A landlord’s guide to surviving schoolies
Schoolies Week is upon us.
Yes, it’s that time of year when the beach-side suburbs of Australia are rife with teens, all celebrating the end of their school days and partying like there’s no tomorrow.
(We’re a little jealous)
This year over 40,000 students are expected to hit the Gold Coast alone, which means a lot of room renting and accommodation bookings.
Great news for those with properties to rent out, but as a landlord, how do you let your property with peace of mind, knowing that this is the week to live it up?
Prepare your tenants
To ensure your rental property survives the student celebrations Queensland based company Archers Body Corporate Management have some tips to share.
Senior Body Corporate Manager Michael Ryall said that schoolies can be a stressful time for apartment owners and managers:
“It’s important to work together with school leavers and parents to ensure ground rules are laid down from the beginning,” he says.
Top tips to surviving schoolies (for the landlord!)
- Apartment owners and managers should aim to work together with schoolies and their parents to mitigate any misbehaviour
- Parents should familiarise themselves with accommodation and make sure they are comfortable with the safety and security of the property
- Unit owners need to have clear rules in place to protect themselves when it’s time to return the bond. Rules should not discriminate towards occupiers
- Body corporates could consider having the resident manager on site for an extended period of time during schoolies and consider additional security
Mr Ryall points out that whilst it’s important unit owners have clear rules in place now to combat any misbehaviour and to protect themselves when it comes time to return the bond, it’s equally important to ensure the rules don’t discriminate otherwise they could get themselves into hot water.
“A body corporate has control over the common property but cannot independently take action such as locking doors to restrict access to areas within a single lot,” he says.
- Owners should revisit their behaviour management plan and schoolies ‘House Rules’, and put some in place if there are none
- Owners should send house rules to the occupiers before they arrive so they can be reviewed prior to arrival, and make sure parents are in the loop
Example rules could be:
- No glass bottles in the room or pool area (bag checks can be carried out by onsite security)
- Maximum of two external guests permitted to the room at any time, with identification held at reception (this restricts likelihood of parties)
- Noise must be kept to a minimum
- Dangerous behavior will be dealt with by police
Mr Ryall said one of the biggest concerns from schoolies was that they wouldn’t get their bond money returned, but advised occupiers to read the rules to avoid seemingly unfair treatment:
“Schoolies need to make sure they are aware of the House Rules before they arrive to avoid delays or troubles in checking in to rooms,” he said.
“Any damage made to the room or contents during a stay will come out of the bond amount. If schoolies encounter problems, the best way to come to a resolution is to talk to the accommodation provider with respect.
“Accommodation providers are required to have a complaint handling process and schoolies are entitled to lodge a written complaint if they feel that they have been treated unfairly.
If a resolution cannot be reached, parties involved should contact the state’s Office of Fair Trading
For schoolies who want to get their bond back Mr Ryall had the following tips:
- Obtain a receipt, find out when the money will be paid back and how any potential disputes will be resolved
- Become very familiar with your house rules and responsibilities under the accommodation’s booking conditions and make sure you and your friends abide by them
- Inspect the room very well as soon as you arrive and report any damage as soon as possible. Take photos of any damage or marks so you have a record
- Be present and attentive during the check-out inspection and talk to the accommodation provider about the final report.