Ask a landlord-tenant lawyer and get answers ASAP
I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today.
No, that's not legal. A landlord can certainly ask for rent to be paid when it's due, or if it's late, but there's no right to change the locks or turn off utilities. A tenant may only be removed from the premises with a court order. N.C. Gen. Stat., Section 42-25.6. If the landlord changed the locks or turned off the utilities, you could sue him for a court order allowing you access back into the premises and your expenses during the time you were denied access (like hotel costs). Section 42-25.9. You'd also be able to get the value of any of your items that he destroyed or removed from the property. If the landlord is threatening to evict you without a court order, it might help to show him those statutes.
If you have any questions or concerns about my response, please reply WITHOUT RATING. It's important that you are 100% satisfied with my courtesy and professionalism. Otherwise, please rate my service positively so I am paid for the time I spend answering questions. If you are on a mobile device, you may need to scroll to the right. There is no charge for follow-up questions. Thank you.