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Vacation Policies

Our policies and what you need to know.


Emerald Isle Realty, Inc. is conducting business under the Vacation Rental Act (N.C. General Statutes Section 42 A-1) for all vacation rental agreements entered into on or after January 1, 2000. Emerald Isle Realty, Inc. acts as agent on behalf of the homeowner for vacation rental properties.


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CHECK-IN INFORMATION – Please check-in at our office located at 7501 Emerald Drive, corner of Emerald Drive and Black Skimmer Road, across from Emerald Isle Town Hall. Please make sure you have your confirmation handy upon arrival.

EXPRESS CHECK-IN/OUT SERVICE – During the summer months, weather permitting, enjoy our convenient express drive-through service at our very own little “Tiki Hut.” Your rental account must be paid in full prior to arriving. Time to go home? A quick drive-through to return your keys and passes and you are safely on your way home.

CHECK-IN TIME – 4:00 pm check-in or later. Please plan your trip accordingly as keys cannot be released until check-in time. Occasionally, we may need the hours of 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm to perform additional cleaning or maintenance. No check-in will be permitted until your rental account has been paid in full, including all taxes and other fees. Upon check-in you will be issued 2 keys to your rental property and the appropriate number of parking passes. Condo rentals will include the necessary gate cards and passes that are permitted by the condominium management group. Directions to your rental property will be placed on the front of your check-in package.

AFTER HOURS CHECK-IN – Should you arrive after our office is closed, your keys will be left in a locked key box on our front porch. The code to
enter the box will be sent with your Arrival Confirmation letter. Please check-in with our office by 11:00 AM the following morning and pay any balances that may be due on your rental account.

CHECK-OUT TIME – 10:00 am. Sorry, no exceptions as we must have time to clean and inspect all properties for arriving guests unless you have arranged for our late check-out service in advance. Otherwise, a late check-out will result in additional charges to your rental account equal to one night’s rent. Please return all keys and passes to our office. A fee will be charged for any keys, passes or gate cards not returned. Tenant is responsible for cleaning all dishes, emptying refrigerator, securing all doors and windows and placing trash in outdoor receptacles upon departing. For our guests who have stayed in both sides of a duplex, please be sure to return all items, especially kitchen items, to the proper side before departure.

OFFICE HOURS – 9:00 am to 5:00 pm every day. During winter months (December-February), our office will be closed on Sundays. During November and March, our office is open on Sunday from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm.

PAYMENT INFORMATION – All monies received by Emerald Isle Realty, Inc. are placed in an interest bearing trust account in an insured bank or savings and loan association in North Carolina with interest being paid to Agent. Emerald Isle Realty may disburse up to 50% of advance rent payments to homeowner and other payments to third party vendors prior to guests’ occupancy. You will receive an Advance Payment Request/Vacation Rental Agreement. The Vacation Rental Agreement should be read over closely, signed and returned with advance payment (exact amount noted on agreement) for all weekly rentals. If you are renting for less than a full week or arriving within 30 days, the full payment will be requested in advance.

METHOD OF PAYMENT – When making reservations 30 days or more in advance, the preferred method of payment is personal check and the advance rent payment must be received in our office within 3 days or reservation will be cancelled. Remember that your final payment is due 30 days prior to arrival. We will gladly accept personal checks for final payment if we have at least 30 days to process the check. Accepted forms of payment are in US funds only. For reservations made less than 30 days prior to arrival, immediate payment in full is required by American Express, Visa, MasterCard or Discover, or by certified funds within 7 days.

TAXES – North Carolina sales tax is 6.75% and Carteret County occupancy tax is 6%, for a total tax of 12.75% (subject to change by state or local government) which is added to all rentals of 90 days or less. Guests are responsible for paying all applicable taxes in full prior to checking in. Taxes will be disbursed to the governing authority upon check-out.

OTHER CHARGES AND FEES – Emerald Isle Realty has no reservation fee. Emerald Isle Realty may receive a commission or percentage from services provided through our office.

SECURITY DEPOSIT – We appreciate our rental guests, many of whom have been vacationing with us for three generations! Therefore, we do not require a security deposit or reservation fee, but instead, offer the complimentary No Worries Protection Program outlined below.

NO WORRIES PROTECTION PROGRAM (NWPP) – We have enjoyed great friendships with the rental guests who have become our dear friends over the years and know that intentional, malicious damage is a sad but an extremely rare occurrence. At the same time, experience also tells us accidental damage can and will happen. Included with your rent is our No Worries Protection Program (NWPP). Emerald Isle Realty does NOT require a separate security deposit or a security deposit waiver fee in addition to the rent. Under NWPP you will not be required to pay for accidental damage to the home or the personal property of the Owner contained within the Premises, up to a limit of $2,000 per reservation. Damages exceeding $2,000 will be the responsibility of the Tenant. Under no circumstances does NWPP release a Tenant or any member or guest of their party from obligations imposed by the North Carolina Vacation Rental Act with respect to maintaining the Premises, including but not limited to, the following: (a) keep the Premises as clean and safe as the condition of the Premises permit, and cause no unsafe or unsanitary conditions in the common areas and remainder of the Premises that You use; (b) dispose of all ashes, rubbish, garbage, and other waste in a clean and safe manner; (c) keep all plumbing fixtures in the Premises or used by the Tenant in working condition and as clean as their condition permits; (d) not deliberately destroy or negligently destroy, deface, damage, or remove any part of the Premises or render inoperable the smoke detector provided by the Owner, or knowingly permit any person to do so; (e) comply with all obligations imposed upon the Tenant by current applicable building and housing codes; (f) be responsible for all damage, defacement, or removal of any property inside the Premises that is in Your exclusive control unless the damage, defacement, or removal was due to ordinary wear and tear, acts of the Owner or the Owner’s agent, defective products supplied or repairs made by the Owner, acts of third parties not invitees of the Tenant, or natural forces; and (g) notify the Agent in writing of the need for replacement and of repairs during the tenancy which continued presence or use would jeopardize the safety of tenants and guests or harm the premises including repairs to the smoke detectors or replacing the batteries as needed. You agree not to use the Premises for any activity or purpose that violates any criminal law or governmental regulation. Your breach of any duty contained in this paragraph after commencement of tenancy shall be considered material, and shall result in the termination of your tenancy with NO REFUND OF RENT. Exclusions within the NWPP specifically limit Emerald Isle Realty’s obligation to repair/replace and does not cover or release the tenant from liability for damage due to the following: 1) intentional, willful, reckless, or malicious acts of the tenant or others on the premises during the tenancy, 2) damage by pets, 3) theft from the premises of either the owner’s property or property belonging to the tenant, 4) gross negligence of tenant or intentional misuse of furnishings, appliances, equipment, or other amenities provided with the home, 5) damage caused while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, 6) damages to real property, furnishings, or any vehicles resulting from operation of a motorized vehicle by a tenant, 7) Damages related to smoking in “No Smoking” homes, 8) Damages related to Henna tattoo stains 9) NWPP is limited to tenancies of 30 days or less provided to the tenant shall extend to all members of the tenant’s party and guests of the tenant. In order to not be charged for incidents described under the NWPP all damages must be reported to Emerald Isle Realty before check-out. NWPP is not available for non-family or large groups such as weddings, reunions, or corporate retreats. We want to help you relax with a No Worries vacation so if that accidental damage occurs just give us a call. All of our homes now automatically include Emerald Isle Realty’s NWPP!

TRIP CANCELLATION/INTERRUPTION INSURANCE (TRAVEL INSURANCE) – Emerald Isle Realty offers Red Sky travel cancellation/interruption insurance to every guest. Red Sky is authorized by the North Carolina Department of Insurance. Red Sky insurance is optional, but is strongly recommended. Please note that pre-existing health conditions may not be covered. If a tropical system has been upgraded to a Hurricane prior to your purchase of the insurance, it is not covered. No refunds will be made in the event of a mandatory evacuation if guest does not purchase Red Sky insurance. For questions concerning the travel insurance, please call Red Sky directly at 866.889.7409. The insurance premium is non-refundable and non-transferable. Visit our website for more information on additional services offered by Red Sky.

PRE-BOOKING — SAME TIME, SAME PLACE – We gladly accept pre-bookings for the same time, same place for the following year. Booking your same time, same place for the following year should be done in our office Monday-Friday during your stay. Remember, this is only a tentative reservation as homeowners have first right of refusal for dates available. Your tentative reservation is confirmed upon receipt of your signed Vacation Rental Agreement and initial advance payment.

CANCELLATION/RESERVATION TRANSFERS – If you should have to cancel your reservation please notify us in writing immediately. If your reservation must be cancelled for any reason, all money paid will be forfeited unless the home or condo is re-rented for the entire cancelled period and for the original rental amount.

If re-rented for the original rental amount, all money paid will be refunded less the cancellation fee of $200 and travel insurance premium.

If re-rented at a lower rental amount, your refund will be decreased by the difference between the original rental amount and the lower rental amount, as well as the $200 cancellation fee and any travel insurance premium.

A change of rental dates for the same property during the current calendar year is considered a cancellation. PLEASE consider Red Sky Guest Protect Travel Insurance Plan to avoid some of the risks associated with the necessity of cancellation. Guest will be refunded for any fees which are received through Emerald Isle Realty for goods, services, activity packages or rental items that have not already been paid out to third parties. Travel Insurance is nonrefundable. Please note: Emerald Isle Realty reserves the right to cancel or transfer reservation at any time prior to taking occupancy. Should this occur, reservation will be transferred to a comparable property or refund all monies received from Tenant.

WINTER RENTALS – Many of our homes are available for winter rentals (December 1 – March 15). However, due to the potential of freezing, most water lines to outside points are turned off. This may include hot tubs, swimming pools, outside showers, foot washes, hoses and fish cleaning tables. Please confirm the availability of any of these items at the time of booking.

NO TEEN HOUSE (SPRING BREAK) PARTIES ALLOWED – Emerald Isle Realty will not rent to fraternities, school or civic groups or other non-family groups even if chaperoned by adults. Church retreats are acceptable. We reserve the right to terminate or reject rental if a reservation is booked under false pretenses. Emerald Isle Realty requires that the minimum age for a rental guest to enter into our Vacation Rental Agreement is 21 years of age or older.

MAY I BRING MY PET? – Emerald Isle Realty is proud to be very pet friendly! Look for our “doggie” icon symbol for quick reference for the vacation homes that DO allow pets. Please note that the majority of our homes do not allow pets. A one time nonrefundable pet fee will be charged per pet for the vacation homes that do allow pets. Mobility, visually, or hearing impaired persons must show a tag issued by the NC Department of Human Resources, or upon showing that the dog is trained as an assistance dog, may have a pet in a “no pet” property.

The Town of Emerald Isle has a leash law and a “pooper scooper” law that is strictly enforced. Pet owners must clean up after their pets on public and private property. Please note the maximum number of pets allowed per property and amount of pet fee in each property description. This fee is not a damage deposit and is not refundable. Pets are not allowed in swimming pools or hot tubs.

PEST CONTROL PROBLEMS – Emerald Isle has an abundance of wildlife due to the ecology of our maritime area. Unfortunately, this also means that we have a large population of ants, water bugs and sand fleas. In the case of a serious problem we will schedule an exterminator. Until he arrives, thorough vacuuming, keeping food in ziplock bags, and ensuring no crumbs on countertops will help. If you decide to purchase insect repellent and spray our office will reimburse you for the expense when you bring in the receipt.

LIMITED OCCUPANCY – The vacation property should not be used or occupied by more than the maximum allowable number of occupants including tenant’s family, children and tenant’s guests. Our island does not have a central sewage system. All cottages have individual septic systems, which are permitted by the Health Department for maximum occupancy in the cottage. Unless otherwise noted in the cottage description, EIR follows the Carteret County Health Department regulations, which assume occupancy of two persons per bedroom. Although additional bedding may be listed, this is for the convenience of providing privacy and adequate bedding for groups that may need to have separate lodging due to gender, age or marital status. Overcrowding is a serious situation and is grounds for immediate eviction. Do not jeopardize your family and friends’ vacation by overcrowding. If necessary, please rent a second cottage or condo to allow for all the members in your group.

Many of our homeowners are in the process of upgrading their septic systems to allow additional occupancy and this will be noted in either their brochure description or their on-line description on our website.

VACATION HOMES LISTED FOR SALE – In some cases, vacation homes may be listed for sale. Occasionally, properties may need to be shown to qualified buyers. You will be contacted to schedule a convenient time for showing.

CANCELLATION BY HOMEOWNER – Emerald Isle Realty, on behalf of the homeowner, reserves the right to cancel an agreement at any time prior to guest checking into property. In this event, tenant will be refunded all monies paid and neither Emerald Isle Realty nor the owner will be liable for any damages incurred as a result of the cancellation. Guest may be moved to an alternative vacation home and Emerald Isle Realty, in good faith, will make every effort to relocate guest, but if the substitute property is more expensive, guest must pay the difference. This is highly unusual and would require extraordinary circumstances for the homeowner.

REAL ESTATE INFORMATION – Emerald Isle Realty, Inc. and their Agents may hold interest in vacation rental properties. Emerald Isle Realty, Inc. shall conduct all brokerage activities in regard to this, or any agreement, without respect to the race, color, religion, sex, national origin, handicap or familial status of any tenant.

FURNISHINGS & BED LINENS – All vacation properties are set up for light housekeeping and cooking. All beds are provided with pillows and bedspreads. Guests should bring all paper products, cleaning supplies, condiments, staple items and bed and bath linens. If you are among the fortunate families staying in a beach home that include one of our Linen Club Services you may omit bed and bath linens. Otherwise, linen services are available for rental at an additional fee and should be reserved in advance.

AMENITIES – Most vacation properties provide televisions, DVDs or VCRs. No refunds will be made for malfunctions. However, EIR will attempt to provide a replacement or loaner, but supplies are limited. Cable TV service, satellite TV, telephone service and Internet access cannot be guaranteed as we have occasional interruption of service due to our island location.

DEPARTURE CLEANING SERVICE AND OUR NO WORRIES HOUSEKEEPING GUARANTEE – The EIR Housekeeping Team is extensively trained so that we can live up to our famous Housekeeping Guarantee, “We will correct any housekeeping problem reported to us on day of arrival within two hours if reported by 7:00 pm in the summer months, or 5:00 pm in the off-season. After hours concerns are taken care of the next morning.” All departure cleans are inspected by certified housekeeping inspectors to ensure that our high standards have been met. No other vacation rental company in the area offers this service. This is why our housekeeping department shines as the best on the island.

Every property is inspected prior to check-in and after check-out and you may be billed if extraordinary cleaning is required. If you are one of our fortunate guests who are able to stay two weeks or longer, you may request a weekly mid-stay cleaning during the week by calling our housekeeping department to schedule your cleaning at 252.354.5077.

NO WORRIES MAINTENANCE AND AFTER HOURS EMERGENCY SERVICE – Our maintenance team works hard throughout the year to prepare your vacation home prior to arrival. If you should have need of their service for any repair or appliance service call during your vacation, it is their mission to take care of this for you before sundown on the day it was reported. If a part must be ordered, we will make every effort to expedite this as well. If you have need of our After Hours Emergency service, a maintenance tech will rapidly respond to your phone call. Since homes are individually owned we are unable to offer refunds when appliances fail or other repair needs arise.

NO WORRIES GUEST SERVICES – Vacations should be the happiest days of the year for you. Our empathetic and caring Guest Services Representatives are here to assist you if any concerns arise during your stay with us. They are good listeners and problem solvers. Renting a private vacation home means we may also be coordinating any Guest Services recovery needs with input or guidance from the homeowner of your vacation home.

OCEANFRONT STEPS, BOARDWALKS, DOCKS AND WALKWAYS – Our area is prone to storms and nor’easters which may change the beach topography in many areas from year to year. Steps, docks and boardwalks may be missing or may not be replaced due to storm damage. NC Coastal Area Management Act guidelines sometimes prohibit the reconstruction of steps in narrow beach areas. When you make your reservations, please ask your reservationist for beach access information from your cottage or condo. Likewise, the photo in the brochure or website may not accurately reflect the design of oceanfront steps, boardwalks, dune decks, docks or gazebos.

HANDICAPPED ACCESSIBLE – For the convenience of our guests who have special needs and prefer vacation homes that are wheelchair friendly, we have listed in the property description which areas of the home we consider being somewhat accessible. Unfortunately, none would meet the ADA standards for handicapped accessibility, but do have ramps, elevators and/or accessible baths. The Emerald Isle Fire Department has all-terrain wheelchairs available 7 days a week for visitors and residents with special needs who wish to go on the beach.

GRILLING – North Carolina Law prohibits grilling on the decks and balconies of rental properties. Grilling is permitted only on concrete surfaces away from wooded areas or structures. If the owner provides a grill, rental guest is responsible for the cleaning. If a grill is not provided in your vacation property, gas and charcoal grills are available for rental through our office.

DRIVING ON THE BEACH – The Town of Emerald Isle allows vehicles on the beach from September 15 through April 30, except during Easter week. A special permit is required and must be purchased from Emerald Isle Town Hall from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday-Friday (not available on weekends). For an application and information about hours vehicles are permitted on the beach, contact Town Hall 252.354.3424 or visit their website at www.EmeraldIsle-NC.org.We ask that you be aware that the beach strand is an environmentally sensitive area and driving on the beach should be discouraged during turtle nesting and hatching season, which runs through late October.

REVERSE FLOOR PLANS – Some of our property descriptions indicate the property is a “reverse floor plan.” For those that do, a reverse floor plan design is with the majority of the bedrooms on the first level and the kitchen and living areas on the top level. Outstanding views from the living area would be an attractive feature of these homes that have a “reverse floor plan.”

PEG LOTS – In some of our oceanfront and soundfront subdivisions, developers have sub-divided the parcels of land so that the houses are staggered as to their placement on the lot. Each home does offer a direct water access, but some homes may be closer than others to the waterfront.

TELEPHONES – With few exceptions many of our vacation properties are equipped with telephones for your convenience. While some of our homes provide free long distance, most do not. If your vacation home has a long distance block you can still call long distance by using a calling card or calling the operator and using a credit card. If your home does not provide a telephone it will be noted in the property description.

CONSTRUCTION – Occasionally, you may experience construction in your neighborhood during your stay. Please be patient and understanding if this situation should arise. Emerald Isle Realty will do everything possible to contact the contractor if this is a problem. However, no refunds can be made in the event of construction noise or problems.

LUXURY AMENITIES – Swimming pools, hot tubs, spas, whirlpools, jacuzzis, elevators, golf carts and other such amenities and appliances cannot be guaranteed to be in good working order. Every effort will be made to have them in good working order but no refunds or discounts will be made in the event they are inoperable during your stay. Guests use these amenities at their own risk.

HOT TUBS – If a hot tub is provided with your cottage, it will be prepared and tested for proper and safe chemical levels by a certified pool and spa operator prior to or on the day of your occupancy. The treatment is designed to last the duration of a oneweek stay. Rules and regulations are posted and must be followed. Misuse of tubs by spilling of foreign substances, excessive sand, suntan oil, etc. will incur a service call charge. An additional mid-week clean is available at $45 per service. No hot tubs other than those supplied with the cottage are permitted unless prior approval is given by Emerald Isle Realty. Under no circumstances are pets allowed in hot tubs or swimming pools. Violation of this rule may result in expedited eviction.

SWIMMING POOLS – Many rental guests love the idea of extending the swimming season by choosing homes with private pools. Realistically, the weather is favorable for outside pool use only from late April through mid October even when heated. For our homes with pools that offer the heated pool option the published rental rates do not include pool heat (unless noted in the cottage description). Price of pool heat is subject to change, based on market costs of fuel. Please note that during times of extremely low temperature and/or high winds, pools may not heat to an acceptable temperature. During these extreme conditions or when outside temperatures are predicted to be below 60 degrees, EIR will determine if the pool heat will be turned on for guest use. Once pool heat has been turned on, in the absence of mechanical failure, no monies will be refunded due to customer request. Pool heat, when selected and paid as part of the reservation, is turned on the day of arrival. Private pools in rental homes will be open from April 12 through October 26, weather permitting. A limited number of our homes may elect to make the pool available outside these dates for an additional rental amount. Please check with one of our Reservationists for availability and the additional rental amount if you are interested in this option.

SEASONAL USE OF NEIGHBORHOOD AND CONDOMINIUM SWIMMING POOLS – Swimming pools are listed in the property description if they are available. The hours of operation and time of year for swimming pools (especially in private subdivisions or condominium complexes) to be available for use is at the sole discretion of the Homeowner’s Association and/or complex manager. Swimming pools are generally available for use from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Our reservationists will be happy to answer specific questions.

SEASONAL USE OF FIREPLACES – Fireplaces may be used October through April. Only advertised fireplaces described in t his brochure are for use by the guests. Firewood is not provided. Happily, May through September are our warm months and the fireplace will not be missed.

BEACH STRAND – Please note that beach widths vary in front of cottages and condos. Please feel free to discuss this with your reservationist or let us know if you should have any specific needs.

BOATING IN BOGUE SOUND – Bogue Sound is the bay that separates our island, Bogue Banks, from the mainland. Generally speaking, water may be as shallow as 1-2 feet at low tide, so shallow draft boats are ideal. We cannot guarantee that you may dock your boat at all of the soundfront homes we manage due to water depth. Local marinas may have space available that should be reserved ahead. We are happy to assist you with marina arrangements prior to your arrival. Likewise, parking for boat trailers is not guaranteed at all properties, but may be arranged through the local marina.

RESIDENTIAL PARKING – Parking anywhere other than the driveway provided is prohibited. Nearly all of our homes have septic drain fields that could be damaged. Campers, trailers, RVs, boats and boat trailers are not allowed at some locations. Parking is limited to 2 cars at condominium locations. If a guest has a special parking need or question please contact our office.

TOWN LAWS – Town Laws prohibit campfires, overnight camping (except in campgrounds) and glass of any kind along the beach. Motor homes may not be plugged into electrical outlets at cottages, connected to septic systems, or used for accommodations.

PUBLIC ACCESS – Pedestrian access areas to the ocean and sound are located about every 500 feet, usually at the end of the street. In some areas, this will be an established path through the dunes; in others, a wooden boardwalk. Emerald Isle also has two large regional oceanfront beach accesses with bath house and shower facilities. Many of our early arrival families have discovered these to be a fun way to begin their vacation on the beach.

MESSAGES, MAIL & FAX – Telephone messages may be received through our office; however, only emergency messages will be delivered. Mail may be sent to our office at 7501 Emerald Drive, Emerald Isle, NC 28594. Please check with our office for pick-up. Faxes may be sent and received via our office (252) 354-2355 for a nominal per page fee. Emerald Isle Realty shall not be held responsible for messages, faxes or mail lost, not received or for guest notification.

LOST & FOUND – Although we cannot be held responsible for items left behind, we do make every effort to locate and return them to you. Contact our office and items found would be sent UPS COD and a $15 handling fee will be included. Unclaimed items will be donated to local charities after thirty days.

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