The eviction process in North Carolina is a relatively straight-forward process. This will be a high-level guide to the process, please let me know if you have specific questions.
Why evict? The most likely reason is because the tenant has failed to pay their rent, but there are many other reasons: you believe the tenant to be involved in illegal activity; the tenants are causing trouble with the neighbors; or any other number of issues that have led you to want them to move. Regardless of the reason, you need to make certain that you have the right to evict the tenant. There is a clause in North Carolina’s landlord/tenant law that does allow the landlord to evict with no cause. Therefore, the landlord doesn’t need a reason to evict the tenant; the landlord has the right to evict for no cause.
How to evict a tenant? The first thing to do is to give notice to the tenants that you are evicting them. Unless noted otherwise in your lease agreement, you need to give a ten day notice for monthly renters and a two day notice for weekly rentals. Once the notice period is up, then you file paperwork: a magistrate summons and a complaint in summary ejectment. You can get these files online or you can pick them up from your local Clerk of Court office. The paperwork is relatively straight-forward. If you are uncertain, they can help you at the Clerk of Court office. Once you take the appropriate number of forms to the court to file and pay the appropriate fee, then the Clerk of Court’s office will assign you a day and time to come to Small Claim’s court.
When you come to court, bring a copy of your lease agreement and your records book showing the payment history. If you are evicting someone for failing to pay their rent, you will need this supportive documentation. If they have breached the lease in some other manner, then you will need to bring the documentation which supports your claim. If, however, you are evicting someone for no cause, then you may want to bring only the lease and your record book, but you shouldn’t be required to prove any wrong doing on the part of the tenant because you are not evicting them for any breach of contract.
Once the magistrate rules in your favor, you have to wait ten days to execute the writ of execution. If the magistrate does not rule in your favor, then you can appeal. The tenant has ten days to appeal the magistrate’s ruling. If the appeal has grounds, then you must wait for the new court date. During the time that you are waiting for the new court date, the tenant must make payments to the clerk of court’s office. If the tenant does not appeal, then at the end of the ten day period, you go back to the clerk of court’s office and execute the writ of execution. The sheriff’s office or local police department will then get into contact with you to meet you at the property to put the person outside of the home. You need to meet them there and change the locks while at the property with the officer. If they have not removed all of their property from the home, you need to check with the local clerk of court about how to handle their property. Typically, there is a time that they have to get the property within. If they don’t, then you need to follow the guidelines provided by the clerk of court.
I realize that this has been something of a whirlwind tour of the process, and you may have many questions. Please feel free to ask them in a comment, and I will get back with you ASAP.