North Carolina Lease Agreement Template – Forbes Advisor

Christy Bieber, J.D.
Christy Bieber, J.D.

Christy Bieber, J.D.

Christy Bieber is a personal finance and legal writer with more than a decade of experience. She earned her JD from UCLA School of Law and was an adjunct professor at the start of her career, teaching paralegal studies and related courses. In addition to writing for the web, she has also designed educational courses and written textbooks focused on a variety of legal subjects.


Adam Ramirez, J.D.
Adam Ramirez, J.D.

Adam Ramirez, J.D.

Adam Ramirez has been writing and editing about the law and legal issues for more than 20 years. After earning a law degree from the University of Arizona, he clerked for two years for a U.S. District Court judge. He researched and wrote legal precedent in published opinions on behalf of the Court. He previously was an editor, columnist and journalist at the Miami Herald, The Dallas Morning News, The Oregonian, Golf Digest, and other media outlets.

Published: Aug 14, 2023, 6:21am

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If you are renting a property in North Carolina, you need a NC lease agreement. A North Carolina lease agreement template helps you to create a legally binding contract that governs the terms of the relationship between the landlord and the tenant.

You can get a free North Carolina lease agreement template by entering your email address below.

North Carolina Lease Agreement Template

A lease is a complicated document. It should include provisions necessary to address all the issues that arise when a residential or a commercial property is rented. It can be difficult to create this document from scratch without guidance.

A North Carolina lease agreement template—like the free template you can get by entering your email—provides a blueprint that landlords and tenants can use to make a legally enforceable contract that comprehensively identifies their rights and their responsibilities.

What Is a North Carolina Lease Agreement?

A North Carolina lease agreement is simply a contract that is used to create a relationship between a landlord and a tenant and to define the terms of their rental arrangement. A NC lease agreement is also called:

  • A North Carolina lease contract
  • A NC rental contract
  • A North Carolina rental agreement
  • A NC tenancy agreement
  • A North Carolina lease form

NC lease agreements can be entered into when many different kinds of rental arrangements are created. Some common examples of North Carolina leases include:

  • Residential leases
  • Commercial leases
  • Sublease agreements
  • Roommate contracts

When Is a North Carolina Lease Agreement Used?

Both oral and written NC lease agreements are recognized by law in the state of North Carolina and both types of leases are enforceable. However, if the lease will last for three years or longer, the agreement must be in writing.

You should always aim to create a written agreement, even if not required by law to do so. Otherwise it could be difficult to resolve any dispute that arises without clear evidence of the terms that the parties to the contract agreed upon.

Who Needs to Create a North Carolina Lease Agreement?

Landlords usually take on the responsibility of creating a NC lease agreement. In fact, tenants usually simply sign the contracts their landlords present them with. In many cases, there is more room to negotiate on commercial leases but tenants do always have the option to try to negotiate lease terms when a landlord creates a contract.

If a landlord does not have a standard form contract, a tenant can create a NC lease agreement and ask the landlord to sign it. It’s best for both a landlord and tenant if a contract is put into place, and it doesn’t really matter which party actually drafts the contract as long as both parties agree to the terms and sign it.

Which Parties Are Involved in a North Carolina Lease Agreement?

Generally, the parties to a NC lease agreement include the following individuals:

  • A landlord or lessor who owns and is renting out the property.
  • A tenant or lessee who is the person renting the property and gaining access but not ownership

When a tenant isn’t considered to be well-qualified and the landlord has concerns about their ability to comply with the lease agreement, the landlord may require a cosigner or a guarantor to be a party to the contract as well. This cosigner agrees to accept legal responsibility for complying with the lease. This reduces the risk to the landlord, especially if the cosigner has better credit or more income than the tenant.

What Should be Included in a North Carolina Lease Agreement?

A North Carolina lease agreement should include all of the details necessary to establish the terms of the rental relationship. This includes the following:

  • The contact details of the landlord and tenant(s)
  • A description of the rented space
  • Details on how much rent is due, when it must be paid, when it is late and what the consequences of a late payment will be
  • Restrictions on the use of the property, such as whether pets are permitted or specific prohibited and permitted actions on the premises
  • Restrictions on the landlord, such as details about when and how the landlord may access the property
  • A description of the security deposit and what it is used for

North Carolina leases must be drafted in compliance with state laws. For example, state law allows landlords to charge the greater of 5% of the rent or 1$5 in late fees one time per rental payment, so a lease agreement cannot impose late fees in excess of what is permitted.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is there a limit to the amount of rent a tenant can be charged in North Carolina?

There are no limits to the amount of rent a landlord in North Carolina can charge (except in housing where rent is income-based) and there are no rent control provisions. This means that tenants must negotiate their rent with a landlord and the rent requirements set forth in the NC lease agreement will establish the cost of renting a particular property.

Does a NC lease agreement have to be in writing?

A NC lease agreement must be in writing when the lease that is being signed is for a rental arrangement that will last for three years or longer.

While oral leases are enforceable on shorter-term rental arrangements, it is best for all parties to have a written agreement in place so that everyone understands their rights and obligations. A written contract is also easier to enforce as a third party can more easily determine if there was a breach of the agreement if a conflict arises.

Is there a standard lease agreement in North Carolina?

There is no standard lease agreement in North Carolina. However, there are laws governing a landlord and tenant relationship that must be complied with in every lease agreement. Legal Aid of North Carolina provides some details on these standard laws.

You can also find NC lease agreement templates online that will include the provisions that landlords and tenants generally want to include in rental contracts. These templates can form the basis for your own lease agreement if you are drafting a contract and are not sure what it should contain.

Ultimately, though, it is best to speak with an experienced attorney for assistance drafting an enforceable lease that protects your rights.

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Christy Bieber is a personal finance and legal writer with more than a decade of experience. She earned her JD from UCLA School of Law and was an adjunct professor at the start of her career, teaching paralegal studies and related courses. In addition to writing for the web, she has also designed educational courses and written textbooks focused on a variety of legal subjects.

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