Security Deposits per North Carolina General Statute §42-52.

Security Deposits per North Carolina General Statute §  42-52.

Landlord’s obligations:  Upon termination of the tenancy, money held by the landlord as security may be applied as permitted in  G.S. 42-51 or, if not so applied, shall be refunded to the tenant. In either case the landlord

1)     in writing shall itemize any damage (this means put a monetary value and list of damages) and

2)     mail or deliver same to the tenant, together with the balance of the security deposit, no later than 30 days after termination of the tenancy and delivery of possession of the premises to the landlord.

3)     If the extent of the landlord’s claim against the security deposit cannot be determined within 30 days, the landlord shall provide the tenant with an interim accounting no later than 30 days after termination of the tenancy and delivery of possession of the premises to the landlord

4)     and shall provide a final accounting within 60 days after termination of the tenancy and delivery of possession of the premises to the landlord.

5)     If the tenant’s address is unknown the landlord shall apply the deposit as permitted in  G.S. 42-51 after a period of 30 days and the landlord shall hold the balance of the deposit for collection by the tenant for at least six months.

NOTE: If don’t know Tenant’s new address, then mail the Security Deposit itemization to the address of the property that tenant leased to you, in case the tenant has mail forwarding.

NOTE: The landlord may not withhold as damages part of the security deposit for conditions that are due to normal wear and tear nor may the landlord retain an amount from the security deposit which exceeds his actual damages.


§ 42-51.  Permitted uses of the security deposit.

(a)        Security deposits for residential dwelling units shall be permitted only for the following:

(1)        The tenant's possible nonpayment of rent and costs for water or sewer services provided pursuant to G.S. 62-110(g) and electric service pursuant to G.S. 62-110(h).

(2)        Damage to the premises, including damage to or destruction of smoke alarms or carbon monoxide alarms.

(3)        Damages as the result of the nonfulfillment of the rental period, except where the tenant terminated the rental agreement under G.S. 42-45, G.S. 42-45.1, or because the tenant was forced to leave the property because of the landlord's violation of Article 2A of Chapter 42 of the General Statutes or was constructively evicted by the landlord's violation of G.S. 42-42(a).

(4)        Any unpaid bills that become a lien against the demised property due to the tenant's occupancy.

(5)        The costs of re-renting the premises after breach by the tenant, including any reasonable fees or commissions paid by the landlord to a licensed real estate broker to re-rent the premises.

(6)        The costs of removal and storage of the tenant's property after a summary ejectment proceeding.

(7)        Court costs.

(8)        Any fee permitted by G.S. 42-46.

(b)        The security deposit shall not exceed an amount equal to two weeks' rent if a tenancy is week to week, one and one-half months' rent if a tenancy is month to month, and two months' rent for terms greater than month to month. These deposits must be fully accounted for by the landlord as set forth in G.S. 42-52.


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