October Updates #2


Tech Study Group

The North Carolina Real Estate Commission has formed a Tech Study Group consisting of both Commission members and staff. The purpose of the Tech Study Group is to identify technology issues which can improve the function and efficiency of the Real Estate Commission and also to identify technology issues that impact the delivery of brokerage services and better educate and assist brokers in dealing with those issues.  Among the many things that are being considered and discussed by the Tech Study group are ADA compliance, the impact of AI models including ChatGPT, the implementation and use of chat bots, cybersecurity, smart contracts and block chain technology. In the coming year watch for future developments, insights and information as a result of the Tech Study Group’s efforts. 

Do Emotional Support Animals Require Pet Fees at Vacation Rentals?

Emotional support or therapy animals that qualify as assistance animals are not pets, and the Fair Housing Act (FHA) makes it unlawful for a housing provider to refuse to make a reasonable accommodation.  You may view this January 2020 Notice for details.  Vacation rentals are not excluded by law, and property owners and managers must follow the guidelines to determine if emotional support animals qualify for the exemption or not.  See Part II of the Notice linked above (pg. 7), for a recommended process for determining if an emotional support animal qualifies as an assistance animal.  If the animal qualifies as an assistance animal by FHA guidelines, then it is not a pet and reasonable accommodations must be made, including waiver of ‘pet fees’. 

If an animal does not qualify as an assistance animal, detailed records of the determination process should be kept to support the decision.  These animals would be considered pets and subject to pet fees.  It is important to note that a reasonable accommodation can be requested at any time, including after the animal has been introduced into the property.

You are invited!

The monthly Real Estate Commission meetings are always open to the public, and you are invited to attend in person or online via Zoom.  The meeting next month is November 8th here at the Commission building.  A Zoom link will be available at ncrec.gov on the day of the meeting.