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Last updated May 16, 2020

During this unprecedented time, all of us are doing our best to adjust our personal lives and businesses to the ever-changing circumstances surrounding this global pandemic.

As Akers Ellis navigates this unchartered territory, we have determined that increased safety measures and flexibility are critical operational components necessary for this time. Our highest priority is the health and safety of our staff, real estate clients, and vacation rental owners and guests. Please know that we are fully committed to providing a safe environment for everyone.

Real Estate

We understand that buying or selling real estate is an important decision, and we want our clients to feel comfortable with their choice to work with Akers Ellis.

Real estate activity has fortunately continued during this uncertain time. We are actively following the legislative updates and guidelines from CTAR, SCR, and NAR and adjusting our services as needed. Our professional agents are conducting business via phone, email, and virtual meetings. Since virtual tours are a standard listing feature for many of our agents, we were able to easily transition to virtual showings and open houses. In return, these listings are receiving increased views because prospective buyers may virtually walk the property from the safety and comfort of their homes. Lenders and closing attorneys have successfully helped our clients purchase numerous properties in recent weeks. When needed, in-person meetings are being offered, all while using the best practices of social distancing and adhering to CDC and DHEC guidelines and recommendations.

If you are considering buying or selling property right now, we remain at your service. For assistance, please contact our office at 843.768.9844 or 888.909.8110, or reach out directly to one of our experienced agents.

Vacation Rentals

We are grateful to share that Kiawah Island reopened to short-term rentals on May 16, 2020, and we want our guests to travel with confidence.

Please know that we are doing everything we can to ensure the cleanliness and safety of our rental properties. We will maintain our high cleaning standards and have added additional steps to disinfect and sanitize properties between rental guests, all of which are based on CDC and DHEC guidelines and recommendations.

Offering an express, contactless check-in has always been our standard. Prior to arrival, guests receive an email with detailed arrival and property information as well as a printable gate pass. Since our guests go directly to their rental properties upon arrival to Kiawah, there is no potential exposure by standing in line waiting to check-in at a front desk. We know our guests appreciate this benefit now more than ever.

Book Kiawah Island Vacation Rentals

In order to allow adequate time to prepare rental properties between guests, we ask guests to adhere to the standard check-out time of 10:00am and check-in time of 4:00pm. Thank you in advance for your understanding on this matter.

Since Kiawah is a private, gated community, its beach remains open and was not closed during the time when state and county beaches were closed. Guests may use the beach however they wish as long as they are following posted beach rules and practicing social distancing.

As preventive measures, the continued practice of social distancing by 6 feet and keeping groups under 10 people are still recommended by CDC and DHEC.

Though many retails stores have reopened, please look for and adhere to any reduced occupancy restrictions for shops in Freshfields Village.

To avoid an influx of shoppers during peak days and times at Harris Teeter in Freshfields Village, we recommend that guests purchase groceries just outside of Kiawah or use a grocery delivery service. Savannah Highway/Highway 17 is home to Costco and Publix, both of which are larger facilities and will afford a greater number of shoppers. Groceries Ahead is a local grocery delivery service available to shop and deliver groceries directly to your rental property. Additionally, restaurants are permitted to offer takeout service, outdoor dining, and limited in-dining options.

Existing Reservations

We empathize with your concerns about traveling right now. If you feel it is in your best interest to change your travel plans for a reservation through June 30, 2020, we can extend these flexible options to you:

  • Reschedule your trip to new dates with no change fee. If your updated reservation costs more than the original reservation due to property type, season, or length of stay, you simply pay the difference.
  • Postpone your trip and receive 100% credit towards the cost of a future stay. You have 12 months from your original reservation dates to utilize your credit.
  • Cancel outside of 45 days of your arrival date and receive a refund less the service fee and its tax. If you booked through a third-party booking site, including Airbnb,, HomeAway, or Vrbo, your cancellation must be made outside of 60 days. Refunds are processed via check.

Please be aware that if the Town of Kiawah Island restricts access for short-term rentals, we will fully refund our guests whose reservations are impacted.

New Reservations

We strongly encourage you to purchase Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) Travel Insurance at the time of booking. This insurance covers up to 100% of your trip cost if the cancellation reason is listed in the policy. If you choose to cancel for a reason not listed in the policy, you are still eligible for up to a 60% benefit. Please view the travel insurance section on our FAQ page for more information.

Vacations are a treasured time, and we want everyone to enjoy their stay at Kiawah Island. While we recognize our response may not align with everyone’s point of view, we sincerely thank you for respecting the difficult decisions we have made to best balance the health and safety of guests with the operations of our rental business.

Thank you!

When you are ready, our team at Akers Ellis will be here to serve you.