Frequently Asked Questions

The following information is provided solely for information purposes by James W. Surane, an attorney licensed to practice law in North Carolina. Nothing contained herein should be viewed or understood to create or establish any attorney-client relationship between Mr. Surane and any viewer of this information. However, Mr. Surane is available for eviction processing and consultation and can be reached via the contact information on the Contact Page in this website.

What is a 10 Day Notice?
Generally speaking, in instances in which a lease is verbal or in which the written lease does not contain a forfeiture clause, N.C. General Statute Section 42-3 creates and implied forfeiture subject to the landlord having (i) made an unequivocal demand for all past due rent and allowing he tenant (10) days within which to tender the unpaid rent before filing an action in summary ejectment. NCGS allows a landlord to provide for a period of less than (10) days, or to waive this (10) day provision entirely. It is always advisable to have a lease with an express forfeiture clause. This avoids a tenants right to tender the rent prior to trial under NCGS 42-33. Additionally, an express forfeiture clause avoids any questions that may be raised by a tenant alleging that a (10) day demand was not provided prior to the landlord’s filing of a summary ejectment complaint.

After you submit your eviction, the attorney(s) handling your specific case will review your lease or 10-day demand notice to confirm compliance with appropriate state and local laws.

How do I know if my lease requires 10 Day Notice?
If your lease does not explicitly waive this notice, then written notice is required. If your lease states clearly that the 10-day notice of demand for payment required by North Carolina law is waived, then this notice is not required. If you submit an eviction through the website but are unsure as to whether your lease contains sufficient waiver, then you should include a request in the “Eviction Notes” section of your case submittal requesting your attorney to review your waiver provision.

If I have an oral lease is written notice required?
A 10-day written notice of demand for payment is required if you have an oral lease.

How long does the court take to process?
The time it takes to process an eviction can vary depending on the back log at the court in your county. The process begins with the filing of a Complaint in Summary Ejectment. Assuming your eviction claim is granted by the court and your tenant remains uncooperative, then the process ends with your local sheriff’s department appearing at your rental property to remove the tenant. This process typically takes 37days from start to finish. Of course, your attorney has no control over how fast the courts and sheriffs’ departments process evictions.

I was awarded Possession in court. What does this mean?
If your case is won in court, you are awarded a Judgment for Possession. This judgment is not final until a 10-day appeal period ends (elapsed days). After the appeal period ends, a Writ of Possession can be filed to have your tenant locked out of your property by your local Sheriff. This assumes that you have accepted no payment of rent from your tenant during this period.

Once the Writ of Possession is filed, what happens to my case?
Once the Writ of Possession is filed with the court, your local sheriff’s department will call you (the owner) directly and let you know the date and time that your lockout is scheduled to take place. You will also receive notice in the mail stating the date of your lockout. At this point, you are responsible for attending and conducting the lockout with the sheriff or making other arrangements (for example, coordinating with a locksmith).

My tenant has paid me what is owed? What happens next?
If your tenant pays you what is owed, and you have not accepted any rent for any period beyond the date of your hearing in Small Claims Court, you may proceed with the writ of possession. If you accept rent for one day beyond the date of your hearing in Small Claims Court, you will lose your right to obtain a writ of possession and you will not be able to eject your tenant.

There are no refunds for partial attorney processing in the event you elect to dismiss your case.

What if I want to file eviction for something other than Failure to Pay Rent (i.e. unauthorized persons or pets, damages to the property, illegal activity by the tenant)?
Our attorneys can handle even the nastiest of evictions. Eviction cases for issues other than Failure to Pay Rent need to be submitted under the Submit Complex Evictions link in the Landlord section of the website. Please make sure you explain the extenuating circumstances clearly in the Eviction Notes section of the Submit Complex Eviction form. Your attorney will contact you directly with any additional questions. Please also check your attorney’s fee structure on the Eviction & Fees page prior to submission because more complex cases usually require more time and resources to process.

Is there any guarantee that I will win my case?
No attorney can ever guarantee any particular outcome of litigation or legal representation, and evictions are no different. There is no guarantee that by using this website and its attorneys you will win your case. You will, however, have the benefit of knowing that a licensed attorney with eviction knowledge will be handling your case. Our attorneys are familiar with court proceedings and North Carolina eviction laws. This system was designed to give landlords like you the ability to have control over their properties without the hassle of having to know the intricate landlord-tenant laws or the sometimes intimidating judicial eviction process.