A North Carolina Rental Application is a helpful resource for landlords and property owners, allowing them to quickly and efficiently screen applicants before offering a lease agreement.
Property owners must ensure they protect their rights without infringing on the rights of their renters.
Look at some helpful information regarding North Carolina rental laws below, and use our North Carolina rental application template to ensure you notice all critical information.
- North Carolina Housing Statistic/Specifics
- North Carolina Rental Application Information for Applicants and Renters
- North Carolina Rental Application Information for Landlords
- Authorization for Background Check
- How to Conduct an Eviction Records Search
- Other Resources for Landlords
- How to Write a Rental Application
- Sample North Carolina Rental Application Form
North Carolina Housing Statistic/Specifics
According to information published by the Fair Housing Project in North Carolina, people filed 136 fair housing complaints with the Department of Housing and Urban Development in 2020.
Most of these complaints noted discrimination against persons with disabilities and several of the remaining complaints alleged discrimination based on race.
Landlords must understand what questions they can ask to prevent these types of complaints from occurring.
North Carolina Rental Application Information for Applicants and Renters
Renters and applicants need to be aware of their rights. Under North Carolina landlord-tenant law, there is no limit to the maximum application fee that a landlord can charge.
It is prudent for property owners to avoid charging exorbitant application fees. The fees should be reasonable to cover the cost of processing a rental application. Otherwise, the landlord might have difficulty finding someone to rent their property.
If a rental application is approved, a landlord can ask the tenant for a security deposit (North Carolina Tenant Security Deposit Act).
If the tenancy is longer than month-to-month, a landlord can charge up to two months’ rent as a security deposit. If the tenancy is on a month-to-month basis, the landlord can charge up to one and one-half months’ rent.
Landlords in North Carolina can charge a nonrefundable pet deposit unless the lease permits returning the deposit.
North Carolina Rental Application Information for Landlords
Landlords must avoid asking questions that a court could view as discriminatory, but there are some exceptions.
Some of the most critical exceptions that landlords should know about include the following:
- Landlords are allowed to ask whether any children will be occupying the building if there is more than one family unit living in the property.
- Landlords can ask about the applicant’s age if the property is an age-specific community. For example, there might be a senior living community where the age of the residents matters.
- The landlord can ask about the potential tenant’s religious beliefs if a religious organization controls the property.
Per the Federal Fair Housing Act and the North Carolina State Fair Housing Act, several questions are not permitted (apart from the exceptions above).
- Race, color, or national origin
- Gender identity and sexual orientation
- Religious beliefs
- Family status or marital status
Authorization for Background Check
You can help protect yourself from some troubles that may arise by conducting a criminal and credit background check on your applicant.
Background checks reveal a potential tenant’s credit, criminal, and sometimes eviction histories to help landlords discern the responsibility of their applicants and the safety of their rental communities.
You need the applicant’s permission to run many background checks typically part of the tenant screening process.
Many landlords include a consent statement on their rental application, but you can also use our background check authorization form to obtain consent.
How to Conduct an Eviction Records Search
- Navigate to the North Carolina Judicial Branch website
- Review the instructions for civil case searches
- Check for evictions in the county or counties where the applicant lives or has lived
If you decide not to offer an applicant a lease agreement based on what you find in an eviction records search or due to another valid reason, send a rental application rejection letter to explain your decision.
Other Resources for Landlords
How to Write a Rental Application
The most essential information you need to gather with your North Carolina rental application includes the following:
- Prior addresses (rental history) of the applicant
- Employment status and financial situation
- Character references
- Information on smoking history and pets
- Consent to conduct a background check, including a credit check
Sample North Carolina Rental Application Form
Look at our North Carolina rental application form to ensure you notice all the important information.