What You Need To Know About Breaking a Lease in North Carolina

iEditorial Note: These blog posts represent the opinion of DoNotPay’s Writers, but each person’s situation and circumstances vary greatly. As a result, you should make sure to do your own independent research. Because everyone is unique, our self-help tools are never guaranteed to help with any specific situation. DoNotPay is not a law firm and is not licensed to practice law. DoNotPay provides a platform for legal information and self-help.

How To Break A Lease In NC Without Incurring Expenses

You need to know how to in NC. Otherwise, the landlord may sue you. And it's likely the court won't take your side.

Defending themselves is something many landlords come prepared for. They keep lawyers on retainer that know how to manipulate tenants' rights and endorse the rights of landlords. The average tenant goes into battle with a bare-bones understanding of their rights; get a lawyer and you'll have serious bills on your hands.

Understanding tenant laws means you’ll have the upper hand in this situation. Knowing about DoNotPay's process for settling landlord disputes and breaking a lease in NC can take you to the next level.

Tenant Rights and Responsibilities When Signing a Lease in North Carolina

Too many tenants sign on the dotted line without knowing what's on the page. Regardless, tenants have irrefutable tenant rights.

You have the right to privacy and to reasonable repair and upgrade. You can exercise a right to "repair and deduct" if your landlord refuses to make crucial repairs. A landlord must return security deposits after a legal move-out.

Among tenant responsibilities are keeping the unit in good condition and paying rent on time and late fees if you don't. You must respect your neighbors and other tenants and not engage in behavior that disturbs the peace. You must do your part keeping common areas sanitary.

Instances for Legally Breaking a Lease in North Carolina

Uninhabitable living conditions are the foremost reason for . Unsafe floorboards, leaks, holes, peeling paint or plaster, no proper waste disposal, and lack of heat and other essentials are legitimate arguments. But the court expects you to prove you attempted to resolve these issues.

Here are things to do to back your argument:

  1. Withhold rent
  2. Pay for repairs; take expenses out of the rent and keep receipts
  3. File a complaint with state or local health or building inspectors

Reasons for Terminating the Lease

DoNotPay can help you defend yourself in any of these situations:

1. Landlord Violates Privacy RightsNorth Carolina has no law that specifies a reasonable amount of time, but landlords must give some form of notice before coming onto the premises.
2. You're Starting Active Military DutyFederal law allows breaking a lease in North Carolina if you're called for active service. Notify the landlord in writing and attach a copy of the military order.
3. Duty To Find a New TenantLandlords must make what's considered reasonable efforts to re-rent. Unfortunate end results may include you paying a fraction of the rent. You might even be liable for paying rent for the remainder of the lease.
4. HarassmentThere are common reasons why landlords harass tenants.
  • You complain, to the landlord's mind, too much
  • The landlord wants you out
  • The landlord's breaking the Federal Fair Housing Act

Forms of harassment include:

  • Raising your rent
  • Entering the premises without notice
  • Disrupting utilities
  • Removing items from the unit
  • Changing locks
  • Refusing to make repairs
  • Verbally and/or physically threatening behavior
  • Not accepting rent
5. Deliberate VictimizationTenant laws forbid intimidation or unwanted behavior. This includes but isn't limited to:
  • Domestic violence
  • Stalking
  • Invasion of privacy

Provide the landlord in writing with your desire to break the lease and why. Include evidence such as:

  • Copy of the restraining order
  • Copy of order of protection
  • Address confidentiality program card
  • Copy of a safety plan from a domestic or sexual assault program

The lease ends after 30 days of notice receipt but this doesn't mean the landlord won't fight it.

Lease Termination Notice Requirement in North Carolina

Tenants don't need to provide advance notice for fixed-end leases. For weekly terms, the landlord must receive a notice seven days before leaving. Month-to-month requires a thirty-day written notice. Year-to-year has no statute but it's recommended you notify the landlord as early as possible.

Consequences of Illegally Breaking a Lease

Breaking a lease is going to be a pain. A few things that could happen as a result of breaking your lease:

  • The landlord sues you.
  • The court sides with the landlord. Charged with breach of contract, you end up paying rent owed and rent due. You might be responsible for repairs the unit needs for the next tenant.
  • The court puts an eviction on record. This judgment negatively impacts your credit score and ability to find a new place to live.

Reasons You Can’t Break a Lease

Any reason you need to vacate has to be a legitimate reaction to unsafe conditions. You cannot break a lease because you found a better or cheaper place. The law doesn't allow you to break a lease to get married, go away to school, or move in with family.

Best Ways for Breaking a Lease in North Carolina on Your Own

The first step is letting your landlord know your intentions and to see if you can agree on how to break the lease.

If it's a situation you're not comfortable directly addressing, reach out to a lawyer. Or simplify the matter by using DoNotPay to prepare and send a notice.

Your lease may have an early termination clause and terms for implementing it. (One of many reasons why tenants should carefully review their lease.) This clause often includes a fee.

If the violation is serious, just the threat of a complaint may be enough. But avoid confrontation. Let the landlord know the situation (in writing). They'll recognize the consequences of a complaint and may want to avoid them.

What To Do if You Can’t Break the Lease Yourself

If your efforts with the landlord fail, give the following a try:

  • Contact your local consumer advocate
  • Have an inspector check the unit's habitability
  • Get legal counsel
  • Let DoNotPay walk you through the next steps

Break a Lease in North Carolina With the Help of DoNotpay

Putting together a legal argument for breaking a lease in NC can be a tedious task.

Here's how to get started in three easy steps:

  1. Search Break My Lease on DoNotPay.

  2. Prepare a signed copy of your lease that you can use as a reference and enter the state the lease was signed in.

  3. Let us guide you through the 4 potential options.

Why Use DoNotpay to Break a Lease in North Carolina

The appeal of DoNotPay is the simplicity of its services. Our process is fast, saving hours to solve an issue. You don't struggle to track steps as we do it for you.

DoNotPay Works Across All Entities

DoNotPay can help break a lease in every state. We're a hub for getting repairs, writing demand letters, and fighting rent increases. And we do this for businesses, churches, nonprofits, and tenants.

What Else Can DoNotpay Do?

DoNotPay provides a series of services that fight big business, parking tickets, and unfair practices. We manage finding and deleting old accounts, changing mailing addresses, and canceling subscriptions. DoNotPay is the legal platform for taking on bureaucracy.

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