Surf or Sound Realty

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Burnt in the Outer Banks
Posted by on
RODANTHE (OUTER BANKS), NORTH CAROLINA -- I just returned from the Outer Banks from the worst vacation I have ever had. For one year I have planned my first family vacation in ten years. Decided to rent a home for the week in the town of Rondanthe (Hatteras Island Estates)in the Outer Banks of North Carolina through Surf or Sound Realty. After a very crueling drive to the Outer Banks, we were exhausted but excited to start our vacation. The house was gorgeous but not very clean. Master bath on the fourth floor had hair covering the floor, the shower, and curtain. And I mean ALL types of hair. Then I proceeded to the kitchen, clumps of food were in every corner. Okay, It's not perfect. I go to the living room area and notice something under the couch. Pieces of dried up playdough left by previous tenants and the house was "cleaned" before we got there. Now I'm annoyed. Rental Companies advertise that homes in the Outer Banks are cleaner than your own. Because I had a two year old in the home and the rental agency was closed I cleaned up the food on the kitchen floor and the playdough. I cleaned my bathroom because it was very nasty and I could not use it with all the hair all over the floor and shower.

Sunday morning I get a call from the realtor stating to me that the house is up for sale and they were bringing prospective buyers through between 11 and 2. They gave me really no choice they pretty much just said We are coming and that's it. So the owner of the home shows up around 12:30 to show his home to these buyers. My day now is pretty much screwed. We planned to go to the lighthouses in the area but I was very hesitant to leave with my personal items in the house knowing that strangers would be walking through every room. Now I have paid close to $5,000.00 to rent this house for the week. Surf or Sound Realty gave me the impression that I didn't have a say about any of this. I was just stunned by the way I was being treated by these people. I was at a loss on what to say or do at this point. So I rearranged my vacation to accommodate them.. this happened twice during my stay.

Monday morning we were awakened around 8 am by this intense construction noise. Nail guns, construction cranes, pile drivers, generators, pumps, trucks pulling in and out of my driveway...trailers hauling pieces of these houses...and where is all this going on...not 10 feet from my house. Not only are they building 1 house they are building 3, right next to me and all are on a deadline to be finished by July 1st. And because the builder who was also the owner of our home had no temporary eclectic service for his construction site, They tapped into our electric. They were constantly blowing our breakers and had to come in the gameroom to where the breaker box was located. Or he had generators running. So to be able to go out and RELAX by the pool was impossible, the noise from the generators was so loud you had to scream to person sitting next to you to be heard. The entire house at times vibrated from all the machinery being run outside. My daughter and I both cleaned the gameroom before we left and saw no damage to anything: and believe me with the way I was treated by the parties involved I paid very close attention and making sure that the gameroom and the rest of the house was perfect so they could not come back and say we did something. But they did anyway. I'm am being charged for damage done to a pole in the gameroom for the amount of $200.00. Even though numerous people not in MY party were in and out continuously: As we were packing to leave the workers were waiting with baded breath for us to get out so they could come into the home. So, who really did the damage to the gameroom? If it had been my party I would have been honest and upfront with them just like I was with the rail outside.

My driveway was blocked by all the construction vehicles we could not freely come and go, and when we did we had to go through the grass next to the driveway which was next to these houses being built to get out and needless to say 2 of our vehicles had to have tires repaired due to nails being in them. Can I definitely say this is where the nails came from, NO, but any intelligent person can draw their own conclusion. Not only were they blocking our access to the house they were also blocking emergency vehicles from reaching us if we needed them because the whole street was blocked by vehicles numerous times and for long periods of time.

My family and I tried very hard to make the best out of this very bad situation that we were put into by no fault of our own. In my opinion, the parties involved should have had more respect for me and my family and told us that construction was going on and give us the choice of staying at this house after all the facts were disclosed, or offering us a refund, or another house at a different location. We work very hard for our money when I enter an agreement with someone I expect people to be up front and honest with me. In my opinion,the parties involved were not. I was: with them. I had a pirates of the caribbean party for the kids. I placed a banner of pirate flags on a rail by the pool. With the weather, part of the banner damaged the paint. I immediately called and reported this. Took full responsibility. The owner came by surveyed the damage and stated that it would take $300.00 to repaint the rail: but for all our "inconvenience" he would not charge us to have the rail repainted. In my opinion, this in no way compensated us for any of our "inconveniences": It was like spitting in the ocean.

In all my experience with rental agencies, Surf or Sound Realty has been the worst rental agency that I have ever dealt with. They never offered an apology, In my opinion, they treated my family and myself like dirt. I will never use Surf or Sound Realty again and I will not recommend anyone that would ask me to use them either. In my opinion, Surf or Sound and the owner of Hatteras Island Estates owe me a full and complete refund with an apology for ruining our vacation.
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rhondam718732 on 06/25/2007:
That home owner and leasing person must have balls of steel to lease you the house then drag people through it, ruin your pool time and all the noise. I would be PISSED. And then to have been fined. I would write letters to a state or national leasing board, the chamber for that city, etc. They should not be leasing property in that condition.
FoggyOne on 06/25/2007:
Start a letter writing campaign to at least get some of your money back. Every letter you send, send a copy to Surf or Sound Realty. Send to the local (theirs) TV stations, CofC, site, the municipality you were visiting, etc. Letters are cheap but effective. Where ever you see Surf or Sound advertised, send a letter to that newspaper, publication, etc.
chemman on 06/25/2007:
If you go the route Foggy suggested, I recently found a great site that will send out your story to all the local tv stations at once, it will save you time;
spiderman2 on 06/25/2007:
Here is a link to their sample lease which addresses the issue of construction and showing houses that are listed for sale. I would try the argument that you know they cannot control nearby construction, but using your house's electrical supply is above and beyond that and well within their control.
It does sound like you had a bad time and if I ever go to the OuterBanks I would avoid this place. Try Topsail Island for a good deal. It is a little further south, but I have found it to be less expensive.
Albdave on 08/09/2007:
We also were ripped off by surf or scam realty. There is an interesting discussion on the outer banks forum on
click on united states, then nc, then click on nc forums. It would be helpful if you added your story to the others who have been victims.

thanks... dave
Albdave on 08/15/2007:
Thanks for posting on Tripadvisor! I'm now in the process of sending our posts to some of the NC papers. One of those burnt by surf or scam lives in NC and is going to send material on this to a state senator. Surf or Scam may have gotten away with this systematic thievery in the past, but not now--in the age of instant information exchange.

take care.. dave
SurforSoundStinks on 01/18/2008:
Worst Realty company in OBX!!! Surf or Sound should be closed down. . .dishonest, inefficient, dirty and incompetent.
cindy on 11/23/2011:
I guess I have had good luck as I have used surf or sound for 8 years and never had any issues. My kids broke the back board off of the basketball base this year and the owner laughed and stated they knew it would last the summer but would take care of it right away. I love the obx and will continue to use surf or sound for my vacations.
David Ferrari on 10/11/2012:
What's the name of this house
AJ_W on 11/30/2012:
Use them at your own risk

We rented a house on Hatteras for Thanksgiving week. Due to the effects of hurricane Sandy, the road to the house was closed and the ferry was giving priority to residents. Getting on and off the island was extremely difficult and uncertain. If we needed medical assistance while on the island we would be out of luck.

We contacted Surf or Sound Realty about this before our week started. Their comment was: "we don't give refunds, we should have bought insurance."

They would not even consider a partial refund. There is no 'human side' to this company, they just want your money.
Harry on 07/27/2013:
We have used Surf or Sound for years and the home we rent in Ocean Isle Estates in Avon is always clean and has a well appointed kitchen we love to cook and entertain our family. I think the name is Miss Cape May. Better luck next time.
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Worst Customer Service Ever
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
AVON, NORTH CAROLINA -- If I could give Surf or Sound (Avon location) a minus 5, I definitely would in the customer service department. We arrived @ 2:00 pm and called to see if our house was ready, since that is the earliest they allow. We were told it was not, but decided to drive by just to check out the house, only to find the cleaning personnel just leaving. We waited until 3 to call back to check on the time we could pick up the keys, and again we were told it wasn't ready. Finally by 4 we still hadn't received a call to tell us it was ready, so stopped into the office. A woman behind the desk was on the phone with another renter and put her on hold to complain to a co-worker that the renter had called twice to check on their house and was getting on here nerves, then said she will be getting into her house late for all the phone calls to me ...I proceeded to ask when our house might be ready and she said the inspector was at the house (which was a lie because my sister was parked in the driveway since 3:00 and nobody came or went) and it would be ready momentarily, went to sit in the driveway and wait for the call that they promised would be momentarily ..No phone call. My brother-in-law went back over to Surf or Sound, which was just across the street from our rental house @ 5:00 and was told it was still not ready!!! So he left to join us in the driveway, but before he even got back to the house, Surf or Sound called my cell to tell me the keys were in the box and the house was ready. Why were we given such a run around when nobody came to the house after 3:00...Yet we did not get into the house until 5:30. We will never rent from Surf or Sound in the future because of this..We rented 3 other times, but never had to deal with the Avon office....Rude beyond rude.....Already booked next years trip through Midget Realty.
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DebtorBasher on 07/20/2012:
Is there an entrance from the inside, where people can get in and out without and outside entrance that you were watching?
Surf or Sound Realty on 07/23/2012:

We are truly sorry about the treatment you received in our office. This type of treatment is unacceptable and we are speaking with the staff to ensure this doesn't happen again.

We are also sorry that after a long drive you were unable to check in when you arrived at the office. However we do publish that our check in begins at 4:00 but isn't guaranteed until 6:00. We do offer to check the status of the home starting at 2:00 and will let guests in early if the house is ready, but most homes aren't ready that early.

It is often hard to tell by sitting outside the home what is going on inside the home or around the home that might be causing the delay of release. That is why we recommend instead that you grab a bite to eat and relax while we work to get your home ready.

We hope that you enjoyed the remainder of your week in Avon and that you choose to return in the future, even if you will be staying with another company.
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Disappointed with Management Company
Posted on
Rating: 1/51
SALVO, NORTH CAROLINA -- Yes. They are pretty horrible.
They have some good houses. But they spend no effort making sure these houses are kept up during the season. Their policy is that they are not responsible for anything outside of the house. So when we arrived, the pool area/tiki-bar/outside grill area were a disaster -- garbage under cabinets; cans and bottles behind the grill; the sink and grill looked like they hadn't been cleaned in about 2 months. When I called to complain they simply said they were not responsible for outside areas. I told them the inside of the house was disorganized too and that the cleaning service was sub-par; they basically made the beds and emptied the garbage. They swept the floors too. But the house just felt dirty and there were lots of interior maintenance issues too -- leaks in the ceilings when it rained; broken windows; broken sliding doors; broken stairs; no functional pool sticks (which pretty much makes the pool table a big waste of space); broken hot tub.... I could go on. When I told Surf or Sound that I was not happy about having to spend the first day cleaning up and organizing the house, they told me that I did not have to clean up when we left ... "for our troubles." Pretty sure that's what they tell everybody when they complain which is why the house is a disaster.
We stayed at the Sundance in Rodanthe. The house has a great location -- right on the beach; 50 yards from the water. But we would not stay there again because of the condition of the home. Sad, because the homeowner pays Surf or Sound to manage their property and they just do a bad job.
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Worst Service Ever
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
WAVES NC -- This company only wants your money they could careless about customer service. We were supposed to get in our home by 6pm, but got in at 645pm and only the top floor because they are not finished cleaning. Someone crapped all over the bathroom and they teld us, "Oh I'm sorry, someone will come out tomorrow." Really?

Be careful people....they have totally disgusted me.
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