42-45.1. Early termination of rental agreement by victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.

(a) Any protected tenant may terminate his or her rental agreement for a dwelling unit by providing the landlord with a written notice of termination to be effective on a date stated in the notice that is at least 30 days after the landlord's receipt of the notice. The notice to the landlord shall be accompanied by either: (i) a copy of a valid order of protection issued by a court pursuant to Chapter 50B or 50C of the General Statutes, other than an ex parte order, (ii) a criminal order that restrains a person from contact with a protected tenant, or (iii) a valid Address Confidentiality Program card issued pursuant to G.S. 15C-4 to the victim or a minor member of the tenant's household. A victim of domestic violence or sexual assault must submit a copy of a safety plan with the notice to terminate. The safety plan, dated during the term of the tenancy to be terminated, must be provided by a domestic violence or sexual assault program which substantially complies with the requirements set forth in G.S. 50B-9 and must recommend relocation of the protected tenant.

(b) Upon termination of a rental agreement under this section, the tenant who is released from the rental agreement pursuant to subsection (a) of this section is liable for the rent due under the rental agreement prorated to the effective date of the termination and payable at the time that would have been required by the terms of the rental agreement. The tenant is not liable for any other rent or fees due only to the early termination of the tenancy. If, pursuant to this section, a tenant terminates the rental agreement 14 days or more before occupancy, the tenant is not subject to any damages or penalties.

(c) Notwithstanding the release of a protected tenant from a rental agreement under subsection (a) of this section, or the exclusion of a perpetrator of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking by court order, if there are any remaining tenants residing in the dwelling unit, the tenancy shall continue for those tenants. The perpetrator who has been excluded from the dwelling unit under court order remains liable under the lease with any other tenant of the dwelling unit for rent or damages to the dwelling unit.

(d) The provisions of this section may not be waived or modified by agreement of the parties. (2005-423, s. 7.)