N.C. Legislature passes eviction appeal and other procedural streamlining laws!

ImageEffective October 1, 2013, tenants who fail to appear at an eviction hearing in small claims court, neglect to file a responsive pleading with their appeal or forget to pay their rent bond and/or monthly rent going forward after the appeal may have their appeal dismissed before they can have their day in district court. Specifically, the revised statute allows a landlord to file motion to dismiss with the clerk of court in these circumstances. If the tenant fails to file an answer or pay their required costs, the landlord can submit a written order to the clerk demanding that the appeal be dismissed. In addition, the new revisions also require that magistrates enter judgment the day of the hearing (unless otherwise agreed to by the parties) and parties must consent to a continuance longer than five days or to the next session of court. Finally, after the lockout is completed, tenants have only seven days to demand access to obtain personal property; otherwise the landlord may sell (with seven days’ notice) or dispose of it.  These modifications streamline eviction process and weed out delay based appeals with no legal merit.

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