Investing in commercial real estate is a major financial risk, and when tenants fail to pay rent, it can be critical to remove them from the property as quickly as possible. For a variety of reasons, self-help is typically not recommended. Commercial landlords should rely on the North Carolina summary ejectment procedure. The Raleigh civil litigation attorneys of Maginnis Law are familiar with summary ejectment and the typical defenses raised by tenants. We can help remove your non-paying tenant and help recover past due rent and any future lost rent through acceleration clauses. To speak with a Raleigh commercial eviction attorney, contact Maginnis Law at 919.480.8526. The firm also represents select commercial tenants through its small business litigation lawyers.
The summary ejectment statutes are provided in Chapter 42, Article 3 of the North Carolina General Statutes. The process allows a landlord, whether commercial or residential, to evict a tenant from his or her property within a relatively quick period, usually thirty to forty-five days. In either setting, it is important to be sure that the landlord has closely followed all conditions precedent to eviction under the express terms of the lease. Many commercial leases provide that the landlord must give written notice that the tenant is in breach of the lease and that the tenant thereafter have an opportunity to cure.
Failure to pay rent may not be the only breach that entitles a commercial landlord to evict. If a commercial lease sets forth a specific term, the breach of which allows for eviction, the landlord may proceed with summary ejectment. Common breaches that permit eviction include, but are not limited to, the failure to procure/maintain insurance, criminal activity, and the tenant’s bankruptcy.
Once the commercial landlord has identified a breach permitting eviction, a Magistrate Summons and Complaint in Summary Ejectment (CVM-201) should be taken out. Those documents are then given to the county sheriff to be served on the tenant. The tenant will be given a date and time to appear for trial and present any defenses to the eviction. At such hearing, the landlord may present evidence of back rent and recover a money judgment if appropriate. If the amount of back rent is in excess of $5,000.00, the landlord may want to consider just moving for summary ejectment before the Magistrate and simultaneously filing an action in District or Superior Court. Commercial landlords can potentially obtain an eviction quickly and still pursue their commercial tenant for any unpaid rent or remaining damages that are accelerated under the lease.
After the summary ejectment trial, the landlord and tenant will each have ten (10) days within which to appeal to the District Court. If the tenant appeals, it must pay rent into the Clerk of Court during the course of the appeal. If a money judgment is given, the tenant may choose to just appeal the money judgment but not the eviction. After the summary ejectment matter is concluded, either by the Magistrate or in District Court, the landlord may obtain a Writ of Possession, which instructs the county sheriff to remove the tenant from the property.
Maginnis Law is a Raleigh law firm practicing in the area of civil litigation. Our attorneys are available to speak with you regarding commercial evictions in Wake or Durham County, including ejectment matters pertaining to properties in Raleigh, Durham, Cary, Apex, Morrisville, and Wake Forest. Contact one of our attorneys at 919.480.8526 or send a confidential email inquiry via our contact page. All consultations are free of charge.