MRA's Response to COVID-19
Margaret Rudd & Associates cares about the safety and well-being of all of our guests, their families, our team members, property owners and third party vendors. As the situation unfolds, this dedicated webpage will provide updates on company policies and procedures and helpful links where you may find current state and local information on COVID-19.
Our aim is to uphold our commitment to assisting guests with the same level of customer service for which we are known. Our office plans to stay "Open for Business" to answer any questions guests may have as we are able. We encourage our guests and area office visitors to contact us by email to firstname.lastname@example.org in an effort to uphold the plan of social distancing. If and/or when we decide to close the office, we will update this page of our website and will post on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/OakIslandBeaches.
Short Term Rentals Discontinued
On Saturday, March 21, 2020, the Towns of Caswell Beach and Oak Island both declared a State of Emergency effective immediately. Included with this Declaration is the "Discontinuance of All Short-term Rental Operations". This means that any guests staying less than 3 months must evacuate the island no later than 2:00pm Tuesday, March 24, 2020. In addition, no new rental reservations may be accepted and Margaret Rudd & Associates will not allow any check-ins after Saturday, March 21, 2020. The City of Southport declared a State of Emergency on Friday March 20, 2020 with an update on Saturday, March 21, 2020 to follow suit with prohibiting short term rentals. The public may view the State of Emergency documents for each Town as well as the City of Southport on each government webpage (see links at bottom of page).
On Monday, March 23, 2020 the Town of Oak Island issued an update to the Declaration to include an initial "end date" for the discontinuance of short-term rentals. This end date currently stands as Thursday, April 30, 2020. The Town of Caswell Beach and Southport followed suit with instructions to follow the order as issued by the Governor of North Carolina. Please monitor this page of our website frequently for updates as additional information is received and the COVID-19 situation develops.
HOW THE STATE OF EMERGENCY AFFECTS YOU AS AN MRA GUEST
MRA guests on property, occupying rentals as of State of Emergency Declaration had to evacuate by 2:00pm, Tuesday, March 24, 2020. Per our amended Cancellation policy, guests who were occupying a rental property and were made to evacuate will be provided a refund for unused time.
MRA guests scheduled to arrive Sunday, March 22, 2020 through Thursday, April 30, 2020 will not be able to check-in due to the Declaration prohibiting any new rentals or check-ins. Guests who are unable to check-in are provided the flexibility of changing their travel dates with no penalty or receiving a refund equal to 100% of their reservation cost. If a guest chooses to change travel dates, the rental rate for the time frame the guest is moving to will prevail.
As of April 3, 2020, MRA guests scheduled to arrive Friday, May 1, 2020 through Sunday, May 31, 2020 will be provided the flexibility to reschedule their reservations. Due to ongoing concern and the need for some guests to adjust travel arrangements now, we are offering the option to reschedule travel dates for our guests scheduled to arrive during the month of May. Guests may reschedule their travel dates without penalty. Guests must (a) select new travel dates within 2020, (b) stay in the same property, and (c) pay the rental rate for the new travel dates.
At this time, MRA does not know if the prohibition of check-ins will last beyond April 30, 2020. While we are hoping and planning to accommodate guests as of May 1, 2020, we are offering the above flexibility proactively to assist guests who may need to adjust their travel arrangements now. We do not expect to make any adjustments for June arrivals until we are closer to the end of April or beginning of May unless there arises a need to do so.
We welcome guests to reach out to us through email to email@example.com if you have any questions or if you would like clarification. We are asking guests and the local public to refrain from visiting our area offices at this time in an effort to practice social distancing. Please note that hold times may be long if you decide to contact us by phone at (800) 486-5441 due to the limited staff on hand. Again, we encourage you to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org as it may be the quickest and most efficient form of communication during this time.
Our sincere apologies for having to take this action with regard to our guest reservations. We know many of you have been planning your family and personal vacations for quite some time. We consider the safety, health and well-being of our guests a top priority; therefore, we hope you allow us to welcome you back to the area once all of this is said and done.
Amended Cancellations Policy
In addition to the above, we have temporarily amended our Cancellation policy to reflect the following changes:
For reservations scheduled to arrive between March 16th and April 30th, 2020, guests will be provided the flexibility of changing their travel dates with no penalty. The rental rate for the time frame the guest is moving to will prevail.
For reservations scheduled to arrive between March 16th and April 30th, 2020, guests will be allowed to cancel their stay with no penalty. Guests will be refunded 100% of their reservation cost.
For reservations scheduled to arrive between May 1st and May 31st, 2020, guests will be provided the flexibility of changing their travel dates with no penalty. Guests must choose new travel dates in 2020 at the same property. The rental rate for the time frame the guest is moving to will prevail.
Guests that are occupying a rental as of March 16th and choose to depart early will be provided a refund for unused time.
Guests that are affected with school schedule extensions due to COVID-19 will be provided the flexibility of changing their travel dates with no penalty. The rental rate for the time frame the guest is moving to will prevail. Please note this provision applies only to reservations booked prior to March 16th when there is no travel insurance coverage available.
We will continue to closely monitor the situation on a national, state and local level and will update our guests and this webpage as information is processed. At this time, we cannot answer questions as to how we will proceed beyond May 31, 2020.
Travel Insurance Questions
For guests who purchased the Travel Insurance, the following statement has been provided. Any questions regarding your coverage should be sent directly to them (link provided below). You may call them at (800) 874-2442. Please note that they are dealing with high call volumes at the moment. You may also communicate with them by email to email@example.com.
"The Coronavirus outbreak is considered a foreseeable event under any plans purchased on or after January 29, 2020. That means you could be covered if you are diagnosed with Coronavirus, but foreseeable events such as becoming quarantined due to Coronavirus will not be covered. Please note, our plans will not cover fear of travel, unless you purchased Trip Cancellation for Any Reason coverage. Customers are strongly encouraged to read their Description of Coverage or Insurance Policy for details regarding their available coverage."
With the possibility of the situation changing quickly, we urge you to be diligent in checking your emails and any voicemails from our office. If you have a current reservation with us, we suggest logging into our Guest Access Portal to ensure that we have the most current phone numbers and email address for your tenant file.
We ask you to also refer to this page and the links below consistently as information will change as we continue to face COVID-19. Information on area events, closing and cancellations may be found on the Town of Oak Island, City of Southport and Brunswick County websites.