North Carolina Security Deposit Law

Author: Kasee Godwin
Date: 12.05.2023

North Carolina Security Deposit Law: A Comprehensive Guide

Understanding North Carolina Security Deposit Law is vital for both landlords and tenants. This article provides a detailed overview of the critical aspects of this law, ensuring compliance and awareness of legal rights and obligations.

Maximum Security Deposit Amount

The maximum amount a landlord can charge as a security deposit in North Carolina varies based on the tenancy length:

  • Weekly Tenancies: A maximum of two weeks’ rent.
  • Monthly Tenancies: Up to one and a half months’ rent.
  • Tenancies Longer Than One Month: A limit of two months’ rent​​.

Refund Timeline

Landlords in North Carolina must refund the security deposit within 30 days from the lease’s end date. Landlords should provide a written, itemized list of any deductions. If the cost of repairs is uncertain, an interim list must be sent within 30 days, followed by a final accounting within 60 days​​.

Disclosure of Deposit Location

Landlords have two options for holding the security deposit:

  • Trust Account: Property managers should store the deposit in a trust account at a state or federally insured institution.
  • Surety Bond: Landlords can post a bond from a licensed North Carolina insurance company.

Regardless of the method, landlords must notify tenants within 30 days about where the deposit is held, including the institution’s or insurance company’s name and address​​.

Interest on Security Deposits

Landlords in North Carolina are not required to pay interest on security deposits​​.

Documentation Requirements

At move-in and move-out, landlords must provide:

  • An itemized list of damages and their estimated repair costs.
  • Detailed accounting for any deductions from the security deposit.
  • Notification about the storage location of the security deposit.

Tips for Renters in North Carolina

Additionally, there are specific steps tenants can take related to security deposits:

  • Document Condition: Take photos or videos before moving in and when moving out to record the rental unit’s condition.
  • Lease Agreement Review: Familiarize yourself with the lease terms, especially those concerning the security deposit.
  • Forwarding Address: Provide the landlord with a new address in writing within the specified timeframe.
  • Move-Out Inspection: Request a joint inspection with the landlord to assess potential damage.
  • Written Request for Deposit: After moving out, send a written request for the return of the security deposit and any itemized deductions.
  • Follow-up: If there is no response within the statutory timeframe, notify the landlord.
  • Know Your Rights: Know North Carolina’s security deposit laws and seek legal advice if necessary​​.

Understanding and adhering to these regulations and responsibilities is crucial for a successful tenancy in North Carolina. Renters should ensure they are familiar with these aspects to avoid disputes and maintain a good relationship with their landlords.

Navigating North Carolina Security Deposit Law

North Carolina Security Deposit Law offers a clear framework for landlords and tenants, balancing rights and responsibilities. Tenants must proactively understand and adhere to these regulations, ranging from security deposit limits to property maintenance and respectful conduct. By documenting the rental unit’s condition, reviewing lease agreements, and following the required procedures for security deposits, tenants can safeguard their interests.

Compliance with these laws is crucial for landlords to avoid legal pitfalls and maintain a positive landlord-tenant relationship. This includes timely refunds of security deposits, proper handling and disclosure of deposit locations, and adhering to the stipulated maximum deposit amounts.

Both parties should remember that knowledge and compliance with these laws protect their rights and foster a healthy, respectful rental environment. As the rental landscape in North Carolina continues to evolve, staying informed and vigilant about these regulations is vital to a successful and dispute-free tenancy.


Qira aims to keep this information as up-to-date as possible. The content provided here is informational and should be different from legal counsel. Please refer to the relevant government sources to check for any changes or updates to the law.


Kasee Godwin

Position: Director of Marketing
Social Networks

Kasee is the Director of Marketing for Qira. She has nearly 15 years of experience in the real estate marketing industry, including 10 years on the client side. In her spare time, she enjoys reading science fiction, exploring new wineries, and fostering Golden Retrievers.

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