AP NEWS

N Carolina commission: Vacation renters should get refunds

March 21, 2020 GMT

DUCK, N.C. (AP) — People renting beach houses in counties that have blocked visitor access to North Carolina’s Outer Banks because of the new coronavirus should get their money refunded, a state panel says.

The North Carolina Real Estate Commission ruled on Thursday that state law sides with tenants in this situation, The Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk, Virginia, reported.

Dare and Currituck counties have approved orders preventing visitors and non-resident property owners from entering the Outer Banks. And Hyde County has blocked visitor access to Ocracoke Island.

Landlords who won’t refund money are open to a lawsuit, according to the commission.

Monica Thibodeau, the owner of Carolina Designs Realty in Duck, said social media and phone calls have been mixed about the visitor prohibitions. The company manages vacation rentals for owners for a fee.

Thibodeau’s company plans to give people refunds, or reschedule the rental to a later date if there’s agreement.

“We’re trying to keep everybody happy as possible,” said Thibodeau, a member of Duck’s town council.