Please Read & Understand Our Policies for Your Upcoming Trip!
Now that you’ve found the perfect Oak Island vacation rental, you’re probably wondering if there’s any other information that you’ll need when it comes to your beach getaway. Here, you’ll find helpful information on making or canceling your reservation, what to do when you experience a maintenance issue during your stay, how long you should expect the refund of your traditional security deposit as well as other details that pertain to Margaret Rudd & Associates’ vacation rental policies. Please read the following information carefully so that you understand the policies before booking your reservation.
Most, but not all, of the information is contained in the Vacation Rental Agreement (i.e., lease). Upon reservation confirmation, you will be responsible for complying with these policies and procedures. You may also wish to review the North Carolina Vacation Rental Act (NCVRA) which contains information on the rights and obligations of both tenants and landlords in the state of North Carolina and which was passed by the NC General Assembly in 1999.
Margaret Rudd & Associates, Inc., Realtors Vacation Rental Policies
Please review our Vacation Rental Agreement carefully. Once this document is signed, you (“Tenant”) and MRA agree to abide by its terms. All of our rental units are rented from Saturday to Saturday during the prime season. Some properties, but not all, allow nightly reservations with a 2- or 3-night minimum stay during non-prime seasons (varies per property).
Reservations for your Oak Island vacation may be booked in person, online or via our toll-free number of (800) 486-5441. All reservations are assigned a Folio number. Please reference this number on any correspondence and/or payments to ensure that your questions are fully answered and that monies are correctly posted to your account. Our reservation specialists are available from 8:30am to 5:00pm, EST Monday through Saturday and 9:00am to 5:00pm, EST on Sundays to assist you in finding the perfect vacation rental or to answer any questions you may have.
We strongly encourage you to utilize the website to book your reservation online 24-hours per day, view photos of each property and to learn more about the amenities offered in each home. Once you have booked your reservation and received your Folio number from MRA, you will receive access to our Guest Access Portal. This online tool will allow you to sign your Vacation Rental Agreement and make payments on your folio among many other convenient tasks.
Notifications regarding your booking, instructions on how to access your Vacation Rental Agreement through our Guest Access Portal and friendly reminders are electronically delivered through email shortly after booking is complete. If you do not have an email address, we can easily mail your documents to you for completion. See PAYMENT INFORMATION below for details on payment due dates and other important payment-related information.
Please note that your signed Vacation Rental Agreement and first payment must be received by MRA at the time of booking. However, MRA does provide a "No Penalty" time frame in which you may cancel your folio for a full refund. This time frame begins on your contract booking date and is based upon how close the contract booking date is to your arrival date. After the No Penalty time frame has passed, no refund will be issued unless the terms of the Cancellation Policy (as detailed below in CANCELLATIONS) are met.
The No Penalty time frame applies as follows:
- If booking more than 31 days in advance of the arrival date, the No Penalty time frame is 10 days;
- If booking less than 30 days but more than 10 days in advance of the arrival date, the No Penalty time frame is 3 days; and,
- If booking within 9 days of the arrival date then the No Penalty time frame does not apply and payment is due at the time of booking.
Each reservation Folio is subject to applicable taxes, a reservation fee of $45.00 and a security deposit (see security deposit information below). 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, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express. Checks will not be accepted less than 30 days prior to arrival.
If your 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, travel 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.
SECURITY DEPOSIT / DAMAGE PROTECTION PLAN
Tenant is responsible for any actual damage done to the property and its contents, whether accidental or willful, except normal wear and tear. The $400 Security Deposit may be applied to actual damages caused by a 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 the traditional security deposit, tenants may purchase a $45 Vacation Rental Damage Protection Plan designed to cover unintentional damages to the rental unit interior that occur during their stay. If purchased, the policy will pay a maximum benefit of $3,000. Tenant will be responsible for costs exceeding $3,000. You may select this coverage in lieu of the traditional security deposit on your Vacation Rental Agreement. For more information on the Vacation Rental Damage Protection Plan, visit the Protect Your Vacation Investment page of the website for informative flyers and policy informtaion.
WHO CAN RENT?
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, familial status or sexual orientation 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 of 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.
ADVANCE YEAR RESERVATION (7-NIGHT MINIMUM)
Provisional reservations (reservations for a future period for which rates have not been set) may be made up to 51 weeks in advance of arrival. A non-refundable administrative holding fee is required for provisional reservations and must be paid to MRA within 10 days of booking. This fee holds the home off the market until a Vacation Rental Agreement is sent and returned along with your deposit within the required time frame.
Owners have first priority, even over provisional 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, handicap, familial status or sexual orientation of any guest.
ERRORS & OMISSIONS
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 its 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 travel 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. For more information on the travel insurance offered, visit the Protect Your Vacation Investment page of our website for informative flyers and policy information.
**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 & CHECK-OUT PROCEDURES
Check-in time is between 3:00 pm and 5:00 pm, EST (or as soon as the property is released by our housekeeping and maintenance departments) at our office at 210 Country Club Drive, Oak Island, North Carolina. 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, EST, you may stop by our office to see if the property is ready for early occupancy. Please keep in mind that early check-in is never promised or guaranteed.
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, EST. MRA reserves the right to delay check-in until 6:00 pm, EST 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, EST. All guests must be off the property by 10:00 am, EST. No occupancy of the property, including drive-ways or outside showers will be allowed after check-out. During prime season, 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.
ARRIVING AT THE PROPERTY
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 any issue promptly and appropriately. Each property should have a Guest Services Directory provided by MRA that may assist with initial troubleshooting for questions you may have.
CONDOMINIUM SWIMMING POOLS
Condominium pools are controlled and maintained by the home owners associations of each property. MRA cannot guarantee pool 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 vacation rental properties have elevators as an amenity. Arrangement 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-accessible, meaning it may be too small for a wheelchair. If you require a handicap-accessible elevator, please check with our office prior to booking.
Condominium complex elevators are maintained and controlled by the home owners associations of each property. MRA is only able to report issues. We are not able to schedule maintenance or repairs nor can we guarantee availability and/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 & APPLIANCES
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 by calling our office at (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. Therefore, no refunds, rate adjustments or relocation will be made for mechanical failures and malfunctioning equipment.
Strong prevailing winds make grilling a risky situation. Grilling is only permitted on concrete, gravel or similar surfaces. Under no circumstance may 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.
TRASH & RECYCLING PICK-UP
Please place all trash in the secure containers placed outside your unit. Instructions for placing containers at the street will be provided at 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 discovered 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 that some owners have chosen to include departure cleaning service for all weekly rentals as an added bonus for selecting their property. If applicable, this will be noted on your Vacation Rental Agreement.
Option 1: Purchase Departure Cleaning Service
When purchasing the departure cleaning service, Tenant responsibility upon departure is minimal. MRA requests that tenants complete the following:
- Secure/lock all doors and windows
- Empty all trash cans and place trash and recyclables in outside receptacles
- Start dishwasher so that housekeeping can put away clean, dry dishes
- Remove rented linens from beds and place in marked laundry bag inside the door
- Remove all food and personal items
- Return all furnishings to original positions
Option 2: Cleaning the Property Yourself
Unless a departure cleaning service is 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 rented linens from beds and place in marked laundry bag inside the door
- Remake all bedding with spreads as found
- Empty all trash cans and place trash and recyclables in outside receptacles
- 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
INTERNET SERVICE / TELEPHONE / CABLE
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.
These services are contracted by the home owner with a third party vendor; therefore, MRA cannot guarantee the availability of these services and no refunds or relocation will occur in the instance of internet, telephone or cable services not working.
KIDDIE POOLS & WATER USAGE
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.
Being conscious of water and energy consumption during your stay is highly encouraged. You can assist by doing the following:
- Close all windows and doors in the property if the heat or A/C is on
- Wash only full loads of laundry in the washing machine
- Wash only full loads of dishes in the dishwasher
- Turn off all lights and appliances when not in use
- Report any water leaks, dripping faucets or running toilets immediately
LINENS & TOWELS
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 package. Please note that some owners have chosen 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 Vacation Rental Agreement. Should you need linens, please place your order online through this Beach Stuff Linen Rental form, email your order to firstname.lastname@example.org or contact our office at (910) 278-6523.
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.
LOST & FOUND
Checking the property thoroughly before departure is highly recommended as MRA will not be responsible for any personal items left behind in a vacation rental. If you notice something is missing, please call our office right away and we will make every effort to locate and return the lost item(s). Any personal property found in the rental will be held for 30 days.
If item(s) is unclaimed after 30 days, it will be donated to a local charity or discarded. It is the tenant’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 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.
OCCUPANCY & PARKING
Unless otherwise noted, 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 and 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.**
Local weather conditions and our tropical environment means that palmetto bugs (aka water bugs and roaches, despite their differences) and ants are a reality in Oak Island and Southport. 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 that every bug will be kept out of the property. It does serve to keep them from living very long if they do find a way inside. 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 things you can do to help us prevent bugs:
- Store all food in airtight containers
- Clean up crumbs and spills immediately
- Do not leave dirty dishes and utensils in the sink
- Take out trash and recyclables daily
PET POLICY (Dogs Only – No Puppies and No Cats)
MRA knows how fun it can be to vacation with your pet. We offer a number of dog-friendly vacation rentals all over the island. These dog-friendly homes require a nominal pet fee of $150 which allows up to two (2) well-behaved, housebroken adult dogs on premises. No other types of pets are permitted, including puppies and cats, and any amount over the allowed two (2) are subject to owner approval and additional fees.
Pet owners are responsible for cleaning up after their pets and liable for any and all pet damage(s). Pet damage(s) 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 contract and the tenant will be subject to expedited eviction without refund. Tenant will be charged a $250 fee as well as will 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.
RENTAL HOMES FOR SALE
Margaret Rudd & Associates, Inc., REALTORS reserves the right to show each vacation rental property listed for sale to potential buyers. Efforts will be made to schedule any showings at convenient times so as to not interrupt your family vacation.
Likewise, please let us know if you are interested in learning more about local properties listed for sale while in the Southport and Oak Island area. We would be happy to put you in contact with one of our local home buying experts in our sales department.
The majority of MRA vacation homes are non-smoking and non-vaping. A few exceptions to that are listed as noted in the property description. If MRA, at its sole discretion, determines a tenant is smoking and/or vaping in a non-smoking property it will be considered a breach of contract and grounds for expedited eviction. Tenant will be charged a $250 fee as well as be held responsible for any and all costs associated with the removal of evidence, like cigarettes or smoke, including the loss of any future rents.
TOWN ORDINANCES / INFORMATION
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.
FIREWORKS & BONFIRES
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 between November 16 and April 30 by permit only. Permits may be obtained from the Oak Island Fire Department. 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.
HURRICANES & EVACUATIONS
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. We highly recommend the purchase of travel insurance to protect your vacation investment.
SAND DUNES & SEA TURTLES
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 fine for walking on or disturbing vegetation on fenced off dunes.
Oak Island and Caswell Beach are very popular locations for sea turtle nesting. Sea turtles are an endangered and threatened species; therefore, nests in our area are protected and appropriately marked. Do not disturb them. 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, imprisonment for up to 10 years or both.