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September 01, 2020 1:28pm
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North Carolina Senate approves bill addressing hotel guest rights

The North Carolina Senate approved a bill Thursday that addresses hotel guest rights. Democrats say the bill could harm citizens that are fearful of being thrown out of their home.

Legislation that sets a three-month window before long-term hotel and inn guests in North Carolina obtain legal protections commonly reserved for home and apartment renters was approved by the state Senate on Thursday.

Republicans in charge of the chamber pushed through the measure after using parliamentary maneuvers to turn away several amendments offered by a Democrat who said the bill would harm vulnerable citizens fearful of getting thrown out of their only housing.

The measure, which now goes to the House following a 28-16 vote, was developed after some hoteliers complained of difficulties removing some disorderly guests. Bill supporters say current law fails to clearly define "transient occupancies" that aren't subject to landlord-tenant rules that require legal action for evictions, for example.

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The bill states that landlord-tenant protections kick in after someone stays at a hotel, motel or campground for 90 consecutive days. Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed a similar bill in 2021, saying it wasn’t the right way to provide safety in hotels.

Sen. Mujtaba Mohammed, a Mecklenburg County Democrat, proposed amendments that would have exempt certain categories of transient guests from the 90-day threshold. They included a parent caring for children, natural disaster victims and someone protected by a domestic violence order.

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