As a guide to help you plan your vacation, here is a list of frequently asked questions, however, please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have, we are happy to help! You can reach us by phone at 410-770-9093 or via e-mail at


Cancellation Policies


What is Your Cancellation Policy?

In the event that you need to cancel your reservation, Eastern Shore Vacation Rentals will return your property/dates to the rental market and use the same efforts to re-rent them to another guest.  We urge all guests to consider purchasing Travel Protection to avoid some of the risks associated with cancellation.

  • If we are able to re-rent your property for the same dates and same amount (or greater), you will be refunded for what’s been paid on the reservation, less a 10% penalty, and our processing fee.
  • If we are able to re-rent your property for the same dates, but only for a lesser amount, you will be refunded for what’s been paid on the reservation, less a 10% penalty, our processing fee, and the difference between the original booking amount and the new booking amount.
  • If you cancel 30 days or more prior to arrival and we are unable to re-rent your property for the same dates, you will forfeit one-third of the full rental amount, plus our processing fee.
  • If you cancel less than 30 days prior to arrival, and we are unable to re-rent your property for the same dates, you will forfeit the full rental amount.

Check-In/Check-Out Times

What time is check-in/check-out?

  • Check-in is at 4:00 PM
  • Check-out is at 10:00 AM

Day of Arrival


Arrival Time & Pick Up

In the summer season, ESVR weekly vacation homes have three check-in days: Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Your home’s individual description on your confirmation will specify the check-in day that applies to your house. Access to your home is 4:00 PM or later on day of check-in. With the size and complexity of our homes, our housekeepers need every minute to ensure that your vacation home is clean. Please do not interfere with their work or pressure our staff to allow you entry before 4:00 PM. It’s a large job, and we all do our best to get you into a clean and inviting home. For security reasons, DO NOT ENTER THE HOME OR USE THE POOL OR HOT TUB UNTIL AFTER 3PM. In the off-season (after Labor Day and prior to Memorial Day) check-in times can often be more flexible.


Where do I pick up my keys?

Most homes now have direct check-in, which means you will go directly to the property when it is ready for your arrival.  Once your property has been cleared for occupancy, the arrival code will be activated and the code and arrival instructions will be sent to you via text message.

What are your office hours?

From May 15-October 15, ESVR office hours are 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM daily. In the shoulder and off-seasons, we are closed on Sunday and have abbreviated Saturday hours.

What if I can’t check in until after your office closes?

If you can’t get here before our offices close, late check-in, be sure to notify us ahead of time so can be sure to provide you with after-hours check-in instructions.  If you are not paid in full or do not have a signed lease agreement on file an after-hour check-in will not be possible.


Is there traffic I should be concerned about?

Yes, East-bound traffic on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning can be quite heavy at the Bay Bridge. Westbound traffic on Sunday is heavy returning over the Bay Bridge. You can get up to the minute information about the Bay Bridge at or 1-877-BAYSPAN.


How do I get directions to the property?

Written directions to the property will be e-mailed to you prior to arrival.  For those using a navigation system or online mapping, you can also obtain directions to the property via the interactive floor plan on the property page on our website. Please note that because of the rural nature of the area, GPS can be inaccurate. Please call us with any questions.


What should I do upon arriving at the property?

Upon arriving at the property, take a moment to read the information provided to you. Then make an inspection of the property and note any damages, needed repairs, etc. to our office within 24 hours. If the property has not been cleaned properly call our offices immediately upon checking in. We will send a housekeeper as soon as possible to remedy the situation.


We just arrived at the property and the home is not what we expected.

ESVR takes a lot of measures to provide our guests with accurate and detailed information pertaining to the property so our guests are not unpleasantly surprised. Please be sure you review the virtual tour, floor plans, interactive map, and descriptions prior to arrival. ESVR properties are individually owned, and as per our owner contracts and your lease agreement, refunds cannot be given and we cannot transfer guests to other properties.


Selecting Just the Right Spot


What do you mean by maximum occupancy?

Unless otherwise noted in the property description, ESVR follows the Talbot County Health Department regulations, which assume occupancy of no greater than two persons per bedroom. Homes in Dorchester County have larger occupancy limits, however, in no instance should occupancy exceed the bedding accommodations provided with the home and the posted occupancy maximum. Overcrowding is a serious situation and is grounds for immediate eviction. Please also note that maximum occupancy limits apply to the home at all times, parties or gatherings are not permitted. Please do not jeopardize your family and friends’ vacation by overcrowding. Upon signing your lease agreement, you will be asked to complete an occupancy list. It is the responsibility of the guest to update this if there are changes.


Is there an age limit, or are there any groups not permitted at ESVR homes?

All of our vacation homes are privately owned; therefore, occupants are limited to family groups only. NO SORORITIES, FRATERNITIES, WEDDING RECEPTIONS, SPRING BREAK PARTIES, RING DANCE GROUPS, or other such groups. You must be 24 years of age or older to obtain a rental agreement on a property and anyone under the age of 24 MUST BE ACCOMPANIED BY A PARENT. Should a group misrepresent themselves, they will be evicted immediately without a refund.


Can you bend your policies for my reservation?

Your reservation is a binding legal document. ESVR is also bound by state and local laws, our contracts with the property owners, and our lease with you. As much as we might like to bend the rules, we cannot for these reasons. When comparing a vacation rental to a hotel or motel, you get a lot more for your money with a vacation rental, but there are unbreakable rules and policies that come with it. For these reasons, please be sure to fully read, and understand your contract as well as the policies and regulations posted on our website.


How can I be certain my home has the amenities I need?

ESVR takes a great deal of time and care to be sure the property meets your expectations and there are no surprises when you arrive—virtual tours, floor plans, mapping, photos, and past guest comments are all tools we use to help you research your stay. We rely upon our homeowners to furnish the most up-to-date information about the home you are renting and its amenities. Occasionally, errors are made or these items change. Please be sure to check with a reservationist if there are any particular amenities that are an important part of your vacation. We list the most up-to-date and current information on the property page on our website, Information obtained from partner sites such as VRBO, HomeAway, and others is not guaranteed as they are not in real-time with our website.

From time to time amenities or furnishings need to be switched for repairs, cleaning, or replacement. We do try to update photoshoots of our properties every three years or if there is a major renovation or change in property condition, however, please note that there may be minor differences in the photos and the property.


Can we swim in the river?

Please note that swimming in the area rivers is a very different experience than a lake or ocean. The bottom may be muddy or murky, the depth will vary with the tide, there could be shells from crabs or oysters as well as other debris, and in summer, particularly late summer, we do get sea nettles and they do sting. While swimming in the river is permissible, if swimming is an important part of your vacation, we encourage you to consider a home with a pool and enjoy the water from a boat or kayak. You will also want to keep these factors in mind if you are planning to participate in recreational activities on the water.


When are swimming pools open?

We encourage our homeowners to have swimming pools open from May 15-October 15. Very few of our pools are heated and those that are will require an additional charge per day for heat. Please do not assume that because the pool is open the water will be swimmable. Temperatures in the shoulder season can vary greatly from year to year and we ask our homeowners to open the pools during this time frame for ambiance as well as use if we happen to experience a warm spell. Typically pools are swimmable during the summer season.


Are your hot tubs open all year?

Hot tubs may or may not be open year-round. Please refer to the property page to see if the home you have rented has a year-round hot tub. Some are connected to the pool opening and closing schedule, and some owners choose to close their hot tubs during the winter. If having an operational hot tub is an important part of your vacation, please check with us in advance.


I am planning to bring my boat…

Most of our waterfront properties have private docks. Please do not assume that because the home has a dock that the water depth or accommodations will be suitable for your boat. If you are planning to bring a boat or rent one, and boating is an important part of your vacation, please contact us in advance so we can assist you to be sure you have chosen the right property. We rely on the owners for information about dock amenities such as water and power, mooring locations, and MLW, we cannot guarantee accuracy. Swimming and/or diving off of docks are not permitted.

The owner’s boat may be docked at the pier but is not available for the guest’s use. Please do not disturb or board the boat. Boatlifts are not available to guests.

Parking of boat trailers may be prohibited in some neighborhoods/properties. Check with your guest services representative. Be sure to check with us prior to arrival if you are trailering a boat, we can provide direct check-in so you can avoid bringing the boat through the historic district.

Mean Low Water (MLW) is determined by measuring, in feet, the average water depth at the dock at low tide. We rely upon the owner for this information and several factors could affect the MLW listing. This information is approximate and is not deemed to be a true source of accuracy. We generally consider a home suitable for boating if the MLW is 3 feet or greater, however, please check with us in advance if your boat needs certain accommodations.


Do all of your properties have high-speed Internet access?

We encourage all of our homeowners to provide some type of high-speed Internet access at our properties; however, in some areas it is simply not available. Please be sure the property you have rented has the type of Internet access you will need for your vacation.


Do all of your properties have landlines? Good cell phone reception?

We encourage all of our homeowners to have a landline, however, not all properties do. Please also note that cell phone coverage can vary per service provider. If during your vacation telephone service interruption is a major problem for you, please contact us in advance to be sure the home you are renting has adequate service for your needs.


If a fireplace is pictured is it guaranteed to work?

Many of our homes have fireplaces—some are functional, some are not due to the historic nature of the home. If there is a fireplace pictured, please do not assume that it is operational as this may not be the case. If having a fireplace is an important part of your vacation, please check with us in advance. Firewood is not provided.

Outdoor fires are not permitted unless there is a designated fire pit or fire area for this. Firewood is not provided for fire pits. Please be sure to check in the summer months if there is a burn ban in effect during your stay.


I would like to bring my dog. . .

There is no need to leave Rover in a cramped kennel while you are enjoying the Eastern Shore. There are many homes that welcome your dog to vacation with you. In most homes, pets are limited to two domestic, housebroken dogs. Let us know when making your reservation if your furry friend is coming along. Please abide by the pet rules, which will be in your arrival key packet. Pets in non-pet homes are strictly forbidden and will result in eviction. Pets in pet homes must be registered on your lease agreement and paid for prior to your arrival. Please refer to your lease agreement for more detailed rules regarding dogs in ESVR homes.


Do you allow any other animals?

We’re sorry, it’s not that we don’t like cats, rabbits, birds, or snakes, but due to allergies and other conditions, we allow only dogs in our properties.


I am allergic to animals. Does non-pet friendly mean there has never been a pet in the home?

A home advertised as non-pet friendly is an owner preference and does not necessarily mean a pet has not been in the home. If you have pet allergies, speak to a reservationist. ESVR cannot guarantee any home to be allergen-free or that even if the home is not pet friendly, the owner or guests of the owner does not have a dog or cat that frequents the home.


I don’t like the property when I get there, will you move me to a different one?

We want you to enjoy your stay as much as possible; however, we are not able to move you to another property, or make any refunds or discounts, if you are dissatisfied due to your contract with that particular property. Again, please try to review the property online before entering into the contract.


Making Your Reservation


Now I’m ready to make my reservation—what’s the next step?

Wonderful! A rent deposit is due upon making a reservation. Upon making your deposit, your confirmation will itemize the schedule of future deposits and the balance is due in full no later than 30 days prior to the arrival date. If a deposit or any portion of the deposit is not received by the due date, the property may be released for general lease. Payments for advance deposits can be made by credit card, check, money order, or certified check. For reservations made within 30 days of the arrival date, payment must be made in full by MasterCard, Visa, or Discover. Personal checks are not accepted within 30 days of the arrival date. Please remember to put your reservation number on your check or money order. If any deposit or portion of the deposit is not received by the specified due date, your reservation may be canceled and the property released for general sale. A $30 bank charge will be assessed for all returned checks. A confirmation lease agreement will be e-mailed to you unless otherwise requested. Please read the lease carefully, sign, and return it along with the other appropriate paperwork within 5 days of receipt. Many of you will vacation with other family members or friends, but only one person signs the lease. We hold the leaseholder responsible for payment and all of the responsibilities spelled out in the lease.


When is the balance due?

Your balance is due 30 days prior to arrival. You will receive a reminder e-mail from us. If you would like to use the same card you used to make the deposit, simply send us a quick e-mail and we will take care of it!


Other than payment what else do I need to do to secure my reservation?

We will send you an electronic lease agreement to complete and e-mail back. That’s it!


It’s Here! Planning for Your Arrival

What is Provided?

Each of our properties is individually furnished and equipped by the property owner. Air Conditioning, extra TVs, DVD players, telephones, porch and deck furniture, grills, games, and other equipment are furnished as a courtesy by each property owner and are not guaranteed to be at a property or functioning. Refunds will not be given due to the breakdown of these courtesy items. Most properties have telephones that allow free local calling.
  • Your kitchen is stocked with the following: blender, microwave, dishwasher (unless noted), refrigerator, pots and pans, dishes, and utensils
  • Linens and bath towels are provided for all properties.  This includes sheets for each bed and beds made upon arrival, as well as bath towels.  Pool towels are not included and you should plan on bringing your own.
  • We know that eventually, you will have to go to the grocery store, but to help you postpone that trip and relax a little first, we provide you with a few rolls of toilet paper, garbage bags, dish and hand soap, and some paper towels. You will want to stock up on these items at the store, but there is no need to gather these prior to getting to the home.


What do I need to bring? Please be sure to pack or add the following to your grocery list:

  • Condiments
  • Paper Towels
  • Napkins
  • Garbage Bags
  • Soaps (hand soap, dish detergent, and dish soap)
  • All-purpose cleaner
  • Groceries
  • Coffee and Coffee Filters
  • Specialty cooking items( such as waffle iron, Crockpot, etc.)
  • Foils, wraps, and baggies
  • Laundry detergent
  • Toilet Paper
  • Personal toiletries such as shampoo
  • Hair Dryer
  • Extra blankets and pillows if desired
  • Pool towels
  • Beach chairs (if desired)
  • Pool toys/yard games
  • Lifejackets, especially for children
  • Charcoal for Charcoal Grills
  • Sunscreen and bug spray
  • Fishing/crabbing equipment
  • Items for your dog

We regret that due to safety recalls and the risk of liability we are unable to rent baby equipment. Please be sure to bring or rent from a local supplier:

  • High Chairs
  • Pack n Plays or Cribs
  • Crib Sheets
  • Baby Gates


What type of items is the kitchen equipped with?

While ESVR makes recommendations to all property owners about what to outfit a kitchen with, it is up to the individual homeowner to stock the kitchen. While it is safe to assume most basic items will be there (coffee pot, toaster, etc.) if there is something special you need to prepare a family recipe or a meal you are counting on, better be safe and bring it.


Does the property have a grill?

ESVR properties provide a charcoal or gas grill for our guests to use while occupying the home for their vacation week (see listing for each property to see which is provided). Propane is provided for gas grills, charcoal is the responsibility of the guest. Guests are also responsible for cleaning and removing the remnants from around and on the grill after usage. Grills are not permitted to be moved or placed on the wooden decks of the house due to the hazard of fire. These rules also apply to large propane deep fryers or crab steamers. The heat and grease can cause extensive damage to screens, wood & siding on the home as a result of being placed or left too close and of course, also present a fire hazard. Grills and steamers should only be used on concrete surfaces away from the house for safety’s sake. Grills are not guaranteed from after Thanksgiving to Easter.


Are there bugs on the Eastern Shore?

Bugs are a common occurrence in any rural waterfront community. Our properties have exterminating contracts, but the bugs don’t know that and they will still come into the property from time to time. Please keep the following in mind:

Neighborhoods are typically sprayed on a weekly basis for mosquito control; however, you may also find it helpful to pack a DEET containing product or other bug repellents. Ticks are also a concern on the Eastern Shore and you should take steps to avoid them. You should inspect your pet and your person for ticks after being outdoors.
  1. It is not unusual to see bugs in properties in a rural, water-oriented environment.
  2. Dead bugs mean that the extermination is working and nothing further can be done.
  3. Bugs may take from 1 minute to 12 hours to die after they have entered an exterminated property.
  4. In some instances, it can be difficult or impossible to completely eradicate the problem. Please call us if you have an ongoing problem and we will send an exterminator out as soon as they can get there.
  5. Please do not entice ants by leaving food on counters and be sure to wipe countertops after use.


Tips for Enjoying Your Stay


If there is a property emergency after hours, whom do I call?

Should a maintenance emergency (i.e. no water, locked out of property) occur after hours, please call 410-770-9093 and select the appropriate option. Other calls will be returned during office hours.


Where can I find local information?

The best resource is our website. Simply browse to on your smartphone and restaurant information, attraction information, recreation rentals, and real estate sales information is at your fingertips! Feel free to e-mail us at for suggestions and tips.


Will I be disturbed during my stay?

During your stay it may be necessary for repairs, exterminating, or other service providers to enter the property. We will attempt to notify you ahead of time. Entry is required for property preservation for you, future tenants, and the owner, and cannot be held off, denied, or rescheduled. We regret any inconveniences this may cause but we promise to keep them to a minimum.

Some rental properties are listed for sale. Please be aware that it may be necessary for agents to arrange showings for qualified buyers during your stay. We appreciate your cooperation.


Here are some additional tips and reminders:

Voices Carry: Our vacation rental homes are private residences. As this area was not developed with vacation rentals in mind, we ask that you abide by your lease agreement and use the property as you would any family home. In most cases, neighbors are full-time residents. Please respect the ambiance of your surroundings by not having loud noise and music, excessive barking, etc. Also, remember that the water carries voices and noise so be mindful of the neighbors across the water as well.


Pools & Hot Tubs: Pools and hot tubs are serviced weekly. If there is anything regarding the condition of the pool or hot tub that concerns you, please call our offices immediately and do not enter. Many of our pools have a Polaris system for cleaning the pool, and it is on a timer. Please do not disable this or remove it from the pool, as it will burn out the motor. Guests will be responsible for damages to pool equipment.


Docks: Most of our properties have private docks that the owner has made available for your use. You may see neighboring docks as well. Please note that docks are private property so at no time is it appropriate to trespass upon a dock other than the one on your rental property. This also includes docking boats, putting out crab traps, or walking/sunbathing on them. If you have a question as to which dock is associated with your property, please call us or refer to the site plan online.


Property Boundaries: One of the things we love about the Eastern Shore is the room to roam. However, please respect the boundaries of the property you have rented and respect the privacy of neighboring homes. You will find that Eastern Shore natives are some of the friendliest people you will ever meet, however, everyone likes their privacy!


Dogs: We welcome dogs in most of our homes. Please be a good neighbor and abide by the leash laws and conditions of your lease agreement. At no time will excessive barking be tolerated. As a courtesy to the next guest, please pick up after your dog.


Outdoor Equipment & Furniture: Many of our owners graciously provide outdoor equipment such as kayaks, canoes, crab pots, and outdoor chairs. Please be certain to properly store these items after use so they are available for the next guest to enjoy. Storms can approach quickly. Please do not leave the kayaks in the water unattended.


Maintenance: Your home is cleaned and inspected prior to your stay. ESVR will make every attempt to minimize the disturbance to you during your vacation, however, during the busy summer season it may be necessary for regular maintenance checks, yard and pool service to occur during your stay. Thank you for understanding.


Well & Septic: Please note that all ESVR properties have their water tested yearly as a condition of their vacation rental license and before entering the rental program. Most of our properties are on well water, and it has a different smell than town/city sewer systems. Sometimes if the property has been vacant for long periods, the smell can build up, simply run the water a few minutes and this should help.


Please remember that most of our homes are on well and septic. DO NOT flush anything other than toilet paper, including paper towels, napkins, and feminine hygiene products. This could cause a failure in the septic system and disrupt your stay.


Checking Out


What time is checkout?

The standard checkout time is 10:00 AM prompt on the day of your departure. We’re sorry, but we cannot offer late checkout in the summer months. In the off-season (after Labor Day and prior to Memorial Day), check-out times can often be more flexible. Additional charges may apply if housekeeping has to be rescheduled and you are not promptly out of the home by 10:00 AM.


What do I need to do upon checkout?

Please follow the detailed instructions within your lease agreement or on the automated e-mail reminder you will receive the day prior to checkout.


Do you have late check-out available?

Due to the size of our properties and the geographical distance between our homes, we are unable to accommodate late checkouts in the summer months. Please plan accordingly.


What if your office is closed when we are checking out?

It is not necessary to return the keys to our office upon departure. Please be sure to lock the doors and leave the keys on the counter.


I would like to book this property again for next year or consider another ESVR home.

Please contact our office about our advanced booking program, or see the link online under Rental Information.


There are aspects of my stay, good or bad, that I would like to let you know about:

ESVR is eager to hear all comments, as they help us to improve our property management and guest services. You may miss a manager upon checkout or check out before the office opens. We will be sending you a survey regarding your stay and would appreciate your comments greatly.