Can my landlord evict me after being 1 day late on the rent?

Can my landlord change my locks and file for eviction in court on the 6th when my lease says the rent is late on the 5th? She gave no notice and did everything while we were in another state attending my boyfriend’s (who is also in the lease) mother’s funeral. She said I have until today at noon to have everything out. Is this legal? Do we have to be out today?

Asked on December 12, 2011 under Real Estate Law, North Carolina


Sharon Siegel / Siegel & Siegel, P.C.

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

I agree with the previous answer you got.  Also, it would usually state in your lease a number of days for a late payment and one is certainly not the standard.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

1) A landlord may NEVER evict a teant by simply changing the locks; landlords must ALWAYS go through the courts to evict. You do not need to leave until a court grants a judgment of possession and a court officer locks you out.

2) A landlord may file for eviction as soon as a tenant is late, for any reason, with the rent--even one day late.

3) If you pay the late rent prior to the judgment of possession being granted, you should be able to avoid eviction. If the landlord refuses to accept your rent, bring it with you to court, indicate that you tried to pay it and are ready to pay it now.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.