Renting A Summer Vacation Home In North Carolina: Rental Agreements And Liability In Personal Injury Matters

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Numerous home rental sites such as HomeToGo and HomeDNA list North Carolina as a top summer vacation site for summer 2021.  It’s no wonder – North Carolina’s beautiful beaches and affordable, spacious rental properties offer much for those eager for fun after more than a year of COVID-19 restrictions.   

If you are planning on renting a North Carolina home from a property owner for vacation this summer (or any other time), you should know few important rules and regulations beforehand. 

As well, who is liable if you or someone else is injured during the vacation rental period? 

Property Owner Responsibilities

The North Carolina Vacation Rental Act governs the manner by which property owners rent their residences.  It  applies to the rental of permanent residence properties for less than ninety days.  The  renter must intend at some point to return to the property. 

Under the act, property owners who rent their homes for vacation must:

  • Comply with all existing applicable building and housing regulations.
  • Maintain the property and grounds in good repair and in a livable condition.
  • Furnish operating smoke detectors.
  • Furnish at least one operating carbon monoxide alarm on each floor.
  • Quickly repair plumbing, electric, bathroom, air conditioning, heat, and major appliance problems.

Vacation Rental Agreement

The Vacation Rental Act additionally requires that the property owner and renter sign a valid vacation rental agreement that confirms the above responsibilities.    The agreement becomes valid and enforceable when one of the following conditions is satisfied: 

  • The renter signs the agreement.
  • The renter, after receiving the agreement, pays the property owner .
  • The renter, after receiving the agreement, takes possession of the property. 

Real Estate Brokers

Real estate brokers who oversee rental properties on behalf of property owners must additionally execute the agreement and oversee the property according to its provisions.  They must inform the property owner of any necessary repairs and verify that such are addressed.

Any real estate broker who does not execute a vacation rental agreement or does not comply with the Vacation Rental Act violates the state’s unfair trade practices.

The act provides even more rules and regulations, including those concerning evictions, rental terminations, and fund management.  It also sets forth specific notice language that the agreement must contain. 

Liability in Personal Injury Matters

Unfortunately, many people suffer injuries and wrongful deaths while renting a vacation home.   Such matters are essentially premise liability claims, which means property owners must protect guests from injury or use “reasonable care” to ensure that their property is safe. 

If an individual is injured or dies while renting a vacation home, that individual or their estate must show that the property owner or real estate broker neglected to comply with the Vacation Rental Act’s provisions and failed to maintain the grounds in a save and livable condition.  Examples of cases such cases include:

  • Falls, trips, and slips resulting from unsafe walkway, deck, and stairwell conditions or code violations.
  • Electrocutions caused by code violations.
  • Drownings resulting from improper fencing and pool protection. 

If you or anyone you know suffered an injury or death at a vacation home, you or they need an experienced, knowledgeable attorney.  There’s a lot of detailed information and complicated law with which to sort through.  You want the best attorney on your side.   You want Thomas D. Baumgardner.  He knows the applicable laws and can help you determine your best course of action.  He passionately pursues justice and compensation for his clients.  Contact him at (704) 870-4779 email him at to learn more about the legal services he provides and to book an appointment.