Squatters Rights NC: Months of Tenants Refuse to Leave Durham, NC Home, Tell Owner Farzana Rahman to Try to Evict Them

DURHAM, NC — A months-long Airbnb rental has become a nightmare for the North Carolina host as tenants refuse to leave.

A single parent in the Triangle has run out of money and now has to fight to get her belongings back.

“Now they are refusing to leave until there is an eviction notice. I think they are just trying to buy time to stay there for free because they haven’t paid,” said Farzana Rahman.

This all started when Rahman’s most recent Airbnb guests made a long-term rental reservation through Airbnb. They checked in on October 25th with a checkout date of May 24th.

When Rahman’s cleaner went to clean the rental, the tenants were still there.

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“They opened the door and said, ‘No, we haven’t moved yet.’ She said, ‘Should I come tomorrow?’ And they said, ‘No, don’t come back,'” Rahman said.

Rahman then went to the rental property with the police and the tenants promised the police officer that they would leave first thing in the morning. The next morning the tenants were still not gone.

Instead, there was a handwritten no-entry sign on the front door, which read: “We will vacate the property once you have filed the proper paperwork in civil court for an eviction because we are legal residents of this home. “

“This is my place, and I mean, I rely on this income; my son is in college. I’m a single parent,” Rahman said.

READ MORE | Stranger who moved into vacant house in Chatham refuses to leave and says she was scammed

Rahman contacted Airbnb for help because she had already booked another long-term renter through Airbnb who was ready to move in. She said Airbnb was not helpful.

“They are sending me messages: please get help for your safety and get whatever legal help you need to get them out,” she said.

Troubleshooter Diane Wilson from our sister station, ABC11 in Raleigh, contacted Airbnb several times, but no one got back to her. Airbnb has a section on its website dedicated to things to consider before hosting monthly stays. Airbnb is warning hosts who have guests who stay for a month or more that they may not be able to remove a guest without filing a lawsuit.

Attorney Maya Davis of The Law Offices of James Scott Farrin said if guests stay longer than 90 days, they are typically considered a holdover tenant.

“The longer they stay, the more rights they develop, so the faster you can act and get them out of there, the better it is,” Davis said.

She suggests that a host’s first step is to call the police if a guest doesn’t leave, and if the police don’t take action, you should immediately file a complaint with the court.

“You may have to file what we call summary eviction, which means you want this person out, but you have to go through the legal process. So at that point you have to give notice. You have to file and serve papers. You have to appear in court and get the court to allow that before you just remove someone from the property,” Davis said.

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Troubleshooter Diane Wilson has gone to Rahman’s rental. Nobody opened the door. Wilson also left a message with the number on the sign, but no one called back.

As for Rahman, she filed eviction papers with the court in an attempt to get possession of her rental.

“It’s wasted my time; it’s wasted my energy; it’s been stressing me out,” she said.

The hearing date for the deportation is scheduled for the week of June 13, we will keep you informed.

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