Charlotte, NC asked in Contracts and Landlord - Tenant for North Carolina

Q: what is the eviction process for a no lease, no payment agreement between family? located in NC.

my husband, child, soon to be second child, and 3 pets live with my FIL&MIL. we have lived here since prior to the birth of our first child in 2022. we do not have a written contract or agreement stating we can live here, nor do we pay rent, as it hasn’t been asked or required of us. in 2023, my in laws renovated their basement into an apartment for us so we would be more comfortable and have privacy. kitchenette, bedroom, private entrance, second bedroom (but with no closet), bathroom, and living space. recently, i told my husband that he can’t force us to leave without an eviction, as he has previously gotten hostile/aggressive and told us to “get out” to which we complied - only to be followed by MIL asking us back. so now we are wondering what the process would actually look like if FIL wanted us evicted? from what i’ve found online, the length of notice he would need to give is based on how often we pay rent. if he were to change the locks, will police force him to let us back in?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Ben Corcoran
Ben Corcoran
  • Yadkinville, NC
  • Licensed in North Carolina

A: You would be classified as guests since you cannot prove that a landlord/tenant relationship exists. However, if you claim a lease exists they would have to go through the eviction process. The law looks down on landlords changing the locks, but since your FIL is not a landlord, he would likely be able to get by with it here. My advice is to start looking for somewhere else to live because you can be forced out with little notice in this situation.

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