State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > North-carolina > Chapter_42 > GS_42-46

§ 42‑46.  Authorizedfees.

(a)        In all residentialrental agreements in which a definite time for the payment of the rent isfixed, the parties may agree to a late fee not inconsistent with the provisionsof this subsection, to be chargeable only if any rental payment is five days ormore late. If the rent:

(1)        Is due in monthlyinstallments, a landlord may charge a late fee not to exceed fifteen dollars($15.00) or five percent (5%) of the monthly rent, whichever is greater.

(2)        Is due in weeklyinstallments, a landlord may charge a late fee not to exceed four dollars($4.00) or five percent (5%) of the weekly rent, whichever is greater.

(3)        Repealed by SessionLaws 2009‑279, s. 4, effective October 1, 2009, and applicable to leasesentered into on or after that date.

(b)        A late fee undersubsection (a) of this section may be imposed only one time for each laterental payment. A late fee for a specific late rental payment may not bededucted from a subsequent rental payment so as to cause the subsequent rentalpayment to be in default.

(c)        Repealed by SessionLaws 2009‑279, s. 4, effective October 1, 2009, and applicable to leasesentered into on or after that date.

(d)        A lessor shall notcharge a late fee to a lessee pursuant to subsection (a) of this sectionbecause of the lessee's failure to pay for water or sewer services providedpursuant to G.S. 62‑110(g).

(e)        Complaint‑FilingFee. – Pursuant to a written lease, a landlord may charge a complaint‑filingfee not to exceed fifteen dollars ($15.00) or five percent (5%) of the monthlyrent, whichever is greater, only if the tenant was in default of the lease, thelandlord filed and served a complaint for summary ejectment and/or money owed,the tenant cured the default or claim, and the landlord dismissed the complaintprior to judgment. The landlord can include this fee in the amount required tocure the default.

(f)         Court‑AppearanceFee. – Pursuant to a written lease, a landlord may charge a court‑appearancefee in an amount equal to ten percent (10%) of the monthly rent only if thetenant was in default of the lease; the landlord filed, served, and prosecutedsuccessfully a complaint for summary ejectment and/or monies owed in the smallclaims court; and neither party appealed the judgment of the magistrate.

(g)        Second Trial Fee. –Pursuant to a written lease, a landlord may charge a second trial fee for a newtrial following an appeal from the judgment of a magistrate. To qualify for thefee, the landlord must prove that the tenant was in default of the lease andthe landlord prevailed. The landlord's fee may not exceed twelve percent (12%)of the monthly rent in the lease.

(h)        Limitations onCharging and Collection of Fees.

(1)        A landlord whoclaims fees under subsections (e) through (g) of this section is entitled tocharge and retain only one of the above fees for the landlord's complaint forsummary ejectment and/or money owed.

(2)        A landlord who earnsa fee under subsections (e) through (g) of this section may not deduct paymentof that fee from a tenant's subsequent rent payment or declare a failure to paythe fee as a default of the lease for a subsequent summary ejectment action.

(3)        It is contrary topublic policy for a landlord to put in a lease or claim any fee for filing acomplaint for summary ejectment and/or money owed other than the ones expresslyauthorized by subsections (e) through (g) of this section, and a reasonableattorney's fee as allowed by law.

(4)        Any provision of aresidential rental agreement contrary to the provisions of this section isagainst the public policy of this State and therefore void and unenforceable.

(5)        If the rent issubsidized by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, bythe United States Department of Agriculture, by a State agency, by a publichousing authority, or by a local government, any fee charged pursuant to thissection shall be calculated on the tenant's share of the contract rent only,and the rent subsidy shall not be included.  (1987, c. 530, s. 1; 2001‑502, s. 4; 2003‑370,s. 1; 2004‑143, s. 5; 2009‑279, s. 4.)