Rules & Regulations | Topsail Island Vacation Rentals

Agency Disclosure: Ward Realty Corporation is employed by and represents the interests of the property Owner.

Property Description: Every rental property is privately owned by people just like you, and their furnishings reflect the individual owner's tastes & desires and therefore vary from property to property. Please treat their vacation home with the love and respect you would give your own as they share it with you. It is the responsibility of the Guest to ensure that the property they select meets their requirements for space, accommodations, physical conditions and amenities. Ward Realty cannot guarantee the presence of any listed equipment or furnishings because they are beyond the control of Ward Realty.

Rental Periods: During the Summer, reservations are for full weeks only, Saturday to Saturday. There are several properties that rent Friday to Friday and Sunday to Sunday. From January to after Memorial Day AND from the end of August through the end of the year, partial stays are allowed for most properties.

Maximum Occupancy: The maximum occupancy allowed in the rental property which is stated in the property description shall not be exceeded at any time. Occupancy counts include children of all ages and guests of the renter.

House Parties: Tenancy is for family groups only. Non-family groups include, but are not limited to, groups of high school and college age people. House parties organized to celebrate graduation, proms, fraternity, sorority or other school functions are specifically not allowed. House parties will be evicted immediately without refund. Any group renting this property under false pretenses shall be immediately evicted without any refund. Identification shall be presented if requested. Guest signing this Agreement shall be 25 or more years old and actually take possession of the property.

Pets: If you want to bring a pet, please be sure to pick a property that permits pets. Only dogs and/or cats are permitted pets. For those properties that permit pets, there is a specific per pet, non-refundable pet fee unless noted in property description. Properties listed as "No Pets" & "Pet Free" means absolutely no pets of guests anywhere on the premises. Guests & their visitors found with a pet in a property or on the premises of a property that does not allow pets will be subject to immediate eviction without any refund and Guest will be held accountable for any damages including, but not limited to, extra cleaning of linens, carpet, etc. necessary to make the property allergy free. Pets found on properties that allow pets but where the pet is undeclared and the pet fee is unpaid, shall be charged bat least $400 per pet. Ward Realty reserves the right to refuse certain breeds of dogs such as Rotweillers, Pit Bulls, etc., and/or pets deemed harmful or vicious.

Confirmation of Reservation: To confirm a reservation, an advance rent of 50% of the base rent plus the administration fee, insurance premium, if elected, and Security Deposit Waiver, if elected, must accompany the signed rental agreement within 10 days of making the reservation. Written confirmations will be sent only on request.

Trust Account: Guest agrees that all payments, including the damage deposit will be placed in an insured interest bearing trust account with South State Bank, 14572 Hwy 17, Hampstead, NC with the interest accrued to the credit of Ward Realty.

Payments & Third Party Fees: Reservation deposits may be made by cash, personal check, eCheck or credit card (Mastercard or Visa). Credit card transactions are subject to a third party processing fee of $19.95 per transaction (subject to change) + tax. A $25 fee will be charged on all returned checks and eChecks. Guest is responsible for sales and occupancy taxes calculated as of the date of occupancy. Taxes shall be disbursed upon termination of occupancy or material breech of this Agreement. Guest authorizes Agent to disburse prior to Guest's occupancy of the Premises any fees owed to third parties to pay for any goods, services or benefits procured by Agent for the benefit of Guest, including but not limited to any fees set forth herein payable to Agent for reservation, transfer or cancellation of Guest's tenancy.

Balance Payment: is due thirty days before your arrival date. Reminder notices are sent via email only. No personal checks will be accepted after this deadline. Payments made after this deadline must be made by eCheck, certified check, cash or credit card. Credit card transactions are subject to a third party processing fee of $19.95 per transaction (subject to change+ tax). A $25 fee will be charged on all returned checks and eChecks. Guest is responsible for sales and occupancy taxes calculated as of the date of occupancy. Taxes shall be disbursed upon termination of occupancy or material breech of this Agreement.

Administration fee: All reservations have a $110.00 administration fee (subject to change) + tax.

Damage Deposit: The Damage Deposit may be applied toward actual damages and other deductions as permitted by the N.C. Security Deposit Act. A refundable damage deposit is charged on all rentals unless the Security Deposit Waiver is chosen. The amount varies with each property. The damage deposit will be returned only to the person reserving the rental unit within forty-five days of departure.

  • 1 - 2 BR - $900
  • 3 - 4 BR - $1200
  • 5 - 6 BR - $1450
  • 7+ BR - $3000

Security Deposit Waiver: In lieu of a Damage Deposit, you may choose to accept the Security Deposit Waiver which covers up to $3,000 for damages to the Property as a result of an accident within the Property. This waiver does not cover negligent or willful and wanton conduct. Please refer to the Description of Coverage, which can also be viewed at, which details full terms and conditions that apply. Purchasing the 'SDW' in lieu of a damage deposit does not negate tenants responsibilities. You must notify Ward Realty of any damage or theft to the Property during your occupancy, or this waiver is void. The properties are carefully inspected after each rental. Guest shall report any existing damages found within 24 hours of their arrival or be subject to being charged for said damages. The cost of this waiver is a non-refundable fee of $70 for reservations less than 30 days. Payment for this waiver must be made prior to occupying the property. Ward Realty receives a fee for this waiver.

Taxes: All rentals in Surf City and Topsail Beach are subject to the 6.75% NC Sales Tax and an additional 6% local accommodations tax for a total of 12.75%. All rentals in North Topsail Beach are subject to the 7% NC Sales Tax and an additional 6% local accommodations tax for a total of 13%. Taxes are calculated as of the date of occupancy.

Cancellations: If you cancel your reservation, no refund will be made until the property is re-rented for the same terms set forth herein (time period and rental rate) and confirmed. All cancellations must be in writing. Fax or e-mail will suffice. A $100 cancellation fee, the reservation administration fee + tax, third party credit card processing fee(s) + tax and the travel insurance (if chosen) will be charged for any cancelled or changed reservation. For cancellation purposes, each week of a multiple week reservation is considered separately. WRC will make every effort to re-rent the property to minimize Guest's loss. If the property is re-rented for only a portion of the original rental period, the only refund due the cancelling Guest are the funds in excess of the original rental amount less the cancellation fees. In the event Guest cancels this reservation and the property is not re-rented for the entire occupancy period shown on the front, then all payments made are forfeited. Any refunds will be paid to the Guest within 30 days after the subsequent re-rental payment has cleared our accounts. Guest understands he may purchase travel insurance to guard against the loss of payments tendered. Guest shall not assign this Agreement nor sublet the property.

Vacation Investment Insurance/Travel Insurance: Trip insurance is offered through CSA Travel Protection, covering loss of rent payments made because of unforeseen circumstances, illnesses and injuries. It includes coverage for mandatory hurricane evacuations. The cost of this insurance is 6.95% and is automatically added and due with the Guest's advance rent payment. Details outlining benefits, exclusions, and limitations are in the CSA brochure included with the Agreement as an addendum. You can also view this brochure at If Guest does not want this coverage, he may delete the charge by initialing where indicated on the Agreement or opt out if reserving online. Guest's premium payment is distributed to the insurance company by WRC in advance of the Guest check-in and is not refundable. WRC as agent for the insurance company, receives a commission on this insurance program.

Hurricane Policy: There will be NO REFUNDS GIVEN BECAUSE OF MANDATORY EVACUATIONS RELATED TO HURRICANES. You are strongly encouraged to purchase travel insurance to cover this possibility. If state or local authorities order a mandatory evacuation of an area that includes the Premises, Guest must comply with that order. Guest shall not be entitled to any refunds if they did not purchase vacation investment insurance. Guest that purchased insurance shall file a claim with that company for reimbursement.

Check-in Time begins at 4:00 PM on the day of arrival. Please make plans to check in beginning at 4:00 PM and before our office closes at 5:30 PM (depending on the season). Do not go to the property prior to checking in at the WRC office. Doing so will delay your check-in. Cleaners and inspectors do not go to a property if there are people or cars at the house. Please make sure everyone understands this. You may have hit it lucky with an early check-in in the past, however, we cannot guarantee anything prior to 4:00 PM so please plan your day accordingly. Every effort is made to insure that all properties are clean & ready for occupancy, however in some instances it is necessary to delay occupancy until the property is ready. There are no rebates for such late occupancy. If you want to arrive early and will be comfortable hanging out on the beach all day, biking, shopping or visiting the sites, then it may make your first day more fun. However, if you have infants, elderly members, pets or anyone requiring special needs, you need to plan for a later arrival. Late arrival arrangements can be made if your rental agreement is signed and the reservation is paid in full.

Check-out: The property you have reserved must be vacated by 10:00 AM sharp on your day of departure. Failure to do so may result in an extra day's rent being charged. Guests must return all keys (if applicable) and any parking, pool or beach passes to our office. Do not go back to the property once you have turned your keys in. Guest is responsible for completion of the items on the WRC check-out procedures list issued to Guest at check-in. Guest should leave the property basically as they found it upon check-in. If you plan to leave earlier that 8:30 am, please leave the keys & parking/pool passes in the drop box to the left of the rental office door. A charge will be assessed for any keys or passes lost or not returned.

Inoperative Equipment: Appliances, air conditioners, TVs, dvd players, elevators, fireplaces, hot tubs, cable & satellite TV service, internet service, etc. are not guaranteed to be operational nor will refunds be given in the event of failure. WRC will make every good faith effort to have any inoperative equipment repaired as quickly as possible. Replacements are not provided and refunds are not given. In the event repair services are declined, we will not be able to offer a resolution. Should a repairman make a call to a property & find the problem was due to tenant oversight or neglect, such as refrigerator temperature set too high, crisper drawer not closed or failure to secure the accordion door in an elevator, the charge for the service call will be deducted from the damage deposit or charged to your credit card. Swimming pools, hot tubs, etc., if offered, may not be available during the Spring, Fall, or Off Seasons. No refunds will be made if these amenities are shut down for the season, maintenance, etc.

No Smoking & Smoke Free Properties: Use of cigarettes, pipes and cigars is prohibited inside properties listed as "NO SMOKING" or "SMOKE FREE." Please do not discard smoking debris on dunes or in the yard. Failure to observe this prohibition shall result in forfeiture of damage deposit &/or immediate eviction. Guest will be held accountable for any damages including, but not limited to, extra cleaning of linens, carpet, etc. to make the property smoke free.

Linens: are not provided in any property, unless noted in the property description. It is the tenant's responsibility to bring bed linens & bath linens, such as fitted & flat sheets, pillow cases, bath towels, wash cloths, beach towels, blankets and kitchen towels & dish cloths. If you would like to rent linens, our reservationists will be happy to assist you in ordering them or you can order them online when making your reservation. Rented linens will be delivered to the property by the end of check-in day and will be picked up on your departure day. Please make reservations for these items/services as early as possible.

Rented Items: Ward Realty, through a third party vendor, offers rental items, such as bed and bath linens, miscellaneous baby and beach equipment, to help make your trip down to Topsail Island easier (and lighter!). Our reservationists will be happy to assist you for scheduling these services or order online at the time you make your reservation. If you or someone in your party has a special need that is not listed, please call our office and we will assist you in any way that we can. All rental items will be delivered to the property by the end of check-in day. Rental items will be picked up on departure day. Please make reservations for these items as early as possible. Prices are per reservation and do not include applicable taxes. In the event you find that you do not need the items rented, a full refund will be made provided you cancel at least 14 days prior to your arrival date. A restocking fee of $25 will be applied for cancellations made less than 14 days. Click for prices and more information on our vacation rental items.

Cleaning: Guest is responsible for completion of the items on the WRC check-out procedures list issued to Guest at check-in, including but not limited to, washing all dishes (even without a dishwasher), making beds, emptying and discarding all food from refrigerator & cabinets, closing and locking windows and doors. Guest shall place all trash inside trash cart and follow the specific trash schedule for that property. Guest understands that WRC will charge Guest for failure to do the above items and also for picking up any garbage left by the trash service.

Items in Units: If you are renting both sides of a duplex or multiple houses, please refrain from moving items from side to side or from house to house(especially kitchen items). If we find items out of place, there will be a $25 service charge for putting items back where they belong.

Articles left behind: Finding your forgotten items is often difficult. If you forget something, please call us immediately. We will do our best to find your item(s), but cannot guarantee this. We are not responsible for anything left in the rental unit. A minimum of $10 plus postage will be charged to ship any items left behind. After 30 days, all lost and found items are donated to a local charity.

Telephones: Some of our properties have telephones. Any long distance calls should be charged to your calling card or credit card. You may wish to bring your cell phone or a prepaid calling card with you. If a toll call appears on the owner's bill for the dates you were in the property, you will be billed a $5 per call service charge in addition to the amount of the calls. Local calls include Topsail Island, Sneads Ferry, Holly Ridge, Wilmington and Jacksonville, NC.

Parking: Space is limited at some of our rental properties. Please consult with us prior to bringing boats, trailers, campers, motor homes, etc. Town ordinances restrict the hookup of any camper, motor home, etc. to a rental property's utilities.

Grills: Grilling is not permitted on decks, walkways, porches, in garages or carports, near siding or under the house. Please use the driveway or designated area for grilling out. Grills are not guaranteed to be available or functioning due to our harsh, corrosive environment. Guest is responsible for any fuel, grilling tools, and any damages that may occur to grill or result from using grill during tenancy. If a grill is furnished, Guest is responsible for dumping the cooled ashes and thoroughly cleaning grill upon departure so the next guest finds it ready to use. Guest is also responsible for disposing of any unwanted grills that they take to the property.

Sand Dunes: Please do not walk, play or litter on our sand dunes. The dunes are our only line of protection to our island. There are fines and ordinances against dune destruction in Surf City, Topsail Beach and North Topsail Beach. If we find trash, oyster shells, etc., on our sand dunes, there will be a $25 fine for cleaning it up.

Fireplaces, if available for tenant use, are seasonal and operational October 1 through March 31. No refund if fireplace is not functioning.

Lock-Out Service: During business hours we can provide assistance to you free of charge. However, after hours there are charges for Ward Realty personnel to come unlock the door - $50 before 8:00 pm and $100 after 8:00 pm. Fee is payable in cash at time service is rendered to the responding rental agent.

Thermostats for heating and cooling shall not be set below 72 nor above 75 degrees. The refrigerator temperature dial shall not be set to anything other than mid range. The cost of unnecessary repairman service calls shall be charged to Guest.

Routine Maintenance: It may be necessary to enter the property during reasonable hours to service equipment or make repairs. No courtesy calls are given.

Property for Sale: Ward Realty reserves the right to show the rental property to potential buyers, home inspectors and appraisers if the unit has been placed on the market for sale. We will make every effort to schedule the showing at a convenient time and interrupt your vacation as little as possible. Your cooperation will be appreciated.

Construction: Topsail Island is still growing so construction in progress is inevitable. Unfortunately, we have no control as to when and where construction occurs. We ask that you please be tolerant and remember why you are here - to enjoy your family at the beach! Construction begins at 7 am and ends around 6 pm per local ordinances. No refunds or property transfers will be made.

Additional Regulations: Most condominiums and many properties have additional rules & helpful information posted by the condominium association or the homeowner. These rules, regulations and helpful tips must be observed and such regulations may require guest signature acknowledging receipt and acceptance of terms.

Property Transfer: In the event the Owner transfers this Property prior to occupancy by Guest, Guest has the right to enforce this Agreement if the rental is to end 180 days or less after the transfer of ownership. If more than the above 180 days, Guest has no enforcement rights unless the Grantee agrees to honor this rental, however, Guest has a right to a refund of all monies paid less any insurance and reservation fees. WRC will promptly notify Guest if Property is transferred.

Guest agrees to comply with all obligations imposed by the Vacation Rental Act on Guest with respect to maintenance of the Premises, including but not limited to, keeping the Premises clean and safe as conditions permit and causing no unsafe or unsanitary conditions in the common areas and the remainder of the Premises that the Guest uses. Guest agrees not to use the Premises for any activity or purpose that violates any criminal law or governmental regulation. Guest's breach of any duty contained in this paragraph shall be considered material, and shall result in the termination of tenancy. Guest shall report any existing damages found within 24 hours of his arrival or be subject to being charged for said damages.

Expedited Eviction: If the tenancy created hereunder 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 Tenant's tenancy has expired; (2) commits a material breach of any provision of this Agreement(including any addendum hereto); (3) fails to pay rent as required by this Agreement; or (4) has obtained possession of the Premises by fraud or misrepresentation. Events that would constitute material breach of this Agreement by Guest and terminate tenancy immediately include: damage to the Premises, pets in a non-pet Property, smoking in a non-smoking Property, house parties, exceeding maximum occupancy.

Owner Closets:

The Premises may contain a locked owner's closet for the Owner's personal use and is not a part of this rental.

2024 Reservations Policy: Ward Realty loves repeat renters! We accept tentative reservations for the following year with a $100 - $500 non-refundable deposit for each week desired. This year's guest has priority for the same property for the corresponding week next year. You must make your reservation by Wednesday of your stay or it is released to the general public on Thursday morning. This tentative reservation gives you the "first right of refusal" after the property owner's decisions about the rental schedule of his property. Rental prices & seasons are subject to change for the following year. Full reservation deposits will be required in January. This tentative reservation policy applies to week-only reservations.

Indemnity: Guest agrees to release, indemnify and hold harmless WRC and Owner from and against all liability for injury to the person of the Guest, to any member of his party or any guest of Guest resulting from any cause unless caused by Owner's or WRC negligence. This indemnification specifically includes use of any elevators, spas, swimming pools, hot tubs and whirlpools if on Premises. Guest also agrees to indemnify WRC & Owner for items left behind. If items are located, guest is responsible for shipping and handling fees.

Limitation or Remedies: At the beginning of occupancy, if Owner cannot provide the Premises in a fit and habitable condition or substitute a reasonably similar property, Guest hereby agrees that WRC and Owner's sole liability as a result of this condition is a full refund of all monies previously tendered by Guest under this Rental Agreement. Guest expressly acknowledges that in no event shall WRC or the Owner be held liable for consequential or secondary damages, including but not limited to, any expense incurred as a result of travel or re-renting, etc. Guest shall not be entitled to a refund due to unfavorable weather conditions, hurricane evacuation, failure of a major appliance or air conditioning system, inadequate beach access or disruption of utility services including cable TV. Guest shall not hold WRC or Owner liable for acts of theft, vandalism or other damages to Guest's personal property. Provisions of this Agreement shall be construed according to North Carolina law in the event of a dispute. In the event of a dispute, both parties agrees that any legal action may only be instituted in the county where this Property is located.

Errors and Omissions: We have tried to provide accurate information in our listings, but we cannot be held responsible for errors, omissions, or changes made by the property owner.