lessor to evict him. Some of the common terms being breached are raising pets even if they are prohibited or damaging the property. Eviction papers can be filed by the landlord as soon as he learns that a term has been breached, even without a minimum day eviction notice.
By the end of the leasing period, both sides have a renewal option. In the case of the landlord, he is not obliged to renew the agreement if he does not want to. With this, the property should be surrendered by the tenant. If not, he will be considered as a hold-over tenant. He will be served with a two-day notice weekly rental, a seven-day notice for monthly rental, or a month notice for yearly rental before the end of the leasing term. The expiry date and deadline for the lessee to move out should be stated in the notice. Eviction can start immediately if property is still occupied by the tenant at that point. Payment must not be accepted by the lessor prior to filing his complaint or after the lease has expired as such will constitute partial payment leading to the creation of a new tenancy.
In case the tenant is engaged in criminal activities, the eviction process in Wake County can be expedited.
How Eviction Papers are Filed and Served
It is important that the proper eviction notice has been served and the deadline has already expired before eviction papers are filed by the landlord. The papers must filed in a similar location as the rented property. They must be filed in a district court for damages sought exceeding $10,000, or a small claims court for damages sought below $10,000.
A complaint and a summons are served to the tenant by the courts. The former is a legal paper stating the reason why legal action has been taken against the tenant while the latter is a legal paper stating the date, time, and location when and where the complaint can be answered by the defendant. To avoid prolonging the process, all names listed on the leasing agreement should be listed by the lessor on the complaint.
These legal papers are then personally served to the to the tenant by the county sheriff. Once the papers are received by the tenant, he can move out or defend himself during the eviction hearing. In the case of the latter, his defenses against the eviction should be prepared and presented to the appropriate court.
Presence of Tenant During Eviction Hearing
In general, the lessee is not obliged to attend the hearing but he is advised to do such. This way, default judgment and automatic win on the part of the landlord can be avoided. If monetary damages are sought by the landlord, then, the credit history of the tenant will surely be affected.
It is essential that the complaint be read by the tenant. His presence is not required during the eviction hearing if monetary damages are not sought by the landlord and just wants to get the property back; and if he decides to vacate the rental property.
When Eviction Hearing Takes Place
When a tenant decides to fight off the eviction, he should go to the eviction hearing. During such hearing, both sides have the chance to present documents proving their claims. It will be best to bring all evidences, even witnesses, when presenting their respective cases.
After the presentation of both sides, the evidences will be checked by the judge. In most cases, decisions are made on the spot. Whatever decision made by the judge in favor of the winning party can be appealed by the other within 10 days.
If the lessor wins, a writ of possession needs to be filed by him. Within seven days of serving the said writ, the property can be padlocked by the county sheriff who will be accompanied by the landlord. If the lessee wins, he can stay in his rented property.
Evicted a tenant, now what?
After you evict a tenant you may regain possession of the property and put it out for rent again.
In most cases, landlords who evict tenants will have to make certain repairs to the property in order to be able to rent it out again. Some landlords don’t have the means to pay for these repairs.