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Commission Meeting of August 14 2019

Key reports, issues, and decisions of interest to licensees and/or the public are reported here from the most recent Commission meetings:

Commission Meeting of August 14, 2019

Pending Cases: The Commission accepted the voluntary surrender of one license; entered into consent agreements to permanently revoke one license, revoke one license, and suspend three licenses; rejected a proposed consent agreement involving one licensee; authorized its Regulatory Affairs Division to seek injunctive relief, if necessary, in one case; and ordered hearings involving 10 licensees.

License Applications Involving Character Issues: Applications for licenses from persons who have character issues such as prior criminal convictions or disciplinary action by another licensing board are separately reviewed by the Commission. Decisions are made based upon criminal background checks, information supplied by the applicant, and in-person interviews. Total candidates reviewed: 29; total approved: 26.

License Examination Results: A summary of key data relating to persons taking the examination for the first time is provided below:


Individuals Tested for the First Time

Took prelicense course

Hold license from another state


July 2019

August 2018 through

July 2019


July 2019

August 2018 through

July 2019

# Tested

504

6909

26

237

% Pass both sections

51%

55%

N/A

N/A

% Pass National section

87%

82%

N/A

N/A

% Pass State section

51%

59%

31%

40%



New Instructor Seminar (NIS): Staff reported to the Commission on the new two-day format for the New Instructor Seminar, requiring live presentations by each participant in lieu of the previously required video. The NIS first offering was a success, generating positive feedback from the participants about the class and the Commission.

Emerging Trends: Commission Member Cindy S. Chandler reviewed with the Commission an article from the Inman News entitled, Amazon Gets into Real Estate with Major Realogy Partnership. The Commission also discussed the duty of property managers when advertising owners’ property in online, unlicensed rental booking sites.

Report on License Numbers: The Commission was advised that as of August 1, 2019, there are 106,476 brokers and firms licensed by the Commission, as follows:

Next Commission Meeting: The next Commission meeting will be held at 9:00 a.m., Wednesday, September 11, 2019, at Raleigh, North Carolina and is open to the public.

Hurricanes, Evacuations, and Vacation Rentals

      News

With hurricane season well underway, a review of the laws governing hurricanes, evacuations, and vacation rentals is appropriate.

( 1) The first and most important thing to remember is that when state or local authorities order a mandatory evacuation of a coastal area, tenants occupying vacation rental properties must comply with the order. Evacuations are ordered to protect human life and health and are not undertaken lightly. Brokers managing vacation rental properties should support state and local authorities by encouraging and facilitating tenant compliance with evacuation orders.

(2) When a vacation tenant complies with an evacuation order, he or she is generally entitled to a refund of a share of the money he or she has paid for the rental (rent, security deposit, taxes, etc.) prorated for each night the evacuation order was in effect.

(3) There is an exception to this rule, however. If the tenant was offered travel insurance that covered the risk of mandatory evacuation, then the landlord has no obligation to refund the tenant’s money. To trigger the exception, the cost of the insurance offered cannot exceed 8% of the cost of the vacation rental and the policy cannot exclude the particular storm. It is important to note that some vacation rental insurance companies exclude coverage for storms that have been named by the National Hurricane Center prior to date the insurance was purchased. If a storm is named prior to the purchase of travel insurance and, if the insurance will not cover the tenant for losses or damages resulting from a mandatory evacuation or from damages and losses caused by the named storm, then the tenant is entitled to a refund from the landlord of all monies paid.

(4) If, following the storm and after any mandatory evacuation has been lifted, the landlord or his broker cannot provide a promised rental property to a vacation rental tenant – whether the reason is that the house was significantly damaged or that it is inaccessible due to damage to or closure of roads or ferries – the tenant is entitled to either a refund of his money or the substitution of a reasonably comparable property at the same cost. This refund may come in the form of a paid claim against travel insurance. Tenants and vacation rental managers are encouraged to read and understand the limits of coverage being offered.

(5) Go to readync.org which provides emergency management planning tips including information about current mandatory evacuations.

(6) Go to https://ncdoj.gov/price-gouging-law-in-effect-in-north-carolina-2/ for information about price gouging laws following the declaration of a state of emergency in North Carolina.