Renter’s Rights: What You Need To Know

Home renters in North Carolina are entitled to certain rights. Here is what you need to know about renter’s rights whether you are a renter or a landlord.
Rights Regarding Security Deposits
State law places a limit on how much a landlord can charge you for a security deposit. If you have a month-to-month lease, the maximum security deposit is one and a half month’s rent. For rental terms longer than two months, the maximum deposit is two months. If you have pets, your landlord might add a reasonable nonrefundable deposit.
Your landlord must disclose information about where your security deposit is held. This information, including the name and address of the bank where the deposit is held is usually disclosed in your rental agreement.
Refund of Your Security Deposit
If you move, your renter’s rights include that your former landlord return your security deposit within 30 days of your move. When a landlord makes a claim against your deposit and cannot finalize it within the 30 days, they must send an interim accounting at that point. A final accounting must be submitted within 60 days of your move. If your landlord doesn’t return your deposit, you can sue him or her in small claims court for deposits up to the amount of $5,000.
Late Fees Rules
Your rental agreement should include what your late fee is and when a late fee will be imposed. State law specifies that late fees cannot be imposed until your rent is five days late. The fee cannot be more than $15 or 5 percent of your rent payment, whichever is greater.
N.C. Gen. Stat. § § 42-1 to 42-14.2; 42.25.6 to 42-76 refers to landlord-tenant laws. Depending on the city where you are renting, there may be additional health and safety, anti-discrimination or noise and nuisance standards and rules that might apply to renter’s rights.

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