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BOONE — The Boone Town Council on June 18 unanimously passed a resolution recommending changes to state laws on landlord and tenant practices.

The recommendations would: require the disclosure of all fees to prospective tenants before any payments are accepted; prohibit non-refundable fees that are not used in their entirety for their purpose by the landlord (such as credit checks); prohibit requirements for parents or co-signers to serve as guarantors for other tenants in a living unit who are not related to them; bar landlords who charge fines or penalties for violating rules or regulations from modifying the rules that give rise to such fines, or from modifying the amounts of the fines; require the disclosure of properties that are in flood zones; and would establish that a violation of any of the foregoing would be considered an unfair and deceptive trade practice.

The resolution respectfully requests that Boone’s representatives to the North Carolina General Assembly, the Sen. Deanna Ballard and Rep. Ray Russell, initiate amendments to the North Carolina Residential Rental Agreements Act and the North Carolina Tena The resolution was proposed by Councilperson Sam Furgiuele and follows an April resolution passed by the council that asked N.C. Attorney General Josh Stein to investigate and take action to stop “unfair and deceptive rental housing practices in the town of Boone.”

The town was then advised by the North Carolina Attorney General’s office “that aggrieved tenants could make complaints individually through that office’s normal vehicles for consumer complaints, but advising that some of the matters addressed did not constitute violations of North Carolina law and there could be no recourse for them from that office,” according to the June 18 resolution.

Furgiuele said he had hoped to schedule a public forum on the issue with Ballard and Russell, but it did not appear such an event could be scheduled soon. With college students returning in August, “time is of the essence in attempting to address some of the practices involved,” the resolution stated.

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