Free North Carolina Lease Agreements (7 Types) – PDF | Word


A North Carolina lease agreement is a formal contract that generally obligates property owners (termed as landlords or lessors) to rent out their property in exchange for a specified periodic payment from the renter (also named tenant or lessee). The agreement establishes the length of the lease term, the amount of rent, the type of utilities to be provided to tenants, and other terms and conditions of leasing.

Lease agreements must be executed under landlord-tenant laws in NC (North Carolina) and must be signed to be legally binding. A real estate lease aims to provide certainty by specifying what will take place and how it will take place. By having a written agreement, the parties involved in the lease reduce any disputes about whether the terms are being met. If there’s a dispute between landlord and tenant, an established lease agreement can help both parties work through any issues.

This article will discuss how to effectively execute a lease agreement in North Carolina, different types of leases, and the fundamental component of such an agreement.

Different Types of North Carolina Lease Agreement

Due to the circumstances under which property can be leased, lease agreements in NC will differ from one case to another. These leases will vary in lease duration, type of property, signatories, etc.

Common types of leases in North Carolina include:

Association of realtors version

Landlords can designate the tasks to market, vet tenants, negotiate lease terms and create lease agreements with a realtor registered with the NC Association of Realtors. In such a case, the association of realtors’ lease agreement version records the terms and conditions between the landlord and the tenant.

Commercial lease agreement

A commercial lease agreement is used to rent property used for business purposes in North Carolina. Shared office space, retail shops, self-storage facilities, restaurants, warehouses, and health care clinics are all examples of property that will be leased using a commercial lease agreement.

Month-to-month lease agreement

This lease agreement is used to lease property every month for an unspecified period. Either party can terminate the lease with short notice – 7 days’ notice in North Carolina.

Rent-to-own lease agreement

A rent-to-own lease allows a tenant to make monthly payments for an extended period. At the end of the contracted term or period, the tenant can purchase the property at a predetermined price.

Roommate lease agreement

A roommate lease agreement in NC typically allows two or more people to live in the same apartment. The parties agree on the rent split between each occupant and shared responsibilities for the rental unit and lease.

Standard lease agreement

Alternatively, a fixed-term agreement is a lease with a specified execution and expiry date with no grounds for termination unless both parties agree otherwise. A standard lease agreement is used to rent property on a fixed lease term, typically every month, for 1 (one) year. This agreement is not specific to any property and can be used for any property type.

Sublease agreement

A sublease agreement is used when tenants cannot reside in the property for an extended period, and tenants allow other tenants to reside in the property on their behalf while they are away to generate income while still being legally responsible for the obligations stipulated in the original lease agreement. Everyday subletting situations in NC include graduate students, job placement agencies, military service members, etc.Under a sublease, the second tenant (sublessee) does not have a direct lease agreement with the landlord.

North Carolina Lease Agreement Components

The components of the agreement address different aspects of the lease, from financial such as payment terms to legal aspects such as disclosures. These components will vary from lease to lease. However, the standard components of lease agreements in NC include:

Name of parties

The identification of the parties to the contract must be given in the agreement. This refers to the parties involved in the agreement, such as the landlord and tenant. Note that an entity such as a business can be operating in either capacity or, if so, their legal business name should be included.

Property address

The property being rented should be identified in the lease agreement. This is done by providing the property’s street address, city, ZIP code, and unit number. 

Terms information

A section detailing the type of lease being executed ought to be included. Lease agreements can be month-to-month, fixed-term leases, weekly leases, or others. This section should reflect how long the agreement will be effective.  

Rental amount

The amount of rent payment payable under the lease agreement should be specified. This section will include the monthly rent, due date, payment method (cash, bank deposit, or check), and address to forward checks. 

Late fee

If the rent is not paid as stipulated in the agreement, a late fee may be charged. The amount of the late fee and when it will apply should be stipulated in this section. 

Security deposit

The amount of money to be held by the landlord as a deposit against damages tenants may cause to the property during their tenancy should be specified in this section. The security deposit covers furniture, appliances, interior, exterior walls, etc.

Initial payment

Tenants are expected to pay the first month’s rent and other initial payments, such as a security deposit, upon signing the lease agreement or before occupancy. The agreement should indicate the total sum and when it is due.


The lease agreement should identify any number of persons that will occupy the property other than the tenant. The number and names of each occupant should be listed in this section, whether they are adults or minors. In addition, the lease should list who is allowed to use the rented property for commercial property.


The NC lease agreement should identify all utilities accessible to the tenant and the party responsible for covering associated costs. Various utilities covered in the lease agreement include water, electricity, gas, and sewage.


The lease agreement should stipulate all parking arrangements for the particular property. This section should indicate if parking spaces are available and whether the tenant is entitled to free or for-fee parking.


Leases may include a clause listing all furnishings with the rental unit. This includes an oven, cooker, washing machine, etc. This clause can also direct tenants to maintain all appliances and furniture provided by the landlord in good condition. Tenants will also be expected to return all appliances, furniture, and fixtures at the termination of their lease. Additionally, it can highlight furnishings the tenant is prohibited from installing in the rental unit.


In NC, standard lease agreements usually include a clause for notice how notices should be issued between the landlord and tenant. This clause should indicate the lessor and lessee’s name and mailing address. This section should also indicate the number of days of the required notice.


This section should indicate who can initiate eviction proceedings on what grounds. Common grounds for eviction in North Carolina are non-payment of rent and breach of terms in the lease agreement.

Additional terms

Additional terms and conditions may be added to the lease agreement to cater to the specific needs of a particular situation. However, such terms must be reasonable under the circumstances to ensure compliance with NC landlord-tenant law.

Signature and date

The lease should designate the parties that need to sign and date the agreement. This can be a landlord, tenant, real estate broker, or anyone else involved in the execution of the document.


The landlord should make full and accurate disclosure of all information relating to the property and lease agreements as per laws in North Carolina. This applies to both commercial leases and residential properties.

Some of the disclosures required by state laws to include in NC lease agreements are as follows:

Lead-based paint disclosure

All older homes built before 1978 may contain lead paint that requires remediation and containment. Therefore, the landlord must notify the tenant of the presence of such paint as soon as possible. The tenant must then sign this disclosure.

Security deposit receipt disclosure

This disclosure is done following (§ 42-50). The law declares that if the landlord charges a security deposit, they are obligated to issue a notification detailing the name and mailing address of the financial institution where the money is held. This notification should be given within thirty days after receiving the money. The law also requires the deposit to be held in a trust account with a licensed financial institution operating in NC. Alternatively, it can be preserved as a bond of equal value from an insurance company authorized to operate in North Carolina.  

Water contamination level

Under (§ 42-42(6)), if a landlord is charging for water and sewer services, they must disclose that they are aware that the contamination level of the water supplied is beyond the maximum permitted.

Late fees

The landlord must disclose any late fees or penalties charged to the tenant under certain circumstances, such as rent payment delays and NSF checks. Under (§ 42-46), late fees should be charged five days after the due date indicated in the lease agreement. The late fees should be capped at $15 or 5% of the rental payments or $4 or 5% weekly equivalent rental payments, whichever is higher. In the event of NSF checks, landlords are allowed to charge a fee of $25 per check by (§ 25-3-506) or the amount indicated in the NC lease agreement.

Landlord-Tenants Laws

Landlord-tenant laws govern certain aspects of a lease, from security deposit issuance to the landlord’s access to the premises. The laws stipulate that:

Security deposit maximum

The landlord must obey NC laws of lease agreements to handle security deposits. How security deposits are to be charged will vary depending on the type of lease – (§ 42-51). A security deposit not exceeding two months’ rent can be charged for leases longer than traditional month-to-month leases. However, the landlord shouldn’t charge more than one and a half months’ rent for month-to-month leases. A security deposit equivalent to two weeks’ rent can be charged for week-to-week leases. 

Security deposit return

The landlord is obliged to refund the security deposit within 30 days after the tenant moves out (§ 42-52). The deposit should be sent to the forwarding address submitted by the tenant. However, suppose there are damages to the property or unpaid dues upon moving out. In that case, the state awards the landlord sixty days to return the deposit accompanied with an itemized list of respective deductions made from the deposit.

Landlord’s entry

The state of NC doesn’t have statutes governing the proper protocol for landlords to access the premises or any prior notice requirements needed. As a result, the landlord can access the property to inspect specific items necessary to provide services and maintenance.

Free Sample

Download North Carolina Lease Agreement Sample from our site:

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    Wrapping Up

    As landlord and tenant both have their role in an agreement, it is crucial that they read the lease contract carefully to ensure compliance with the applicable state laws. Due to the complexity of a lease agreement in NC, it may be in everyone’s interest to consult an attorney before signing an actual contract. An attorney can help ensure legal aspects of the lease are accurately represented in a way that protects both parties throughout the tenancy period and beyond. In addition, a well-written NC lease agreement will nurture a healthy relationship between the tenant and the landlord where each person knows what is expected of them.

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