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Can I take late fees out of security deposit?

I live in NC and our renters have been late with their rent every single month over the past year.  When they bounced a check on us a few months ago I told them I would be keeping track of all late fees for every day they are late.  Even though they promised to pay late fees in the past, we've been lucky to even get the rent and when I send a certified letter, they don't even pick it up.  So, they are moving out...can I take the late fees out of the security deposit?  Thanks!
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Late fees in NC may only be $15.00 or 5% of the monthly rent, whichever is greater. I would think that you should be able to deduct unpaid charges from the security deposit as long as it does not go over the allowable amount.
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