Leases may have flexible or fixed lengths

| Jan 31, 2020 | Landlord/tenant Matters |

Those who want to rent property in North Carolina will likely need to sign a lease. Leases may either come with a fixed term or be renewed on a monthly basis. If the lease does not have a fixed term, it can be changed or terminated at any time by the tenant or landlord. A tenant who chooses to terminate a written lease must notify the landlord before moving out in accordance with the lease. Typically, 30 or 60 days’ notice is required for either party to terminate the lease after the end of the initial lease term.

If a tenant obtains a lease that has a fixed term, he or she is liable for paying rent for the entire term. A tenant who breaks the lease could be required to pay for the months that he or she does not pay rent.

However, tenants are typically only responsible for the period of time that the property was left vacant. They could also lose the security deposit given to the landlord when the lease was signed. One benefit of a long-term lease is that a landlord can’t raise the rent or otherwise negotiate new terms until it expires. Long-term leases typically last for a year, but it is possible to find landlords who offer multi-year leases.

Individuals who own rental property may want to consult with an attorney prior to taking on a tenant. This may ensure that a lease is crafted in a way that conforms to North Carolina law. An attorney may also help a tenant better understand his or her obligations under a lease. In many cases, issues between landlords and tenants can be resolved without the need to go to court. However, legal representation may be available if litigation does occur.

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