Sheriff’s office advises landlords of laws for renting for WEG

Published 11:17 pm Monday, February 12, 2018

POLK COUNTY-The Polk County Sheriff’s Office wants to advise anyone who is planning to rent out property for the upcoming World Equestrian Games (WEG) to know of a vacation rental agreement that could expedite an otherwise long process if someone needs to be evicted.

Sgt. Ryan Lail said he recently got to thinking about issues residents could run into, especially those who may decide to rent out their own property and stay elsewhere and return home to problems.

The vacation rental agreement of 1999 expedites eviction, Lail said.

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“Otherwise it could take a month or more and a tenant could drag out the appeal process,” Lail said. “I have seen it go two to two and a half months.”

Lail said he recently had a resident who rented out their house in Green Creek to a party planner from out of state. The resident went through a real estate agent and what actually happened was the house was rented out for a rave, which was a pay to enter party and the home was severely damaged.

The Vacation Rental Act provides property owners with options to pursue and expedited eviction.

Information on the act can be found at:

A search of N.C. General Statue 42A can also be done to find the information, Lail said, as well as websites such as FlipKey, Airbnb and VRBO.

Lail said to be clear, the provisions of the Vacation Rental Act of 1999 does not apply to lodgings such as hotels and motels, campgrounds, rentals to an individual renting for business or employment, or rentals for more than 30 days.

WEG is scheduled for the middle of September at the Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), off Pea Ridge Road. Many residents are planning to do short-term rentals for visitors to the area.

In 1999, the N.C. General Assembly found that growth of the tourism industry in the state led to a vastly expanded market of privately owned residences that were being rented to tourists for vacation, leisure and recreational purposes.

“Rental transactions conducted by the owners of these residences, or licensed real estate brokers acting on their behalf, presented unique situations not normally found in the rental of primary residences for long term therefore making it necessary for the General Assembly to enact laws to regulate the competing interests of landlords, real estate brokers and tenants,” Lail said. “A vacation rental agreement has to contain the following notice on its face which shall be set forth in a clear and conspicuous manner that distinguishes it from other provisions of the agreement: “THIS IS A VACATION RENTAL AGREEMENT UNDER THE NORTH CAROLINA VACATION RENTAL ACT. THE RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS OF THE PARTIES TO THIS AGREEMENT ARE DEFINED BY LAW AND INCLUDE UNIQUE PROVISIONS PERMITTING THE DISBURSEMENT OF RENT PRIOR TO TENANCY AND EXPEDITED EVICTION OF TENANTS. YOUR SIGNATURE ON THIS AGREEMENT, OR PAYMENT OF MONEY OR TAKING POSSESSION OF THE PROPERTY AFTER RECEIPT OF THE AGREEMENT, IS EVIDENCE OF YOUR ACCEPTANCE OF THE AGREEMENT AND YOUR INTENT TO USE THIS PROPERTY FOR A VACATION RENTAL.”

Lail said any tenant who leases residential property subject to a vacation rental agreement may be evicted and removed from the property in an expedited eviction proceeding brought by the landlord or real estate agent representing the landlord if the tenant does one of the following:

  • holds over possession after his or her tenancy has expired
  • has committed a material breach of the terms of the vacation rental agreement, that, according to the terms of the agreement, results in the termination of his/her tenancy.
  • Fails to pay rent as required by the agreement.
  • Has obtained possession of the property by fraud or misrepresentation. B) only the right to possession shall be relevant in an expedited eviction proceeding. All other issues related to the rental of the residential property shall be presented in a separate civil action.

In the event a landlord needs to have an expedited eviction proceeding, the landlord or real estate agent will have to give the tenant at least four hours notice, either orally or in writing, the leave the premises. If reasonable efforts to give oral or written notice fail, Lail said, written notice may be given by posting the notice on the front door of the property.

“A landlord under the Vacation Rentals agreement act remains subject to the same constraints as a permanent landlord, with regard to repairs and safety of the dwelling, and shall comply with all building codes, provide operable smoke detectors, and at least one carbon monoxide detector per level,” Lail said. “A landlord or real estate broker shall undertake measures to evict a tenant, pursuant to an expedited eviction proceeding, only when he or she has a good faith belief that grounds for eviction exists under the provisions of this Chapter. Otherwise, the landlord or real estate broker shall be guilty of an unfair trade practice under G.S. 75-1.1 and a Class 1 misdemeanor.”

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is strongly encouraging anyone who is considering renting a dwelling as a vacation rental to thoroughly familiarize themselves with the laws concerning rentals.

“Failure to do so could result in the delayed return of the control of the property to the landlord or even civil liability,” Lail said. “We cannot provide legal counsel, such as assisting with the wording on rental contracts. Should you have any questions, we encourage you to seek advice from an attorney prior to entering into any agreement.”