COVID-19 Cancellation Policy

May 26, 2020

Update 5/26/20: Governor Carney Lifts Delaware Short Term Vacation Rental Ban and Out of State Quarantine Effective June 1, 2020

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney on Tuesday announced that the State of Delaware will lift the ban on short term (vacation rental) units and the mandatory 14-day quarantine for out-of-state travelers on June 1 as part of the rolling reopening of Delaware’s economy.

Governor Carney previously lifted State of Delaware restrictions on Delaware beaches ahead of the Memorial Day weekend. The public may now walk on the boardwalk (face masks required), walk, exercise, sunbathe on the beaches (face masks encouraged but not required), and swim in the ocean.

Phase 1 of Delaware’s economic reopening is scheduled to begin on June 1, allowing retail establishments, restaurants and other businesses to open at 30 percent of stated fire capacity with social distancing requirements and other public health guidance in place. 

Outdoor gatherings up to 250 people also permitted on June 1, with precautions to protect the most vulnerable.

What Does the June 1 Re-Opening of Vacation Rentals Mean for Our COVID-19 Cancellation Policy?

Effective June 1, Seachange Vacation Rentals will no longer be offering a COVID-19 cancellation credit, or COVID-19 cancellation refund. We will revery to our normal cancellation policy. Please call our office (302) 727-5566 with any questions.

Update 5/22/20: Can I Come to a Short Term Vacation Rental now that the Beaches & Restaurants are Starting to Re-open?

Based on the information provided to rental offices from the Governor’s Small Business Office Advisory for real estate short term vacation rentals on May 14, 2020, if Guests live in-state and they signed their short term vacation rental contract before 5pm. on May 13, 2020, then they can check into their rental property.

Guests living out of state, and all Guests who signed a short term vacation rental contract after 5pm on May 13, 2020 cannot currently check into their rental property.

We included below the relevant sections from the May 14, 2020 Governor’s Small Business Office Advisory for real estate short term vacation rentals. Please bear in mind that the State of Emergency Declaration in Delaware is currently set to expire on May 31, 2020. We have received no update from the Governor’s office other than the issue of a phased re-opening plan. According to the Governor’s phased re-opening plan, the earliest short term vacation rentals could be opened up would be June 29, 2020. We await direction from the Governor for all reservations after May 31, 2020. Thank you for your patience!

13. Effective 5:00 PM May 13, 2020, you can only negotiate new lodging/rental agreements for time during the State of Emergency for those people who qualify as essential guests as explained in the FAQ on lodging from the Delaware Division of Small Business. 

14. Renters from in-state for a rental of three months or less, who signed the rental agreement prior to 5:00 PM May 13, 2020 can still come to the property for the term of the rental. Renters who are not essential guests and are from out-of-state for a rental of three months or less are not permitted no matter when the rental agreement was signed until further changes are announced. 

15. Renters from in-state or out-of-state for longer than three months may come to the rental property. The essential guest list restrictions do not apply to rentals for longer than three months. However, if from out-of-state, renters for longer than three months must self-quarantine for 14 days in Delaware and then follow all other provisions of the Delaware rules then in effect.  

Update 4/24/20

Please be reassured that we are working with every Guest individually on a case by case basis regarding our COVID-19 cancelation policy. Please call our offices on (302) 727-5566 to discuss your reservation.

Update 4/17/20

  • Effective 8pm April 7, 2020, the Delaware Governor has closed all commercial lodging to new arrivals (including vacation rentals) for, “Leisure Guests.”
  • The closure remains in effect until May 15, 2020.
  • Does not apply to Essential Employees.
  • There is no mention of ban of Owner use of vacation rentals. Just, “Leisure Guests.”
  • Any Leisure Guest currently staying can remain for the duration of their stay. They may not extend their stay. They may not transfer to a different property at the end of their stay.
  • Any Leisure Guest stuck in place due to travel bans can remain for the duration of their stay .

What does this mean?

  • All new arrivals now through May 15 for, “Leisure Guests” are not allowed.
  • We’re still allowed to make reservations for all arrival dates through May 15 providing that the Guest is classed as an, “Essential Worker.” Refer to the State of Delaware State of Emergency Declaration for this definition. Examples included medical staff at a local hospital, grocery workers, first responders.
  • We’re still allowed to make reservations for stays beyond May 15.
  • We’re still following our rolling 30-day window before arrival date for considering COVID-19 cancelation credits.

Dear Seachange Vacation Rental Guests, from the bottom of our hearts, sincerely, Seachange Vacation Rentals empathizes with all affected by the COVID-19 virus. As Vacation Rental Property Managers, we’re trying to balance needs of Guests, Property Owners, Staff, and Vendors. With our cancelation policy, our aim is not to withhold Guest money. We’re dealing with an evolving situation, daily. We want you to still be able to come on vacation, first and foremost. If that is not possible, then our aim is to recover and credit you 85% of your gross rent money paid. Why 85%? We’re a small business, and our staff have already been paid on the work involved with facilitating any reservation already on the books. Retaining 15% of the gross rent paid allows us to honor payroll for our staff and not have to ask for the money back from staff.

In short, we have a rolling 30-day window prior to your scheduled arrival date for COVID-19 related cancelations. If you need to cancel, then call us within that 30-day window and we will credit you 85% of the total gross rent due (not the gross rent on your down payment) and a refund of 100% of the damage waiver, cleaning, linen, and pet fees (as applicable). You need to have paid the full balance on your reservation (not just the down payment) in order to be eligible for a COVID-19 cancelation credit. The credit is to be used against the rent for a future stay(s) with the future stays to be completed by 12/31/21.

Now for the details. Effective immediately for all reservations currently in place and all future reservations for the remainder of time affected by coronavirus travel restrictions, Seachange Vacation Rentals (referred to below as, “Seachange”) has enacted the following cancelation policy for COVID-19, also known as, “Coronavirus.”

  1. All Guests are encouraged to purchase Travel Insurance, also known as, “Trip Interruption Insurance.” Guests have complete choice over this. Seachange is familiar with RedSky Travel and recommends Guests contact RedSky Travel to discuss concerns.
  2. Seachange is using a 30-day rolling window prior to arrival. For all stays within a 30-day window from current date, Seachange has been authorized by our Property Owners to do the following:
    • If Guests have purchased Travel Insurance, Seachange refers the Guest directly to the Travel Insurance company to answer any questions regarding coverage for trip cancelation due to COVID-19 related issues.
    • If Travel Insurance denies a Guest claim regarding COVID-19 or the guest can not come on Vacation due State of Delaware restrictions, Seachange will issue a 85% credit as described below. This policy relates to COVID-19 only and not normal cancellations. Cancellations outside of COVID-19 issues will be handled via our normal cancellation policy.
    • If Guests have not purchased Travel Insurance and are canceling for any reasons associated with coronavirus, Seachange will issue the Guest a credit equivalent to 85% of the gross rent on their original reservation. Seachange will refund (not credit) 100% of damage waiver, cleaning, linen, and pet fees (as applicable). This is a, “No questions asked” policy. The 85% credit of gross rent is to be used for a future stay. It is not a refund of gross rent. The terms of the credit are as follows:
      • In order to be eligible for the cancelation credit, the full balance on the canceled reservation must have been paid. On contacting Seachange to cancel for coronavirus related reasons, Seachange will immediately charge the remaining balance to the Guest credit card on file (if not already paid). If a Guest charges this back, or refuses to pay the balance of their reservation, then the Seachange COVID-19 cancelation policy is null and void. Guest forfeits all credits and Seachange will work with our credit card processing company to recover the full costs associated with the reservation being canceled.
      • Credit is for 85% of gross rent paid on the canceled reservation.
      • Credit is valid for future stays. The credit is to be used against the rent for future stays with the future stays to be completed by 12/31/21. Any remaining balance on the Guest credit will expire on 12/31/21. There will be no refund for expired credits.
      • Credit is to be used for future stays at the property on the reservation being canceled only. Credit cannot be applied to any other Seachange property.
      •  Regretfully, there is no guarantee of future availability at the Seachange property on the canceled reservation.
      • Regretfully, there is no guarantee of a price match on future rates at the Seachange property on the canceled reservation.
  3. Even if a Guest is canceling for COVID-19 related reasons, Seachange will still work to re-book the Guest dates as per our normal cancelation policy.
  4. Guests can move their dates on their reservations instead of canceling. However, Guests are responsible for all cost differences in gross rent. If the moved date gross rent is less than the rent paid on the original reservation, then Guest will be credited the difference. If the moved date gross rent is greater than the gross rent paid on the original reservation, then Guest will be responsible to pay the difference in gross rents.

An Example to Help Guests Navigate the Seachange Coronavirus Related COVID-19 Cancelation Credit

  1. Guest has a reservation for arrival Saturday June 6, 2020.
  2. The date that the Guest contacts Seachange to request a COVID-19 related cancelation is Friday April 3, 2020.
  3. Guest will be advised by Seachange that their arrival date is beyond the rolling 30-day window prior to arrival date that Seachange is using for COVID-19 related cancelation credits and while a cancelation can be applied, a credit cannot.
  4. Guest will be offered the ability to keep their current booking and advised by Seachange to call back 30-days prior to their scheduled arrival date. In this example, the Guest will be advised to call back no earlier than Thursday May 7, 2020 at which time their reservation will be cancelled and they will be issued a COVID-19 cancelation credit of 85% of gross rent paid.
  5. Guests will also be offered the ability to cancel their reservation immediately so that Seachange may work to re-book the dates. If Guest wants to do this, then Guest will not be issued a COVID-19 related cancelation credit until 30 days prior to original arrival date.

Seachange retains the right to alter this cancelation policy at any time based on evolving COVID-19 conditions and guidelines from Federal, State, and Local authorities.