Landlord-tenant relations are not always easy to navigate, whether as a landlord or as a tenant. Both tenants and landlords owe one another specific duties, and failure to abide by those duties can result in legal disputes. This is especially prevalent in an eviction situation of tenants suspected of criminal activity.
Sorting out legal rights and responsibilities in the context of criminal drug investigations can be a difficult matter. For landlord's, it is important to protect their property and the safety of other tenants. For tenants, there is an interest in retaining their housing situation if at all possible. The law has to balance out these interests.
One aspect of this balancing of interests is that, under North Carolina law, landlords are required to file for an eviction of tenants arrested for drug trafficking in order to have returned to them any property that was confiscated as part of the investigation. The most efficient way to achieve this is through an expedited eviction proceeding in North Carolina District Court. The expedited eviction pricess requires that a court hear the matter within the first term of court following after thirty (30) days from the service of the complaint. The benefits of this pricess also include the fact that it avoids a traditional appeal from North Carolina Small Claims Court, going directly to District Court.
Further the tenant also has the right to provide any affirmative defenses or exemption qualifications it has to avoid a complete eviction under the expedited eviction proceeding. In our next post, we'll continue looking at this issue, including the rights of landlords and tenants in expedited eviction proceedings.