The information provided on this website is for general informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please contact Pisgah Legal Services or a private attorney if you need to speak with an attorney regarding your specific situation. You can apply online for Pisgah Legal at www.pisgahlegal.org/free-legal-assistance or call 1-800-489-6144.
UPDATED as of August 21, 2020.
Are evictions happening in North Carolina courts now?
Yes. Evictions were put on hold in the spring, but eviction courts are now open.
Are there any protections for tenants still in effect?
Yes, there are still a few protections for tenants that remain in effect. Every tenant facing eviction should contact PLS to find out what defenses may be available to them. For example, if a tenant did not pay rent that was due between May 31 through June 21, a landlord must give the tenant 6 months to repay this rent and cannot charge a late fee. If you owe rent besides that which was due between May 31 and June 21, it is possible that a court will award the landlord possession of the unit.
What if my rent is subsidized or my landlord has a Federally backed Mortgage? Can I be evicted for failure to pay rent?
Yes. Starting on July 25, 2020, landlords with a federally backed mortgage or those that manage subsidized units are allowed to start sending out 30 day notices to tenants to pay or vacate. Landlords must wait 30 days after providing this notice before filing an eviction.
How do I know if my landlord has a federally backed mortgage?
Landlords are required to file documentation in every eviction case stating whether their mortgage is federally backed or not.
If my landlord files an eviction, how long will it be before I have to go to court?
Evictions must go to Court within 30 days after service to the tenant. Normally, the law requires that evictions must be scheduled for hearing within 7 days of service to the tenant.
What should I do if I know that I will be unable to pay my landlord in the future for rent?
Talk to your landlord about the situation. Your landlord may be willing to put you on a payment plan. You should also call 211 and ask to be connected to charities that may be providing rental assistance because various rental assistance programs may be available now and in the future. Additionally, PLS encourages you to reach out to us or other legal services before you make a decision to move out due to nonpayment of rent. Call Pisgah Legal at 828-253-0406 or apply online at www.pisgahlegal.org/free-legal-assistance/
Will my electric, gas or water be shut off if I can’t pay?
No.North Carolina’s Utilities Commission says utilities including Duke Energy can’t resume disconnections of customers with overdue electric, gas, water and sewer bills before Sept. 1. It also ordered utilities to allow repayment periods of at least 12 months.
Can my utility company or my landlord charge me a late fee if I do not pay my utilities?
No. The governor’s order says that water, gas, and electric providers CANNOT charge you a late fee if you do not pay your utilities during this coronavirus crisis.
Do I still have to pay my water, electric, and gas bills?
Yes. You are still responsible for paying the bill. You should talk to the utility company or your landlord. They have to offer you a six-month payment plan to pay back what you owe.
What about telephone or internet bills? water, electric, and gas bills?
The governor’s order doesn’t cover these types of bills and service can be terminated for non-payment. However, you should still contact the utility provider and see if they will work with you. Some internet providers are providing free internet to families with children or college students in the home.
- Legal Aid Landlord-Tenant Information: http://www.legalaidnc.org/get-help/self-help-library/landlord-tenant
- NC Lawyer’s Referral Service: 1-800-662-7660
- NC Free Legal Answers: https://nc.freelegalanswers.org/
- North Carolina Justice Center (serving immigrants with or without status): https://www.ncjustice.org/getting-legal-assistance/
- Complaints to the NC Attorney General (if utilities are shut off during the coronavirus crisis): https://ncdoj.gov/file-a-complaint/consumer-complaint/