Renter’s Frequently Asked Questions

Don’t waste time scouring the web doing research about Nantucket. You’ve got questions, we got answers.

Whether you’re wondering when check-in begins, where to rent a car or the best spot to play tennis, our FAQs cover the most common questions renters have, quickly and conveniently.

How far in advance do I need to book?

Homeowners begin accepting reservations the summer prior to the following season. With many returning clients, we recommend booking late summer or early fall for the greatest selection. Also, waterfront properties and homes needing to accommodate a large number of guests tend to book first. If taking your car be sure to make ferry reservations early in the year through the Steamship Authority.

Do rates vary depending on the month?

Yes, rates are season driven. “In season” refers to the months of July and August when they are the highest. Lower rates can be found during the “shoulder season” which includes the months of May, June, September, and October and even lower rates during the “off season” which runs from November through April. Our recent blog offers suggestions about seasonal activities to do on the ACK.

Can I rent a home just for a few days?

Yes, depending on the time of the year. During the shoulder seasons, most of our homeowners will permit nightly rentals, typically with a three-night minimum.

Can I extend my stay?

If your rental property is available after the original check-out date, you may certainly extend your stay. Your agent can create a new lease and accept an electronic payment for a quick and convenient extension.

What are the check-in and check-out times?

Traditionally, check-in is at 3 p.m. and check-out at 10 a.m., unless otherwise noted on the lease.

Where do I pick up the keys to my rental home?

Your agent will work with you to figure out the best time and place to get your rental home keys. In some cases, we’ll be able to leave the key at the house with instructions, while other times we ask you to pick them up at our office upon arrival.


Can I get an early check-in or late check-out?

Sometimes, early check-in or check-out is possible if no one was occupying the house prior, or it was cleaned immediately after a tenant’s stay. Early or late grace time is at the discretion of your individual agent or lease terms. If you have special needs, we will do our best to accommodate them.

What do I do with my bags if I arrive prior to check-in or want to stay on the island past check-out?

You are welcome to leave your bags at our office on 57 Main Street if arriving before check-in or departing the island after check-out. You may be permitted to leave bags at your rental home prior to or after your stay, but this is at the discretion of your individual agent.

Will my home be cleaned throughout my stay?

Maid service is not included unless specifically noted in your lease. Cleaning can be arranged with your rental agent for an additional charge.

Will my house have an outdoor shower?

Some of our rental homes have outdoor showers, while others do not. You can find the amenities list on any individual property page. Some outdoor showers are not enclosed. If this is a concern, ask your rental agent for specifics about the home you are interested in.

Do you negotiate on price or have deals?

There are some exceptional circumstances in which you could receive a reduced rate. Those who rent multiple weeks in one home or stay off-season may see lower prices. In some cases, those who stay in the same home year after year may receive an honored rate based on their past renting cost. To find a lower cost rental, ask us about avoiding peak travel times and how we can find properties to best accommodate your budget.

How do you take payments?

We offer a number of ways to secure your rental property: credit cards, e-check payments online, paper checks, and wire transfers.

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What is the cancelation policy?

If you must cancel, we will offer the home to other interested renters. If the home is rented out by a new tenant, you will be refunded less than 15% of the total rent amount and processing fee. If the property remains vacant, you will not receive a refund.

What is the processing fee?

Our processing fee is $100 per lease and covers payment and administrative fees.

When do I get my security deposit back?

We release your security deposit after the homeowner confirms the home was left in good condition, within 60 days of your departure date.

What happens if I have a problem with the home?

If you need assistance, please call your rental agent. We should be able to help, but in cases of emergency, we will leave a number for the property manager or caretaker, sometimes the homeowner.

How big is the island?

Nantucket boasts roughly 47 square miles of land and about 18,000 year-round residents.

Are there certain appliances that kitchens are equipped with?

This depends on the rental. One rental may provide the basics while another may have a kitchen fit for a professional chef. If preparing meals at home is an important part of your vacation, check with your agent to know exactly what is offered. Also, you may wish to ask about the coffee set up - pods, drip or press.

Where do I shop for groceries?

There are two Stop & Shop grocery stores on the island, one in the heart of town on Salem Street and the other just east of town on Sparks Avenue. Bartlett’s Farm offers local produce, prepared foods, fresh meats and other grocery items grown on the farm. For fresh fish, grill-ready marinated meats, produce or grab-and-go food items like sushi, Nantucket Meat and Fish Market is a great stop.

Are there private chefs available? Private grocery delivery services?

Yes, there are private caterers and private chefs available for all size gatherings. Check out the Nantucket Chamber of Commerce for a list to choose from. Yes, there is a grocery delivery service called Nantucket Grocery Boys and ACKeats is also a very popular food delivery service. LINKS

Are there any chain stores on Nantucket?

There are only a few on the island, most of our businesses are locally owned and operated. There are two Stop & Shop grocery stores, a Cumberland Farms convenience store, Mobil and Shell gas stations and two branded clothing stores - Ralph Lauren and Vineyard Vines. There are no chain or franchised restaurants.


Are there Uber drivers on Nantucket?

Yes, we have both Uber and Lyft drivers to make transportation to and from the downtown district convenient for those without a car.

What rental car places do you recommend?

For those who arrive by plane, Nantucket Windmill Auto Rental, Nantucket Rent A Car and Hertz are convenient options close to the airport. For those arriving by ferry, Affordable Rentals and Young’s are located in Town just a short walk from the boat.

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Where are the gas stations?

We have self or full-service gas stations across the island. Most are located mid-island on Sparks Avenue and Orange Street, as well as one on Airport Road.

Are there time limits on parking within downtown?

Yes, be mindful of each street’s signage for individual parking restrictions. Some streets only permit short-term parking for 15 or 30 minutes, while others allow one to two-hour parking. All parking areas are strictly enforced. Vehicles left beyond the time limits are subject to ticketing or, in some cases, towing.

Is there a bus or public transportation system?

The Nantucket Regional Transit Authority (NRTA) shuttle service, known as the WAVE, offers fixed routes around all parts of the island. The buses can accommodate up to two bicycles.

Where is the closest hospital?

The Nantucket Cottage Hospital is located at 57 Prospect Street, on the southern edge of town. The new state-of-the-art hospital opened in February 2019.

Are the beaches free?

Yes, parking at all beaches is free. Surfside, Jetties, Dionis and Cisco have bathrooms and even showers, all open to the public.


How far is it to Sconset from town?

Sconset is about seven miles from the center of downtown, accessible by car or bike.

Where can I find a playground for my kids?

A few favorites are: Cod Fish Park in Sconset, Children’s Beach Park and Jetties Beach playground.

Where can I find public tennis courts?

Public tennis courts are located at Jetties Beach on Bathing Beach Road, about a half mile out of town. Learn more here.

Where can I go to learn about the history of the island?

The Nantucket Historical Association offers information on their website or within their research library— or, you could visit one of the island’s museums. Check out these five must-see historical spots on Nantucket.

More questions? How can I get my answer?

Contact an agent by filling out this form, or, give us a call at 508.325.5000 today.

Find your Perfect Home, Today

Now that we’ve answered your questions, plan the details of your stay. Discover the advantages of choosing a rental home over a hotel or inn on Nantucket by downloading our Vacation Rental Advantages Guide.

Editor's Note: This blog was originally posted in March 2019 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy and comprehensiveness.

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Robin Slick

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