Planning on renting a place in the North Carolina mountains or at one of our beaches? North Carolina’s Vacation Rental Act protects consumers who rent a vacation property for fewer than 90 days. Under the law, the landlord or real estate broker must give you a written rental 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
Once you sign a vacation rental agreement, you and the landlord agree to abide by its terms. Landlords are required by law to keep the property safe and habitable.
So what happens if your vacation gets cancelled or cut short by a natural disaster such as a hurricane or forest fire? Your landlord or broker may offer you insurance on your vacation rental, which would cover the cost of any nights you miss due to a mandatory evacuation.
- If you’re ordered to evacuate and you were not given a chance to purchase insurance, the landlord is required to refund your money for each night you can’t stay at the rental property.
- If you were offered rental insurance before starting your vacation that covered the risk of a mandatory evacuation and cost no more than 8% of the rental price and didn’t take it, then the owner isn’t required to refund your money in the case of a mandatory evacuation.
- After the mandatory evacuation order is lifted, the landlord and broker must refund your money if the landlord or real estate broker cannot provide the property in a fit and habitable condition or provide you with a reasonably comparable property in fit and habitable condition.
If you’re thinking about renting a vacation home out of state, it’s a good idea to contact the Attorney General’s Office or consumer protection agency in that state to learn about your rights there as a consumer.
We Can Help
File a complaint with us or call toll free within North Carolina at 1-877-5-NO-SCAM. If you rented the property through a real estate or property management company and have a complaint or question, contact the North Carolina Real Estate Commission at (919) 875-3700.