North Carolina Court of Appeals Hears Arguments Over Wilmington’s Short-Term Rental Rules

RALEIGH, NC (WECT) – Did the City of Wilmington violate state law when it enacted its short-term rental restrictions? This is the question the North Carolina Court of Appeal must decide.

On Wednesday, a three-judge panel heard from lawyers representing the city of Wilmington and Dave and Peg Schroder, a couple who are fighting for the right to rent their home.

The city enacted restrictions on short-term rentals several years ago.

A requirement states that homeowners must register their property and obtain a permit from the city.

State law says cities cannot do this.

Lawyers for the city argue the rule does not apply to them, since the restrictions are part of zoning ordinances, and say it is their right to require permits. A local judge sided with the Schroeder.

But Wilmington has appealed the decision to the state. Ari Bargil, who represents the owners, said the language was clear.

“The trial court has already ruled that the ordinance passed by the city is preempted by state law and they made it very clear that state law prohibits recordings and the city has adopted a recording, and that was the end of the decision, ”he said.

The case will likely have repercussions statewide, not just in Wilmington.

“It’s a big deal; it doesn’t just affect short term rentals or vacation rentals, but it affects rental properties statewide, so the outcome of this case and the implications are huge, ”said Bargil.

Wilmington City Attorney John Joye also made a statement on the case.

“It was very clear that the Court of Appeal has listened carefully to the arguments, is examining the case carefully, and we look forward to the court’s opinion when it is delivered.” said Joye.

Lawyers said the decision could take judges several months, which is normal in the case of an appeal.

Copyright 2021 WECT. All rights reserved.

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