Vacation Rental Policies | Margaret Rudd & Associates, Inc.

Vacation Rental Policies

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Now that you’ve found the perfect Oak Island vacation rental, there is additional information that you may find helpful – things like making or cancelling reservations, maintenance, emergencies and other Margaret Rudd & Associates policies. Please make sure you read the following information regarding our vacation rental policies carefully and that you understand our policies before booking your reservation.

Most, but not all, of this information will be contained in Vacation Rental Agreement (lease). Upon confirmation of your reservation, you will be responsible for complying with these policies. You may also wish to review the North Carolina Vacation Rental Act (NCVRA) that was passed by the N.C. General Assembly in 1999 for information on the rights and obligations of both tenants and landlords.


You may view the Margaret Rudd & Associates, Inc. lease by clicking this link: Vacation-Rental-Agreement-2018. Please review the Vacation Rental Agreement carefully. Once you sign the document, you (tenant) and MRA agree to abide by its terms. All of our rental units are rented from Saturday to Saturday during Prime Season. Some, not all properties, allow for nightly reservations with a two- or three-night minimum (depending on property) during non-Prime seasons.


You may book your Oak Island vacation rental in person, online or via our toll-free hotline. All reservations will be assigned a reservation number. Please reference this number on all correspondence and payments to ensure that your questions are fully answered and that all monies are correctly posted to your account.

Call 1-800-486-5441 and a reservation specialist is available seven days a week between 8:30 AM and 5:00 PM EST to help you find the perfect cottage or condo for your vacation or answer any questions that may arise.

We strongly encourage you to utilize this website to book your reservation online 24-hours a day, view photos of each property and learn more about the amenities offered in each home.

You receive notification of your booking and instructions to access your Vacation Rental Agreement online 24-hours after your booking has been completed. If you do not have an email address, your documents will be mailed to you. See PAYMENT INFORMATION section below for details on when your signed agreement and initial payment is due in order to secure your reservation.


After making a reservation with MRA, the Vacation Rental Agreement must be signed and returned with the first payment within 10 days of making the reservation or the reservation will be automatically cancelled.

  • For weekly reservations made more than 30 days in advance of check-in date, 50% of the rental rate, optional travel insurance premium, and reservation fee are due within 10 days of booking. The balance (remaining rent, fees, tax and security deposit) is due no later than 30 days prior to arrival. Failure to pay balance due within 30 days of check-in date could result in cancellation and loss of monies paid.
  • For reservations lasting less than 7 days, full payment is due within 10 days of booking. If the check-in date is within 30 days of time of booking, full payment of the reservation will be required within 72 hours.

Each reservation is subject to applicable taxes; a Reservation Fee of $45.00 and a $400.00 Security Deposit (see Security Deposit Information). We are required to collect North Carolina Tax and Local Accommodations Tax on all fees and charges. Payments may be made with personal check (from a US affiliated bank), money order or Visa, MasterCard or Discover. Checks will not be accepted less than 30 days prior to check-in.


If a reservation is cancelled for any reason, money paid will not be refunded unless the property is re-rented for the same time period. Once sufficient payment is received from the new tenant, the advance rent less a $75 cancellation fee, trip insurance premium (if purchased), and any discount offered to secure a re-booking, will be refunded. If the property is not re-rented, tenant will not be entitled to a refund of any rent payment. If you book a last minute reservation, and simply fail to arrive, your credit card will be charged. Advance rents cannot be transferred to another property.


The tenant is responsible for any actual damage done to the property and contents, whether accidental or willful, except normal wear and tear. Your Security Deposit of $400 may be applied to actual damages caused by tenant as permitted under the Tenant Security Deposit Act.

Tenants agree to notify MRA as to any damages or accidents that occur to the premises, to both real property and personal property during your rental period. If there are no damages, MRA will refund tenant’s security deposit within 45 days following the end of the tenancy.

As an alternative to paying a traditional security deposit, you may purchase a $35.00 Vacation Rental Damage Protection Plan designed to cover unintentional damages to the rental unit interior that occur during your stay. If purchased, the policy will pay a maximum benefit of $3000.00. Tenant will be responsible for costs exceeding $3000.00. You may select this coverage on your Vacation Rental Agreement.


MRA reserves the right to rent to tenants age 25 or older. Any tenant under age 25 will not be allowed to check-in and will be liable for lost rents and other monetary damages if property is not re-rented. It is the policy of MRA to rent only to responsible groups due to our obligations to our homeowners. We lease homes without respect to the race, color, religion, sex, national origin, handicap or familial status of any party. No high school or college groups are permitted regardless of age.

MRA properties are not event-friendly and absolutely no house parties are allowed, including wedding receptions. Any group whose behavior creates a disruption or interferes with their neighbor’s peaceful enjoyment of their property will not be allowed to stay and no refund or rents will be made. Any group misrepresenting themselves will be denied occupancy and no refund of rents will be made.

Vacations are all about getting together and connecting with family and friends. We ask that tenants be respectful of the number of people that a home can accommodate. Gatherings that might exceed the occupancy level of the home by more than 50% will require pre-approval and could result in additional rent.


Provisional reservations (reservations for a future period for which rates have not been set) can be made up to 51 weeks in advance. A non-refundable $50.00 plus tax administrative holding fee is required for pre-reservations and must be paid to MRA within 10 days of making your reservation. This fee holds the home off the market until a Vacation Rental Agreement is sent to you in January and returned along with your deposit within the required time frame.

Owners have first priority, even over “held” advance year reservations, up until the reservation is confirmed. The current year’s tenant has first rights to rent the same house for the same week the following year. In order to do so, these priority reservations must be made by the close of business on the Friday of your arrival week. If not made within that time frame, properties are released for reservation on a first request basis the Monday after the week has passed. It is understood that rental rates and fees are subject to change and will be confirmed/finalized the following January.


In accordance with the National Association of Realtors Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics, MRA has a contractual relationship with the Owners represented in our advertising. This contractual relationship employs us to act as the Agent of the Owners and treat all parties (Tenants and Owners) honestly, fairly and in good faith. MRA offers our rental properties without respect to the race, color, religion, sex, national origin and handicap or familial status of any guest.


Every effort is made to ensure that all information and photographs are accurate and complete. However, MRA cannot be held responsible for possible typographical errors; omissions; price changes; changes in taxes; changes in Terms & Conditions; or changes made by the vacation home owners in furnishings, equipment, or bed arrangements. Vacation homes are privately owned and changes may be made to homes or their contents. MRA reserves the right to correct any errors.


If the tenancy created is for 30 days or less, the expedited eviction procedures set forth in the Vacation Rental Act will apply. Tenant may be evicted under such procedures, if tenant (1) holds over in possession after tenancy has expired; (2) commits a material breach of any provision of the Vacation Rental Agreement that according to is terms would result in the termination of tenancy; (3) fails to pay rent as required by their agreement; or (4) has obtained possession of the premises by fraud or misrepresentation.


MRA is proud to offer trip cancellation/interruption insurance on vacation rentals through CSA, Inc. The insurance is shown as an option on your Vacation Rental Agreement. If you wish to purchase coverage, you will initial where indicated on your contract. Once purchased you have 10 days to cancel the coverage, after that time period there will be no refund. Typically, insurance is purchased with the first payment, but it may be added as late as, but not after, final payment.

**Please note that if you have NOT purchased insurance coverage and a named storm (i.e., tropical storm or hurricane) is present and predicted for our coastline, any insurance coverage purchased after that fact does not include trip cancellation or interruption protection in relation to that particular storm only.**  


Check-in time is between 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm (or as soon as the property is released by our housekeeping department) at our office at 210 Country Club Drive, Oak Island, NC. There is additional parking in the back lot of our office if the front parking lot is full. If you arrive before 3:00 pm, you may stop by our office to see if the property is ready for early occupancy, but early check-in is never promised.

Please note that you may not park at the property prior to check-in, even if you are not going into the house. There are instances where a property may not be ready by 5:00 pm. MRA reserves the right to delay check-in until 6:00 pm for special cleaning and maintenance circumstances. We thank you in advance for your patience as our staff works to properly prepare your home for vacation stay.

Check-out time is no later than 10:00 am. All guests must be off the property by 10:00 am. No occupancy of the property, including drive-ways or outside showers will be allowed after check-out. During Prime Season months, you may utilize our Express Phone Check-Out or simply bring your keys to our office and notify staff you have vacated. Refunds will not be given for early departures.


Upon arrival at your rental property, tenants should complete an initial check of the unit for repairs and cleanliness. If there is a problem, please call our office at 910-278-6523 immediately so that we may address the issue swiftly and appropriately. Each property should have a Guest Services Directory provided by MRA that may assist with initial troubleshooting for certain questions you may have.


Condominium pools are controlled and maintained by the home owners associations of each property. MRA cannot guarantee the pool’s availability during your stay. While traditionally the pools are open from Memorial Day to the end of September, we have seen delays or early closures, as well as in-season down times, due to weather or extenuating circumstances.


Some of our vacation rental properties have elevators. Arrangements for elevator use must be made prior to your arrival. Please note that elevators are not guaranteed to be in working order and therefore may not be available. Not every elevator is handicap-friendly, meaning it may be too small for a wheelchair. If you require a handicap accessible elevator, please check with one of our reservation specialists.

Elevators at condo complexes are maintained and controlled by the home owners associations of each property. MRA is only able to report issues, but is not able to schedule maintenance or repairs; nor can we guarantee availability or working condition of elevators.

Please follow all safety instructions posted. Children are not allowed to ride or operate the elevator unattended due to the risk of serious injury or death. Elevator doors should remain closed at all times, except when entering or exiting.


Equipment and appliances in all MRA vacation rentals are provided by the owner and we make every effort to keep all equipment and appliances in good working order. Just as might occur at your own well-maintained home, mechanical failures and other breakdowns could occur. Please report any inoperative equipment to our office (910-278-6523) promptly and we will make every reasonable effort to have the problem corrected as soon as humanly possible.

We ask for your patience and understanding that major repairs, such as air conditioning or appliance break-downs, must be completed by a third party and MRA is dependent on their availability and scheduling. Maintenance technicians and vendors may access the property for purposes connected with the repair.

MRA cannot guarantee working condition of pools, hot tubs, air conditioners, cable, phones, internet service, TVs, VCRs, DVDs, appliances, elevators, etc., and therefore no refunds, rate adjustments or relocation will be made for mechanical failures and malfunctioning equipment.


Our strong prevailing winds make grilling a risky situation. Grilling is only permitted on concrete, gravel or similar surfaces. Under no circumstances can grills be used on decks, porches, under buildings or near vegetation. MRA cannot guarantee the availability or working condition of gas or charcoal grills on the property.

There are beach equipment rental companies listed on our website that offer grill rentals. Tenants will be held financially and legally accountable for problems created by violation of our grilling regulations and restrictions.


Upon arrival, please check your rental for any obvious housekeeping issues and report them immediately to the office at 910-278-6523. Any discrepancies with cleaning upon arrival will be evaluated and corrected if necessary and if reported within 24 hours. Discrepancies reported at the end of tenancy will not be addressed or considered in any way.

In an effort to give tenants more flexibility over their vacation expenses, MRA offers tenants the option of doing the departure cleaning themselves or purchasing a departure cleaning service. Please note, some owners, not all, have selected to include departure cleaning service for all weekly rentals as an added bonus for selecting their property. If applicable, this will be noted in the property description.

Option 1: Purchase Departure Cleaning Service

By purchasing the departure cleaning service, the tenant’s responsibility upon departure is minimal. MRA requests that tenants complete the following checklist:

  • Secure/lock all doors and windows
  • Empty all trash cans and place trash in outside receptacle
  • Start dishwasher so that housekeeping can put away clean, dry dishes
  • Remove rented linens from the beds and place in marked laundry bag inside the front door
  • Remove all food and personal items
  • Return all furnishings to original positions

Option 2: Cleaning the Property Yourself

Unless a maid service has been purchased, or is specifically included with the property, the tenant is responsible for thoroughly cleaning the rental unit before checking out. Each unit is inspected on the day of departure and if found to be incomplete the tenant will be charged a cleaning fee. Tenant must complete, at a minimum, the following checklist:

  • Vacuum all carpets / rugs
  • Sweep and mop all interior floors
  • Wipe all tables, counter tops and cabinet surfaces clean
  • Bathtub, showers, sinks and toilets thoroughly cleaned with cleaning agent
  • Remove all rented linens from the beds and place in marked laundry bag inside the front door
  • Remake all bedding with spreads as found
  • Empty all trash cans and place trash in outside receptacle
  • Wash, dry and put-away all dishes
  • Wipe all kitchen appliances clean, interior and exterior
  • Remove all food and personal items
  • Secure/lock all doors and windows
  • Return all furnishings to original positions


Many of our vacation properties have either wired or wireless internet service, home telephones and cable television packages. We understand the need to be connected is important, even when on vacation. If you experience connection problems, please call our office at 910-278-6523 to report the issue so that we can promptly contact the vendor/company for repair.

Because these services are contracted by the home owner to a 3rd party vendor, MRA cannot guarantee the availability of these services and therefore no refunds or relocation will occur in the instance of internet, telephone or cable services not working.


Above ground pools of any kind, including plastic or inflatable kiddie pools, are not permitted at any time at any of our vacation rental properties. Tenants may be charged up to $300 for excessive or careless use of water, which will be charged to the credit card information on file up to 45 days after departure.


We encourage every guest to be conscious of their water and energy consumption while enjoying their vacation. You can assist by:

  • Closing all windows and doors in the cottage if the heat or A/C is on
  • Washing only full loads of laundry in the washing machine
  • Washing only full loads of dishes in the dishwasher
  • Turning off all lights and appliances when not in use
  • Reporting any water leaks, dripping faucets or running toilets immediately upon discovery


In an effort to give tenants more flexibility over their vacation expenses, MRA offers tenants the option of bringing their own sheets and towels or purchasing a linen rental package. Please note that some owners, not all, have selected to include the linen package for all weekly rentals as an added bonus for selecting their property. If applicable, this will be noted in the property description. Should you need sheets or towels, please contact our office at 910-278-6523 to order a linen package.

MRA strongly recommends you make arrangements for linens early and at least 72-hours in advance of your arrival. If linens are ordered within 24- hours of your scheduled arrival date, a delivery fee will be charged. Sheets and towels are available as a whole-house package or a la carte, thus allowing you to purchase only what you need. Linen packages include sheets and pillowcases for every advertised bed, a towel set (bath towel, hand towel and washcloth) for maximum occupancy and a kitchen towel set. Linens will be delivered to your vacation rental on the day of your arrival.


We recommend you check the property thoroughly before your departure, as MRA will not be responsible for any personal items left behind in our vacation rentals. If you notice something is missing, please call our office right away and we will make every effort to locate and return the lost items. Any personal property found in the rental will be held for 30 days.

If, after 30 days, property is unclaimed, it will be donated to a local charity or discarded. It is the guest’s responsibility to contact MRA to arrange for personal property to be returned. If you request that we attempt to locate any forgotten articles for you, you may be charged a $25.00 service charge plus packing, shipping, handling and tax. We utilize a local mailing store for the packing and return of left behind items.


As our area continues to grow, we cannot predict or control any active construction projects going on near your vacation rental. Should you find yourself near construction, please realize that no refunds or relocation will be made as MRA has no control regarding this matter.


Unless otherwise noted in the property description, MRA defines occupancy levels of no greater than two persons per bed (one person per twin bed). In no instance should occupancy exceed the bedding accommodations provided with the home. Children 3 years of age and under are not included in the occupancy count.

Overcrowding is a serious situation and is grounds for immediate eviction. Please do not jeopardize your family and friends vacation by overcrowding. If you need to rent a second home to allow for the members in your group, please do so. Again, we ask that tenants be respectful of the number of people that a home can accommodate. Gatherings that might exceed the occupancy level of the home by more than 50% will require pre-approval and could result in additional rent.

Parking is limited to the driveway and designated parking spaces only. Tenants are not allowed to park in the yard or grass. RVs are not permitted on the grounds of any unit at any time. Boats, boat trailers, equipment trailers are counted as a vehicle and must be parked in allocated spaces.

**Most condominium complexes do NOT allow boat or trailer parking. Please call our office to confirm if boat, trailer or RV parking is allowed prior to your arrival.**  


Our tropical environment, along with other weather conditions means that palmetto bugs (aka water bugs and roaches, despite their differences) and ants are a reality in Oak Island. We understand that bugs are creepy to most everyone, so we do our very best to keep the pests away by requiring a quarterly pest control service on every rental home we manage. An occasional palmetto bug or line of ants in this part of the world is a fact of life and does not mean that the property has been poorly maintained.

Please keep in mind that regular pest control cannot guarantee to keep every bug out of the property, but it does serve to keep them from living very long if they do find a way in. Therefore, finding a dead bug here or there is actually a good thing and means that the pest control treatment is doing its job.

However, should you experience any issues, we will happily arrange for a pest control service call. Please note that refunds will not be given for Pest Control issues.

During your stay, there are also things you can do to prevent bugs such as:

  • Making sure all food is stored in airtight containers
  • Crumbs and spills are cleaned up immediately
  • Dirty dishes and utensils are not left in the sink
  • Take trash out daily
  • Do not allow old food and garbage to sit in the can longer than necessary

PET POLICY (Dogs Only – No Puppies and No Cats)

MRA knows how much fun it can be to vacation with your pet and we offer a number of dog-friendly vacation rentals all over the island. These vacation homes require a nominal pet fee of $150 that allows up to two (2) well-behaved, housebroken adult dogs. No other types of pets are permitted, including puppies and cats.

Pet owners are responsible for cleaning up after their pets and are liable for any and all pet damage. Pet damage by UNREPORTED PETS is not covered under the Vacation Rental Damage Protection Plan if purchased. ABSOLUTELY NO PETS ARE PERMITTED IN POOLS OR HOT TUBS.

If a pet is discovered in a property that is not specified as “Dog Friendly”, it will be considered a material breach of the contract (lease) and tenant will be subjected to expedited eviction without refund. Tenant will be charged a $250 fee as well as be held responsible for additional cleaning charges, flea treatment charges, any lost income, and all expenses related to restoring the property to a satisfactory level as determined by MRA.


Some vacation properties are also for sale in the Southport / Oak Island area. Please let us know if you are interested in learning more about local properties while you are here. MRA reserves the right to show each rental listed for sale to potential buyers. Efforts will be made to schedule the showing at a convenient time as not to interrupt your vacation.


All MRA vacation homes are non-smoking with a few exceptions as noted in the individual property description. If MRA, at their sole discretion, determines a tenant is smoking in a non-smoking property it will be considered a breach of contract (lease) and grounds for expedited eviction and will be charged a $250 fee as well as be held responsible for any and all costs incurred to remove evidence of cigarettes or cigarette smoke, including any loss of future rents.


For a COMPLETE list of town ordinances, please visit each town’s website: Town of Oak Island, Town of Caswell Beach and the City of Southport.


Absolutely no fireworks or firearms are allowed on any MRA vacation rental property. Use of fireworks within the city limits of Oak Island is illegal. North Carolina General Statute 14-410 prohibits the possession or use of pyrotechnics or fireworks. This includes any firework that will explode, such as fire crackers, or leave the ground, such as bottle rockets or mortars.

Oak Island allows bonfires on the beach by permit only. The permits are free and can be obtained from Town hall. All rules and regulations must be followed. Fires are not allowed from May 1 through November 15 in order to prevent harm to our nesting sea turtles.


In the event of a MANDATORY EVACUATION due to hurricanes, tropical storms or other potential disaster, you are required by state law to promptly comply with the evacuation order. For information regarding mandatory evacuation plans, you should call the local Town Hall or Police Department for information.

Please take ALL of your possessions, including food with you since re-entry cannot be guaranteed. You must check in with MRA before returning to your rental property after an evacuation is lifted. For your safety, MRA staff must have time to evaluate each property for storm damage and determine if it is safe for our guests to return.

MRA does not offer refunds in the event of a hurricane evacuation or other event covered by CSA, Ins. Please contact CSA Travel Protection for clarification of coverage, toll free 866-999-4018 or visit their website at We highly recommend the purchase of travel insurance to protect your vacation investment.


Please use designated beach access walkways and do not walk or play on the sand dunes. The sea oats and beach grass help prevent beach erosion and protect our island. Please do not pick or destroy oats and grasses as they are vital to the dunes integrity. There is a $500.00 fine for walking on or disturbing vegetation on fenced off dunes.

Oak Island and Caswell Beach are very popular for sea turtle nesting. Sea turtles are an endangered and threatened species and are therefore protected and nests are marked. Do not disturb them and keep children and dogs away from these areas. Harassment of sea turtles or their nests is a violation of State and Federal Law and is punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 or imprisonment for up to ten years or both.


Please place all trash in the secure containers placed outside your unit. Instructions for placing containers at the street will be printed on your key packet.