Know Your Rights On Vacation Rentals, AG Cooper Urges Vacationers

Know Your Rights On Vacation Rentals, AG Cooper Urges Vacationers

By / State News / Wednesday, 01 July 2015 04:00

State law applies to vacation rental properties at NC beaches, mountains

RALEIGH, N.C. : June 29th, 2015 - Families renting vacation homes in North Carolina can avoid problems by reading rental agreements carefully and learning their rights under state law, Attorney General Roy Cooper said today. “Families work hard to afford and plan a vacation and they don’t want any headaches or disruptions,” Cooper said. “Taking the time to know your rights and responsibilities as a vacation renter can help you avoid trouble.” For both North Carolinians and people from other states, North Carolina’s coast and mountains are popular summer vacation destinations that offer a variety of vacation properties for short-term rental. The Vacation Rental Act protects consumers who rent a property in North Carolina for fewer than 90 days.
Rental agreements
Under the law, landlords must give vacation renters a written agreement that spells out:
• Your rights and obligations as a tenant, including what you’ll pay.
• The rights and obligations of the landlord and/or real estate brokers.
• The amount of security deposit required and how the deposit will be held.
• Any additional fees required to rent the property.
Both renters and landlords are obligated to follow the terms of a signed vacation rental agreement. For example, renters who violate the agreement can be asked to leave early without a refund.
Landlord responsibilities
In addition to abiding by the written agreement, state law also requires landlords to keep their vacation properties safe and habitable. Consumers who rent a vacation home that doesn’t meet that standard should complain to the landlord or property manager and file a complaint with the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division or the Real Estate Commission if they cannot get satisfaction.
Cancelations and evacuations
Even the best planned vacations can end up getting canceled. Consumers who have to cancel should consult their rental agreement for details on how to cancel and whether or not they are entitled to any money back.
In some cases, vacations can get cut short by the threat of a hurricane or forest fire. When renters sign a vacation rental agreement, the landlord may offer insurance for an additional fee to cover the cost of any nights missed due to a mandatory evacuation. If you’re ordered to evacuate and you were not given a chance to purchase insurance, state law requires that the landlord refund your money for each night you can’t stay at the rental property. If you were offered rental insurance and did not take it, the owner is not required to refund your money in case of a mandatory evacuation.
File a complaint
Consumers can file complaints about vacation rental problems with Cooper’s office by calling 1-877-5-NO-SCAM toll-free within North Carolina or by completing the complaint form online at ncdoj.gov.
Consumers who rented a property through a real estate or property management company can also contact the North Carolina Real Estate Commission at www.ncrec.gov or (919) 875-3700 with questions or complaints
Learn more
Tips on vacation rentals and other travel topics are also available at www.ncdoj.gov .
Source: NC Department of Justice.

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