Free North Carolina Residential Lease Agreement

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Last Update June 12th, 2024


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What is a Lease in North Carolina

A North Carolina lease agreement is used to establish the terms and conditions that a landlord and tenant must follow in regard to a rental property. It is written in a way that complies with the laws of the state in which the property is located.

Lease agreements are similar to rental agreements as they are both legally binding contracts that define the terms of use and payment plans for a property. However, a lease agreement typically covers long-term leases while a rental agreement deals with short-term tenancies.

The following information should be included in a North Carolina lease agreement.

  • Period of time in which the tenant can occupy the property
  • Amount of rent that should be paid
  • Details about security deposits
  • Frequency of rental payments
  • Information about additional costs
  • Usage terms of the property
  • Eviction terms and procedures

Types of North Carolina Lease Agreements

There’s more than one type of lease agreement in North Carolina and selecting the correct one can be crucial. Each kind refers to a different type of property and/or rental situation. Therefore, you must create the right class of document, in order for your lease agreement to cover all the necessary terms.

The most common types of lease agreements in North Carolina include:

  • Standard residential lease agreements: Both the landlord and tenant commit to a fixed set of terms for a set period of time.
  • Rent-to-own lease agreements: Designed for tenants that wish to buy the property they are renting during or after the lease has ended. This typically requires the tenants to pay an additional sum of money each month, to cover the principal costs.
  • Month-to-month rental agreements: The same general terms as a standard residential lease contract, but they can be renewed, altered, or ended on a month-by-month basis.
  • Commercial lease agreements: Provided by landlords of retail property to tenants that will use the real estate to manage a business.
  • Room rental agreements: Used for rooms within properties that have shared living areas.
  • Sublease Agreement: A North Carolina sublease agreement allows tenants to reassign or ‘sublease’ the property to another individual. This requires the property landlord’s permission and must be specifically allowed in the original lease.

North Carolina Lease Addendums and Disclosures

Lease agreements need to include certain disclosures and addendums. These can vary significantly depending on the state in which the property is located. The following overview contains all the essential addendums for North Carolina lease agreements:

These essential addendums include the following:

Disclosure/Addendum Information That Must Be Disclosed
Lead paint disclosure Details whether or not lead paint can be found on the premises (if the building was constructed before 1978).
Security deposit holding disclosure Section with the security deposit regulations of North Carolina.

North Carolina Lease Agreement Laws

North Carolina lease agreements must be written according to the laws of NC state, to ensure that they are legally binding and hold up in court. These regulations will determine what terms you must include in the contract.

The most relevant laws to take into consideration when renting a property in North Carolina are:

  • Security deposits: North Carolina landlords may charge no more than two months’ rent for fixed-term leases and a maximum of 1 months’ rent for month-to-month tenancies. This must be returned to the tenant within 30 days of vacating the property and returning the keys. Landlords may also provide a written notice extending this a further 30 days if repair estimates need to be made.

  • Landlord’s right to enter: Landlords can enter the rental property without giving advance notice. However, it is recommended to give at least 24 hour’s notice to the tenant as a courtesy.

North Carolina Residential Lease Agreement Sample

Before beginning the process of creating a residential lease agreement in North Carolina it is sensible to review an example document first. Use our North Carolina lease agreement sample below to find out more about the structure and contents of a fully-fledged rental contract.

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Residential Lease Agreement North Carolina Sample

FAQs About North Carolina Lease Agreement

It is important to carefully prepare a North Carolina lease agreement to suit the needs of the landlord and tenant exactly. To help demystify the process a little simply review our FAQs below to learn more about the specificities of rental contracts in North Carolina.

How to Get a Lease Agreement in North Carolina?

It is possible to create a North Carolina lease agreement completely online. Using our residential lease agreement maker you can tailor your document for your specific needs and take advantage of professional templates and expert tips.

How to Write an NC Lease Termination Letter?

If either the landlord or tenant for any reason needs to terminate a North Carolina lease agreement early, they must provide the correct amount of notice in a written NC lease termination letter.

This letter needs to contain the following information:

  • The name of the landlord and the tenant
  • The date the letter has been written and signed
  • The name and address of the property in question
  • Information explaining why the tenancy needs to be terminated early
  • The reason the lease is being broken
  • The date that the resident will vacate the property
  • Acknowledgment of any penalties that will be incurred
  • Signature of the signing party

What Are the Advantages of a Written Lease?

It’s important to have a written North Carolina lease agreement in operation whether you are a landlord or a tenant. There are many advantages to having a formal contract for a rental property such as the right to recourse if the terms are violated and the protection of important legal rights for rental property owners and residents.

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Residential Lease Agreement North Carolina Sample

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Preview of your North Carolina Residential Lease Agreement

This Residential Lease Agreement (hereinafter, the "Lease Agreement") is dated as of _________ (hereinafter, the "Effective Date") and is entered into by and between _________ (hereinafter, the "Landlord") and the following residents:


(hereinafter, the "Tenant(s)").

The Landlord and the Tenant(s) agree as follows:

A. The Landlord is the owner of certain real property and improvements described as a house located at _________, _________, North Carolina _________ (hereinafter, the "Property").

B. The Landlord rents to the Tenant(s) and the Tenant(s) rents from the Landlord the Property according to the terms and conditions described in this Lease Agreement.

C. Unless otherwise indicated in the Lease Agreement, no other portion of the building (hereinafter, the “Building”) is included in the Lease.

D. Unless otherwise indicated in the Lease Agreement, the Property is for the sole use as a personal residence by the person(s) named above only.

The term of the Lease Agreement begins on _________ (hereinafter, the "Commencement Date"), and shall continue from that date as a month-to-month tenancy.

Such month-to-month tenancy may be terminated by the Tenant(s) by giving the Landlord written notice of intention to terminate the tenancy at least seven (7) days prior to the intended Termination Date.

The Landlord may terminate the tenancy by giving the Tenant(s) written notice of intention to terminate the tenancy at least seven (7) days prior to the intended Termination Date.

These notices may be given on any date.
The Tenant(s) shall vacate the Property upon termination of the Lease Agreement, unless:

(i) The Landlord and the Tenant(s) have, in writing, extended this agreement or signed a new agreement.
(ii) Mandated by local rent control law.
(iii) The Landlord accepts Rent from the Tenant(s) (other than past due Rent), in which case a month-to-month tenancy shall be created which either party may terminate.

In this case, either party may terminate the tenancy by giving written notice at least seven (7) days prior to the intended Termination Date. Such notices may be given on any date. Rent shall be at a rate agreed to by the Landlord and the Tenant(s), or as allowed by law. All other terms and conditions of this Agreement shall remain in full force and effect.

The Tenant(s) is hereby notified that the Owner or Landlord _________ is the Property Manager in charge of repairs or maintenance of the Property.

If the Tenant(s) has any complaint regarding any issue about the Property, _________ shall be contacted by one of the following methods:

Address: _________
Telephone: _________
Email: _________

The Tenant(s) shall pay the Landlord monthly rent in the amount of $_________ (hereinafter, the "Rent") for each full month during this lease.

The full month's rent is due and payable not later than the 1st day of each month lease period.

Please Take Notice that mail delays will not excuse the Tenant(s)'s obligation to pay the Rent in a timely manner.
Place of Payment:

The Tenant(s) shall remit all rent payment amounts owed to the Landlord under this Lease Agreement to the Landlord and make all amounts payable to the following address:


The Landlord may later change the person and place to which the Tenant(s) must remit the rental amounts due under this Lease Agreement.

Please Take Notice that you must place the Property address and the Tenant(s)'s name on all payments.
Method of Payment:

The Tenant(s) shall pay all rent by selecting any of the following forms of payment (select one or more):
If the Landlord agrees that the Tenant(s) shall have the right to sub-let the Property or any part thereof, or if the Property is leased under any form of multiple or joint tenancies, the Tenant(s) shall be responsible for collecting the lease payment from the sublessee(s) or joint lessee and submitting it to the Landlord in a single and complete payment.

Moreover, the Tenant(s) shall be responsible for any lease payment not received by the Landlord by the due date stated in the present Lease Agreement. All partial payments made for an incomplete monthly period shall be pro-rated at the rate of 1/30th of the monthly lease payment per day.

Lastly, the Landlord shall have the option to accept or reject payments made by third parties, but such acceptance or rejection of payment shall not imply a future obligation to accept or reject payments submitted by third parties.

During the Term of this Lease Agreement, the only individuals the Tenant(s) may permit to reside on the Property are the following:


The Tenant(s), Occupants, or guests shall only use the roof and/or fire escapes in case of emergency. The aforementioned parties shall not use these parts of the Property to store, deposit, or place any personal property.

The Landlord shall have the following responsibilities:

(i) Provide operable smoke alarms, either battery-operated or electrical, having a testing laboratory approval, and install the smoke alarms following either the standards of the National Fire Protection Association or the minimum protection designated in the manufacturer's instructions, which the Landlord shall retain or provide as proof of compliance. The Landlord shall replace or repair the smoke alarms within 15 days of receipt of notification if the Landlord is notified of needed replacement or repairs in writing by the Tenant(s).

(ii) Ensure that a smoke alarm is operable and in good repair at the beginning of each tenancy. Unless the Landlord and the Tenant(s) have a written agreement to the contrary, the Landlord shall place new batteries in a battery-operated smoke alarm at the beginning of a tenancy.

(iii) Repair or remedy within a reasonable time based upon the severity of the condition, any imminently dangerous condition on the premises after acquiring actual knowledge or receiving notice of the condition. This notwithstanding, the Landlord may recover from the Tenant(s) the actual and reasonable costs of repairs that are the fault of the Tenant(s).
(iv) Install a new smoke alarm or replace an existing 10-year lithium battery smoke alarm. However, the Landlord shall not be required to install a tamper-resistant, 10-year lithium battery smoke alarm if the dwelling unit is equipped with a hardwired smoke alarm with a battery backup or the dwelling unit is equipped with a smoke alarm combined with a carbon monoxide alarm that provides a minimum of one operable carbon monoxide alarm per rental unit per level, either battery-operated or electrical, that is listed by a nationally recognized testing laboratory that is OSHA-approved, and installs the carbon monoxide alarms following either the standards of the National Fire Protection Association or the minimum protection designated in the manufacturer's instructions, which the Landlord shall retain or provide as proof of compliance.
The Tenant(s) shall have the following responsibilities:

(i) Keep that part of the premises that the Tenant(s) occupies and uses as clean and safe as the conditions of the premises permit and cause no unsafe or unsanitary conditions in the common areas and the remainder of the premises that the Tenant(s) uses.

(ii) Dispose of all ashes, rubbish, garbage, and other waste cleanly and safely.

(iii) Keep all plumbing fixtures in the dwelling unit as clean as their condition permits.

(iv) Not deliberately or negligently destroy, deface, damage, or remove any part of the premises, nor render inoperable the smoke alarm or carbon monoxide alarm provided by the Landlord, or knowingly permit any person to do so.

(v) Comply with all obligations imposed upon the Tenant(s) by current applicable building and housing codes.

(vi) Be responsible for all damage, defacement, or removal of any property inside a dwelling unit in the Tenant(s)'s exclusive control unless the damage, defacement, or removal was due to ordinary wear and tear acts of the Landlord, or the Landlord's agent, defective products supplied or repairs authorized by the Landlord, acts of third parties not invitees of the Tenant(s), or natural forces.

(vii) Notify the Landlord, in writing, of the need to replace or repair a smoke alarm or carbon monoxide alarm. The Tenant(s) shall replace the smoke alarm and carbon monoxide alarm batteries as needed during the tenancy, except where the smoke alarm is a tamper-resistant, 10-year lithium battery smoke alarm. Failure of the Tenant(s) to replace the batteries as needed shall not be considered negligence on the part of the Tenant(s) or the Landlord.

The Tenant(s) shall be solely responsible for and shall pay expenses for all utilities and services used or consumed at the Property.

Pursuant to North Carolina General Statutes § 42-3, the Landlord and the Tenant(s) agree that there shall be an implied forfeiture of the Lease Agreement upon the Tenant's failure to pay the rent within ten (10) days after a demand is made by the Landlord or his agent on the Tenant(s) for all past-due rent. The Landlord may forthwith enter and dispossess the Tenant(s) without declaring such forfeiture or reserved the right of reentry in the Lease Agreement.

The Tenant(s) shall not keep or have on the Property any article or item of a dangerous, flammable, or explosive material that might unreasonably increase the danger of fire or explosion on the Property or that might be considered hazardous or extra hazardous by any responsible insurance company.

The Landlord and the Landlord's agents shall have the right at all reasonable times, and by all reasonable means during the term of this Lease Agreement and any renewal thereof, to enter the Property for the following purposes:

a. Survey the Property's condition and take photographs to document the condition.
b. Make repairs or improvements to the Property.
c. Supply agreed services.
d. Show the Property to prospective buyers or tenants.
e. Exercise a contractual or statutory lien.
f. Leave a written notice.
g. Seize nonexempt property if the Tenant(s) is in default.

Except in case of emergency, the Landlord will give the Tenant(s) reasonable notice of intent to enter. For these purposes, twenty-four (24) hour written notice will be deemed reasonable.

The Tenant(s) agrees that, during the Term of this Lease Agreement, will promptly comply with any present and future laws, ordinances, orders, rules, regulations, and requirements of the Federal, State, County, City, and Municipal government or any of their departments, bureaus, boards, commissions, and officials thereof with respect to the Property, or the use or occupancy thereof, whether said compliance shall be ordered or directed to or against the Tenant(s), the Landlord, or both.

The Tenant(s) acknowledges that this Lease Agreement is not transferable and that the Tenant(s) may not assign or sublet this Lease Agreement, grant any license to use the Property or any interest in the Property, or any part thereof, nor mortgage or pledge this Lease Agreement.

The Tenant(s) shall not contravene this provision, unless the Landlord expressly waivers this prohibition in writing, the consent of which the Landlord may, in any case, withhold in its sole and absolute discretion.

Notice required by statute will be given in accordance with the applicable statute. All other notices shall be deemed sufficient if made as follows:

      - All notices to the Landlord shall be directed by personal delivery or first-class mail to the Landlord at the appropriate address set forth below, until Tenant is notified, in writing, to the contrary.

      - All notices to Tenant shall be directed by personal delivery or first-class mail to Tenant at the Leased Property or any forwarding address provided in writing by Tenant to the Landlord.



_________, _________, North Carolina _________

Such addresses may be changed from time to time by any party by providing notice as set forth above.

The exclusive venue is in the county where the Property is located. This Lease Agreement shall be governed, construed, and interpreted by the Laws of the State of North Carolina.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the Landlord and the Tenant(s) have executed this Agreement in the manner prescribed by law as of the Effective Date.

By: ___________________________________ Date: __________________

By: ___________________________________ Date: __________________
North Carolina Lease Agreement
Inspection Checklist:
Address: _________, _________, North Carolina _________

The Tenant(s) has inspected the Property and states that the Property is in satisfactory condition, free of defects, except as noted below:
Bathrooms  __________________________________
Carpeting  __________________________________
Ceilings  __________________________________
Closets  __________________________________
Countertops  __________________________________
Dishwasher  __________________________________
Disposal  __________________________________
Doors  __________________________________
Fireplace  __________________________________
Lights  __________________________________
Locks  __________________________________
Refrigerator  __________________________________
Screens  __________________________________
Stove  __________________________________
Walls  __________________________________
Windows  __________________________________
Window coverings  __________________________________




By: ___________________________________ Date: __________________
Acknowledged by Landlord:

By: ___________________________________ Date: __________________
North Carolina Lease Agreement
Disclosure of Information on Contaminated Water

This agreement is entered into by and between _________, the "Landlord", and _________, the "Tenant(s)". The Tenant(s) is renting from Landlord the Property located at: _________, _________, North Carolina _________ (hereinafter, the "Property").

Under the North Carolina General Statutes § 42-42, water contamination levels exceeding the maximum level allowed by § 10.130A must be disclosed to the Tenant(s) if the Landlord charges for water or sewage services.

The Tenant(s) is responsible for:

☐ Water
☐ Sewage
☐ Neither

The Landlord certifies that the Property:

☐ Does contain a contaminant level that exceeds the maximum level allowed by § 10.130A.
☐ Does not contain a contaminant level that exceeds the maximum level allowed by § 10.130A.
Certification of Accuracy

The following parties have reviewed the information above and certify, to the best of their knowledge, that the information they have provided is true and accurate.


By: ___________________________________ Date: __________________
Acknowledged by Landlord:

By: ___________________________________ Date: __________________
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