How to get your money back if your beach vacation is canceled because of coronavirus

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- In North Carolina this time of year beaches are typically gearing up for visitors, but because of the coronavirus pandemic, many popular ones are closed to tourists.

Beaches in Dare and Currituck Counties, as well as Wrightsville, Surf City, Topsail, Carolina Beach, and Emerald Isle are all off-limits to tourists--and many more could be added in the coming days and weeks.

ABC11 viewers who already booked rentals at these beaches have been reaching out to Troubleshooter Diane Wilson, wondering about their rights to a refund since they can't get access to the rentals they paid for.

The North Carolina Real Estate Commission ruled that current law sides with the renters, and if visitor access is blocked, vacation renters should get their money back.

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Several rental companies are following that, like Joe Lamb Jr & Associates and Carolina Designs Realty: both have posted on their websites that vacation goers will get a refund if guests can't access their rental due to restrictions. Another option is to re-book at a later date.

If you're denied access to your vacation rental, and you're told sorry you're just out that money, Attorney General Stein wants to hear from you.

"North Carolina has very specific laws, and so each case is going to be fact-specific. If folks are having trouble with their beach rentals and feel like they're not being treated fairly, they should file a complaint with my office," Stein said.

You can file a complaint here.

It is unknown how long these visitor restrictions will last, so if you booked a rental for after April, you just have to wait and see if restrictions are still in place. Once access is allowed to these beaches, refunds or re-booking won't be an option unless you have insurance, and that insurance may not even cover COVID-19.
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