NC Single Mom Deals with Airbnb Squatters

( – A North Carolina woman who sought to raise money for her son’s college education by offering an Airbnb short-term rental property is losing rental income now that the guests who checked in last October are refusing to leave.

In an interview with WTVD News, Farzana Rahman said the guests checked in on October 25 and were supposed to leave on May 24. However, when her housekeeper arrived at the property after the check-out date, the guests were still there and said they would not leave.

Rahman said the cleaner asked if she could return the following day but was told not to come back.

She said the squatters have refused to vacate the property without an eviction order and suggested that they may be trying to find a reason to stay somewhere rent-free.

Rahman contacted the police and asked to have officers join her when she went to the property. When they arrived, the squatters agreed to move out the next day. However, they stayed put and posted a “No trespassing” sign on the front door that also declared themselves the “legal residents” of the property and informed Rahman that if she wanted them to vacate, she would have to file eviction paperwork with a civil magistrate.

Rahman told WTVD that she counted on the income from her Airbnb property to put her son through school but when she contacted Airbnb, the company wasn’t especially helpful.

While Rahman filed eviction papers with the court and hoped that she would regain possession of her property, she told WTVD that it had been a waste of her time and energy.

Several states have pursued legislation making it easier for property owners to evict squatters.

In late March, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a new law that granted county sheriffs the authority to remove people illegally squatting in residential properties in the state.

Under Florida’s HB621, residential property owners who are victimized by squatters provide an affidavit to the sheriff’s office attesting that they own the property, and law enforcement can then order the squatters out immediately.

The law, which takes effect next month, also makes it a felony to intentionally cause at least $1,000 in damage.

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