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Landlord-Tenant Laws: Can My Landlord Throw Me Out If I Get A Pet?


North Carolina landlord-tenant law is very clear on the responsibilities of both a landlord and a tenant. At the very minimum, a landlord must provide a safe and habitable home for his tenant. A tenant must keep the home safe, avoid damage to the home and pay his rent on time. In most situations, the relationship between the landlord and tenant goes well; however, there may be cases where that relationship becomes strained. When this occurs, you must look to the North Carolina landlord-tenant laws as well as the conditions and terms of the rental agreement to determine if a landlord has violated a tenant’s legal rights.

Breaching a Contract by Getting a Pet

While there is not a specific landlord-tenant law prohibiting tenants from having a pet, the landlord can include this condition in a rental agreement. If your rental agreement prohibits pets entirely, your landlord may attempt to prove to the court that you breached or “broke” the rental agreement by having a pet in the home. However, the rental agreement must contain a clause that permits the landlord to evict you before the lease ends if you violate the agreement. This is called a forfeiture clause. The landlord must provide evidence to the court that you did, in fact, break the lease in order to evict you from the home. You will have the opportunity to present evidence to contradict the landlord to demonstrate that you have not violated the terms of your rental agreement.  It is important that you contact a landlord-tenant attorney as soon as you receive an eviction notice.

North Carolina Landlord-Tenant Responsibilities

As discussed above, landlords and tenants have certain responsibilities under North Carolina landlord-tenant laws. Below are examples of some of these responsibilities. You may or may not have additional responsibilities as a landlord or tenant depending on your unique situation or your rental agreement. If you have a question about landlord-tenant laws, you should contact our office. Examples of landlord responsibilities under NC landlord-tenant laws:

  • Perform repairs to provide a safe living space
  • Provide a smoke alarm
  • Maintain the electrical, plumbing, heating and sanitary systems
  • If appliances are provided, make necessary repairs if they break down
  • Maintain common areas such as stairs, sidewalks, etc.
  • Obey all housing codes and regulations

Examples of tenant responsibilities under NC landlord-tenant laws:

  • Pay all rent payments on time
  • Maintain a clean and safe home
  • Avoid damage to the home
  • Provide notice if you move out or end your rental agreement according to the terms of your agreement. If no written agreement, provide notice within 2 days if you pay rent each week, 7 days if you pay rent each month and 1 month if the lease is year to year.
  • Abide by the terms and conditions contained in your written rental agreement.

Contact an Experienced Jacksonville Landlord/Tenant Attorney

“Attorneys Who Aggressively Protect Your Rights”

The Trevor J. Avery Law Firm, LLP is a full-service Jacksonville Criminal and Civil law firm that is committed to providing results-driven legal representation to businesses and individuals seeking an alternative to large-firm representation. We focus on getting you the results you want while offering you a cost-effective solution to your legal needs. We understand that we work for our clients; therefore; our attorneys communicate regularly with each client to ensure that the client knows what is going with the case. When you have legal problems, you need an experienced legal professional in your corner. No matter the case, you should have an attorney working for you who knows the law and who has the experience to get results. We represent clients throughout Duplin County, Onslow County and the surrounding communities. Call our office at (910) 405-8459 or contact us online today for a free case evaluation.