Schoolies and your property
10 Nov 2018 - Nuvaq News
On 5th November 2018, several days prior to one of the biggest letting events on the Gold Coast, the Schoolies weeks, the body corporate for 3113 Surfers Paradise Blvd in the Hilton Surfers Paradise building requested that selected letting agents pay $60 per student per week to contribute to the additional schoolies security costs for the complex during the two weeks of schoolies.
In this newsletter, we will be dealing with the question of whether or not letting agents have the authority to deduct $60 per student or up to $600 per week from the lot owners’ rent to the body corporate.
Can Letting Agents Deduct Up to $600 per week from Owners’ Rent Without Authority?
Letting agents act under the authority of lot owners. Unless a letting agent receives instruction from its lot owner or as stated in the Form 6 Appointment to Let agreement, a letting agent is not allowed to unilaterally deduct the $60 per student per week to contribute to security costs.
Who is Responsible for Schoolies Security Costs?
Did you know that security costs are often already factored into the body corporate levies* that lot owners pay each year.
Do the Extra Security Guard Protect the Inside of Your Unit?
When engaging security during Schoolies weeks, security presence is increased only on the common area, not in your unit.
Do Other Buildings Charge Security Costs?
We are the off-site letting agent for multiple buildings such as Chevron Renaissance, Circle on Cavill, Soul Surfers Paradise, and Sun City which are extremely popular with schoolies. None of these buildings impose a schoolies security costs on external letting agents.
What Do Gold Coast Property Expo and Holiday Holiday Do To Protect and Care for Owners’ Properties During Schoolies?
We are extremely careful with the properties under our care and management.
Six weeks prior to the event, we prepare extensive condition reports complete with photos of your unit condition. This is checked with the property condition during check out. Having these comprehensive reports done in advance means less dispute in the event of any damage.
Holiday Holiday collects a bond of $200 per person during this period, so the bond can vary from $800 to $2000 for a property. The room checks and preparations prior to schoolies are vital to ensure your reporting and evidences are compiled in the event that a bond has to be deducted.
With the right landlord insurance, your property is insured for up to $60,000 worth of contents but nothing beats an agent that is on the ball in caring for your property.
Check-in and Schoolies Briefing:
All check-ins are conducted at Holiday Holiday guest lounge and we use the check-in opportunity to present safety briefings for the students, in addition to how to care for properties and how to receive their bond refund back in full. The students’ first interaction will be with our team of young people who can connect easier with them.
This is also the time when we impart on the students the expected care and conduct when staying with Holiday Holiday.
We conduct spot checks and inspect our properties during the Schoolies weeks. We use this opportunity to check the condition of the property but most importantly to ensure the safety of the occupants.
Partnership With Red Frogs:
During check-in and Schoolies weeks, we partner with the Red Frogs organisation that is our extra eyes when caring for our guests and properties.
Often, Red Frogs have permission to enter our properties to make pancakes for the students so they do not drink to excess with empty stomachs. Most importantly, the Red Frogs become our partners in building a relationship with the students and guests.
Partnership with Security in the Buildings:
We partner with body corporate security in the buildings by giving them permission to evict guests that breach the building rules or break the law. Most importantly, however, security is often the first point of contact when a guest needs help.
Schoolies – Friend or Foe:
Nuvaq, Gold Coast Property Expo and Holiday Holiday believe that the Schoolies event is a celebration of young life into adulthood and it is for us to reach out to, and to impact students on one of the most important weeks of their lives.
For years we have cared for our owners’ properties and for years we have subscribed to the negative perception of Schoolies. We believe there must be a better way forward for schoolies, and we wish to implement a long term strategy to impacting young people. Rather than trying to beat them at their game, we wish to change the rules of the game by making a difference in these young people’s lives.
Each year we take the opportunity to engage with these young people via Holiday Holiday’s Schoolies check-in events. See our Facebook campaign and photographs of Schoolies check-ins with Holiday Holiday.
Bullying and assault are prevalent with young people during these weeks. When we discovered our young guests’ vulnerability, we ask ourselves how can we reach out to them. This year in conjunction with Red Frogs, we are giving out booklets on how to handle bullying. Our lounge is open throughout the Schoolies weeks to provide support to our guests.
In our more than 10 years as a letting agent, we have found that the students are better behaved each year. Some of them even cleaned the property to ensure they receive their full bond refund. Whilst the majority of schoolies do the right thing, unfortunately there is still a minority who attract bad publicity. We wish more people would join us in our long term sustainable vision of schoolies customer service.
Schoolies or not, it is your letting agent’s responsibility to ensure that your property is cared for and risk management steps are implemented. Unless you have authorised it, a letting agent cannot deduct funds from your rent to pay for additional security fees.
At Nuvaq and with Holiday Holiday and Gold Coast Property Expo, we are passionate with the real estate industry. We take pride in ensuring our properties are protected, our owners’ rights upheld, and our guests create memorable experiences on the Gold Coast.
Ask yourself this question, you can pay $60 per student this year, but what about next year, and the years after? Join us for a long term commitment, not short term band-aid solutions.
We believe Schoolies is a great opportunity to make an impact on young people’s lives. As a responsible agent, our role is to take care of owner’s unit, and the safety of the our young guests.
For a complimentary sales/rentals appraisal on your property, and/or to discuss how you can help make a difference during Schoolies, contact us today for an assessment or just a friendly chat.
*Clause 2.1(h) of the 3113 Surfers Paradise Blvd Caretaking Agreement states that security contracts and equipment are the expense of the body corporate.