Updates Concerning the Topsail Area, Lewis Realty and the Coronavirus

Archived Covid-19 information

POSTED 4/17/2020 at 1:30 pm - UPDATED 4/24/20

The town of Surf City has made an announcement in regards to the current vacation rental ban within the last 24 hrs. We are still waiting to hear from Topsail Beach and North Topsail Beach at this time about any changes to their towns declarations as well. Historically, the three towns have come together to have similar timeline updates so we are assuming that they will shortly follow in some way to what Surf City has announced. We will update this page once we have confirmation of that assumption .  

UPDATED 4/24/20 - Governor Cooper has extended NC's Stay at home order through 5 pm on May 8th. To view the current NC stay at home order as well as the Governor Cooper's 3 phase plan to list restrictions on our state please CLICK HERE

To view the full statements put out by each town place click the town name below to be directed to their Facebook pages for the most up to date information:  

Guests whose check in dates are between April 30th and May 15th:

**Guests with later reservation dates please see the next section**

These updates mean that unfortunately we will not be able to honor your current stay dates, However,  we can now offer you the same options as earlier guests who were affected by the rental ban:

  •  If you would like to postpone your trip and receive a reservation credit:

    • We will issue you a credit for the amount paid on your reservation. This credit must be used in the next year from the existing arrival date. The credit must be applied to the same property during the same season rate type (Castaway, Maritime, Bungalow, Buccaneer). 

    • If you are going to utilize this special program please complete the online form below to provide staff with your name and reservation #. We ask that guests please complete this form as soon as possible. This option only applies to guests with reservations within the stated dates above.
      Once your form submission notice has been received, you will be contacted via email by a staff member with further instructions. 

    • If you choose to take a reservation credit we will also offer you an extra $50 credit to use towards one of our rental items that are listed on our website. This credit however can not be applied to any other rental item offered by another company. 

  • If you would like to cancel entirely and receive a refund:

    • North Carolina state law now allows us to refund your monies in full because access to the property has been blocked for you. We still ask several things from our guests. Please be patient with our staff. We are just as worried about COVID-19 and how it will affect our lives, our loved ones and our country as you are.  

To make this process as efficient as possible please do not call our office to change or cancel your reservation, but instead fill out the following online form with your information and how you would like to move forward with your reservation:

Reservation Credit or Refund Request Form 
(form closed from submissions)

Submissions to this form are being monitored and responses are being sent out as quickly as possible with confirmation of your request. Our phone lines no doubt will be stressed during this difficult time so email is the best way to communicate with us if you have any questions. (Rentals@topsailarea.com).

Please note:  The reservation credit or refund option only applies to guests with reservations up to check in on May 15th. 

If you have a reservation starting on May 16th or later:
Based on the information we have today, all reservations past May 15th will be able to come as planned. 

In accordance with current North Carolina Real Estate laws and Governmental Orders, Lewis Realty is not currently allowing guests who are checking in later in the season to alter their reservation dates without following our standard cancellation policies. This applies to all guests whose reservations start May 16th or later. We ask for your understanding and patience as we navigate this situation. 

Guests due to make their final payments for reservations with checks ins for late May are welcome to wait until after the May 5th announcement is made in regards to any additional ban extensions. We will continue working with guests in 30 day increments or as we are provided information from our governing officials.

If the bans are extended by either the Town Officials or if the Governor of NC extends the current stay at home order past May 15th our reservation staff will contact you via email with more information as it applies to your reservation.  

We understand that many of our guests reside in other states which may be under different Stay-At-Home orders as set forth by their states government. Unless there is a Federal Executive Order that overrules orders on a state level, all Lewis Realty reservations are subject to the orders in place by North Carolina's governing officials. Please visit the CDC's page linked below in regards to current permitted travel with in the US:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/travel-in-the-us.html

AS A REMINDER TO ALL GUESTS: 

Our reservation system sends out automatic emails to all reservations based on their stay dates. They inform guests about payment due dates, optional add ons for their reservations and important information such as check in instructions. These will continue to be sent out like normal as much of that information will be needed assuming we will be able to honor reservations for the summer season. There is no need to response in a negative manner to the receipt these emails and our staff is available to answer any questions that you may have about them. You are welcome to also disregard them until we know more about if you will be able to come for your reserved dates. 




POSTED 4/13/2020 at 11 am

  • MAY GUESTS: At this time we still are uncertain how the COVID-19 pandemic and the current vacation rental ban will affect your upcoming reservations. We ask for everyone's patience and understanding as we all wait for that vital information to be provided to us by our governing officials. Reservation balances are typically due 30 days prior to your check in date. 

    The Town of Topsail Beach as announced that they will be holding a meeting on Friday 4/17 to discuss the current restrictions. We expect that the towns of Surf City and North Topsail beach will make similar announcements shortly. 

    You are welcome to WAIT to make your final balance payment if you have not done so yet, until we know more.  Please see below for more information about what options will be provided to you IF the rental ban is extended and your dates are affected.

  • ALL GUESTS: Our reservation system sends out automatic emails to all reservations based on their stay dates. They inform guests about payment due dates, optional add ons for their reservations and important information such as check in instructions. These will continue to be sent out like normal as much of that information will be needed assuming we will be able to honor reservations for the summer season. There is no need to response in a negative manner to the receipt these emails and our staff is available to answer any questions that you may have about them. You are welcome to also disregard them until we know more about if you will be able to come for your reserved dates. 

    Please read the full post below for all current information on how COVID-19 is affecting upcoming reservations. 



POSTED 3/31/2020 at 9:30 am - Updated 4/3

In response to the Stay-at-Home order that was issued by NC Governor Roy Cooper, which went in to effect as of 5 pm on 3/30/2020 we will be unable to honor reservations through April 29th here on Topsail Island. Traveling for vacation purposes is not considered essential and would violate the terms of this executive order. To view the full order please click the link below:


We understand that many of our guests reside in other states which may be under different Stay-At-Home orders as set forth by their states government. Unless there is an executive governmental order that overrules state orders, all Lewis Realty reservations are subject to the orders in place by North Carolina's governing officials. 

Guests due for check in between April 23rd 2020 and April 29th 2020:


Lewis Realty will be offering you the same reservation credit program that we developed earlier this month.

  •  If you would like to receive a reservation credit:
    • We will issue you a credit for the amount paid on your reservation. This credit must be used in the next year from the existing arrival date. The credit must be applied to the same property during the same season rate type (Castaway, Maritime, Bungalow, Buccaneer). 

    • If you are going to utilize this special program please complete the online form below to provide staff with your name and reservation #. We ask that guests please complete this form as soon as possible. This option only applies to guests with reservations within the stated dates above.
      Once your form submission notice has been received, you will be contacted via email by a staff member with further instructions. 

    • If you choose to take a reservation credit we will also offer you an extra $50 credit to use towards one of our rental items that are listed on our website. This credit however can not be applied to any other rental item offered by another company. 

  • If you would like to cancel entirely:
    • North Carolina state law now allows us to refund your monies in full because access to the property has been blocked for you. We still ask several things from our guests. Please be patient with our staff. We are just as worried about COVID-19 and how it will affect our lives, our loved ones and our country as you are.  

To make this process as efficient as possible please do not call our office to change or cancel your reservation, but instead fill out the following online form with your information and how you would like to move forward with your reservation:

Reservation Credit or Refund Request Form(form closed)


Submissions to this formed are being monitored and responses are being sent out as quickly as possible with confirmation of your request. Our phone lines no doubt will be stressed during this difficult time so email is the best way to communicate with us if you have any questions. (Rentals@topsailarea.com).

Please note:  The reservation credit or refund option only applies to guests with reservations up to check in on April 29th. 


If you have a reservation due to begin April 30th or later:

In accordance with current North Carolina Real Estate laws and Governmental Orders, Lewis Realty is not currently allowing guests who are checking in later in the season to alter their reservation dates without following our standard cancellation policies. This applies to all guests whose reservations start April 30th or later. We ask for your understanding and patience as we navigate this situation. 

We will continue working with guests in 30 day increments as we are provided information from our governing officials. Extension decisions should be made by each town within a week of the current ban expiration dates. Our reservation staff will contact you via email with more information as it applies to your reservation.  

Please visit the CDC's page linked below in regards to current permitted travel with in the US:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/travel-in-the-us.html



Questions about Travel Insurance Coverage for COVID-19:

Lewis Realty always strongly recommends that all guests purchase a Travel Insurance policy to protect their reservation from unforeseen circumstances. We offer travel Insurance through AIG Travel Guard. This plan is offered for travel insurance coverage, and is an optional fee.  We strongly recommend purchasing this insurance, as it will help reimburse the cost of unused days should an emergency keep you from using your whole vacation.  Without this insurance, you would still be responsible for the full amount of rent, no matter what the circumstance. Travel Insurance can be added to all reservations prior to their final balance payment, or 30 days before arrival, whichever comes first.

Please keep in mind that not all reasons for cancellation are covered by a travel insurance policy, including fear of COVID-19. AIG Travel Guard has put together the following FAQ page to help travelers understand their coverage and answer some important questions you may have:

https://www.travelguard.com/travel-news/coronavirus-advisory

Lewis Realty staff members can not give you advise or information on specific coverage, you will need to contact the insurance provider directly. For detailed information on the Travel Guard insurance, please CLICK HERE  or call their customer service number (1-877-249-5376). 

NOTE: The NC Vacation Rental Act states that if travel insurance is offered, whether purchased or declined, the rental agency is under no obligation to make any refund due to a mandatory evacuation




Posted 3/27/2020 at 11:15 am

OFFICE HOURS UPDATE

As of Monday 3/30, until further notice: 

Remote staff will be available via email and phone 9 am - 3 pm Monday - Friday 

We will be closed on Saturdays & Sundays

Sales agents are available as well so give us a call!

910-328-5211 - Press 1 for Rentals or 2 for Sales


POSTED 3/24/2020 at 11:15 am

As of today all three townships on Topsail Island have put out their official declarations in regards to vacation rental allowance on the Island at this time. Please see each link below for your towns information:


POSTED 3/23/2020 at 12 pm:

The Town of Surf City has informed us that they will be prohibited vacation rentals as a step to “flatten the curve” of Covid-19 for at least the next 30 days. Here is a link to the declaration

We do expect the Town of Topsail Beach and North Topsail Beach will have similar orders in the very near future. If you are renting in one of those towns - please remain patient until we inform you that the vacation rentals have been prohibited in those towns. UPDATE: Topsail Beach has adopted the same 30 day no rental guidelines as Surf City. Link to their discussion (Video)

For guests who have yet to arrive but have reservations within the next 30 days, we understand that you all wanted to come to the island and are incredibly disappointed. For this reason, we are still offering our credit program that we developed early last week. (See Below). In fact, we will also offer you an extra $50 credit to use towards one of our rental items that are listed on our website. This credit however can not be applied to any other rental item offered by another company. 

If you would like to cancel entirely, the North Carolina state law now allows us to refund your monies in full because access to the property has been blocked for you. We still ask several things from our guests. Please be patient with our staff. We have been displaced from our normal work environment with all staff working from home; we are as worried about COVID19 and how it will affect our country and our loved ones as you are.  Our phone lines no doubt will be stressed. Email is the best way to communicate with us. (rentals@topsailarea.com).

To make this process as efficient as possible please do not call our office to change or cancel your reservation, but instead fill out the following online form with your information and how you would like to move forward with your reservation:

Submissions to this formed are being monitored and responses are being sent out as quickly as possible with confirmation of your request. 

Please note: This option still only applies to guests with reservations up to check in on April 23rd. If your reservation is outside of this 30 day window we ask for your understanding and patience as we navigate this situation. Over the next few weeks we hope to have a better understanding of the timeline of that impact and will update you with more information as it applies to your reservation. We are not currently allowing guests who are checking in later in the season to alter their reservation dates without following our standard cancellation policies.

We look forward to SHAKING YOUR HANDS in the near future when we all can safely enjoy Topsail Island and all it has to offer.

Chris Rackley

President

Lewis Realty Associates, Inc.


Posted 3/20/2020 at 11:30 am

The Town of Surf City has released a video statement this morning about park and beach access. CLICK HERE to watch.  Please follow their Facebook page  for more information.

Town of Surf City Facebook


AS OF 3/19/2020: Until further notice, our office will be closed and all employees will be working remotely during normal business hours.  Please see full notice at the link below for more information. we appreciate your understanding and patience as we navigate this situation. 

Notice: Office Closed


Posted 3/16/2020 - Updated Frequently!

For Guests With Arrival Dates Between March 16 to April 18, 2020:

  • If you would like to continue with your reservation as planned: 

    • The United States Government has not issued Domestic Travel Restrictions at this time so you may arrive as planned. We will be taking extra measures in housekeeping in an effort to decrease the likelihood of transmission - see more below.

    • Please CLICK HERE to view our Pre-Stay Guest Safety Notice

  • If you would have decided to not arrive or are unable to do so:

    • We will issue you a credit for the amount paid on your reservation. This credit must be used in the next year from the existing arrival date. The credit must be applied to the same property during the same season rate type (Castaway, Maritime, Bungalow, Buccaneer). 

    • If you are going to utilize this special program please complete the following online form to provide staff with your name and reservation #. We ask that guests please complete this form as soon as possible. This option only applies to guests with reservations within the stated dates above.

      Please DO NOT CALL the office. Once your form submission notice has been received, you will be contacted via email by a staff member with further instructions. 

      Click here to access the Online Reservation Credit Request Form
      .


  • If you wish to cancel your reservation entirely:

    • Existing cancellation policies will apply. No refunds will be issued outside of these policies. Please review your vacation rental agreement or the link on our website for more information. 


Expanded Housekeeping Procedures:

We are expanding our housekeeping procedures to disinfect surfaces with approved CDC chemicals. Since this will take longer than usual - late checkouts and early checkouts will not be honored until further notice. If you purchased a late checkout or early arrival - we will refund your fee during your stay.


Questions about Travel Insurance Coverage for COVID-19:

Lewis Realty always strongly recommends that all guests purchase a Travel Insurance policy to protect their reservation. We offer travel Insurance through AIG Travel Guard. This plan is offered for travel insurance coverage, and is an optional fee.  We strongly recommend purchasing this insurance, as it will help reimburse the cost of unused days should an emergency keep you from using your whole vacation.  Without this insurance, you would still be responsible for the full amount of rent, no matter what the circumstance. 

Travel Insurance can be added to all reservations prior to their final balance payment, or 30 days before arrival, whichever comes first. 

Please keep in mind that not all reasons for cancellation are covered by a travel insurance policy, including fear of the coronavirus. AIG Travel Guard has put together the following FAQ page to help travelers understand their coverage and answer some important questions you may have:

Lewis Realty staff members can not give you advise or information on specific coverage, you will need to contact the insurance provider directly. For detailed information on Travel Guard insurance, please CLICK HERE  or call their customer service number (1-877-249-5376).  

NOTE: The NC Vacation Rental Act states that if travel insurance is offered, whether purchased or declined, the rental agency is under no obligation to make any refund due to a mandatory evacuation. 


For Guests With Arrival Dates AFTER April 18, 2020:

Updated 3/17/2020: At this time we working with guests with reservations up to check in on April 18th until we know more about the impact of the virus. Over the next few weeks we hope to have a better understanding of the timeline of that impact and will update you with more information as it applies to your reservation. 

We are not currently allowing guests who are checking in later in the season to alter their reservation dates without following our standard cancellation policies.



We appreciate your understanding and patience as we navigate this situation. 


Thank you,

Chris Rackley 

President

Lewis Realty Associates, Inc.




    Other Announcements & Information
  • As of today 3/12/2020 - We have no knowledge of any cases of the Corona Virus in our immediate area. 

  • As of today 3/12/2020 - We have no knowledge of any area wide closures or quarantines in our area.

  • Life is moving along here on the island as normal.

  • Travel Insurance is always very strongly recommended as it helps to protect your investment in your vacation. However, it is our understanding that Travel Insurance will not compensate you for "fear" of being sick but rather for actually being sick. Travel Insurance covers many other items. We are not able to interpret coverage but you may call Travel Guard direct at 1.877.900.3949.

  • You may add Travel Insurance at anytime prior to final payment or 30 days before arrival - which ever occurs first.

  • As our vacation rental season has not begun just yet - We are in the process of developing extended cleaning procedures to assist in lessening any risk of transmitting the virus in our vacation rental homes. These policies will be fully implemented early next week with plenty of time for the coming season.

  • If you are not feeling well on your arrival date or have visited an area with an outbreak -  please give consideration to others and remain home.

  • Please visit the CDC for more specific information on the Corona Virus.


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