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Halifax County Sheriff's Office

Landlord and Tenant FAQs

  • How do I evict someone from my rental property? +

    If you have had much experience being a landlord, you probably already know the process. However, if you are new to this, it can be a little complicated. If you are renting a property (house, apartment, building, etc.) to someone and they fail to pay their rent, you must first give them written notice of the delinquency and provide them with a 10-days’ notice to vacate the property. If you have a written lease agreement you must give them 30-days’ notice to vacate. If the tenants fail to vacate during the noted days above, you must then go to the Halifax County Clerk of Superior Court and apply for a summons to evict them. For information on fees for this process you can visit: https://www.nccourts.gov/help-topics/fees-and-payments/court-costs

    You, the landlord, will be recognized legally from this point forward as the plaintiff. The tenant, will be recognized as the defendant. The summons will be served on the defendant by a Deputy Sheriff with the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office. A court date will have been set when the summons is issued and all matters will begin before a magistrate. The Magistrate’s Office is located at 355 Ferrell Lane in Halifax, NC. On the court date, the Magistrate will hear the case and make a ruling. If the Magistrate rules in your favor, the defendant (tenant) will have 10-days to appeal. After the 10-days, you must again go to the Halifax County Clerk of Superior Court to apply for an actual eviction, (writ.)

    The writ will be delivered to the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office. This servicing and formal eviction process will be scheduled within seven (7) days of the eviction process being issued by the Halifax County Clerk of Superior Court. On the eviction day, you will have the option to move the defendant (tenant) and their belongings out of your property, or padlock the property. Both of these options are at your expense; in which case the defendant will have the opportunity to coordinate a time and date with you to return and remove the property. As you see, this is a time consuming process that can take several weeks and will cost you court fees for each paper you have issued. This is why landlords should get at least one month rent in advance.

  • I am a landlord and I need legal advice about evicting someone. Can you help me decide what to do? +

    The Halifax County Sheriff's Office cannot provide legal advice. Landlord/tenant dispute is a civil matter. You may need to consult an attorney to fully understand your civil rights as a landlord.

  • I am a landlord. Can I change the locks on my rental property without involving the Sheriff’s Office? +

    No, you should not. This would not be a legal eviction. There are specific general statutes in the State of North Carolina that regulate the eviction process. A landlord must obtain a court order to evict a tenant from rental property. The Sheriff, not the landlord, is the only one who can remove the tenant and/or his personal property from the rental premises. The landlord cannot force the tenant to move at any stage of the eviction process nor can he/she impede the tenant’s ability to enter the premises except in order to maintain or repair the premises.

  • As a landlord, can I go ahead with the eviction after I have filed for the Writ of Possession? +

    No, only a Sheriff or his/her Deputies may serve a Writ of Possession for Real Property. Upon receipt of the Writ of Possession for Real Property, the landlord may contact the Sheriff’s Office about scheduling. The landlord or his agent will meet the deputy at the location in question. The landlord is responsible for supplying and changing the locks. The landlord is responsible for providing a means to gain entry into the premises so that a deputy can ensure that all occupants leave the premises to include removing any animals that may be inside at the time of the eviction.

  • If there is personal property inside the premises when the locks are changed, can I dispose of it immediately? +

    A tenant has 7 days to contact the landlord and set a time to retrieve all personal property. The Sheriff’s Office does not assist in the retrieval of these items once the eviction has occurred. If the tenant has not claimed the property after 7 days, the landlord may dispose of the property but the Sheriff’s Office cannot give the landlord any advice as to how that property may be disposed of.

  • I am a landlord and I have an eviction schedule that I wish to cancel. Can I do this? +

    As the landlord, you have the right to stop an eviction if you wish. Contact 252-583-8201 and also fax a Cancellation Request to 252-583-2698. You must indicate why you are cancelling the eviction, i.e. defendant paid, moved out, or you worked out some other arrangement with the defendant. Once canceled, the writ will be returned to the Clerk of Court.