Schoolies week is now officially underway so residents in strata buildings in the many QLD tourist hotspots have seen an influx of teenagers celebrating the end of their high school years. Air BnB properties located in the party zone that provide a teen budget friendly price point and no traditional Schoolies rules most apartment buildings adopt are also bound to see an influx. If your building will be effected by the annual pilgrimage, read on for our tips on how to best prepare.
Fortunately, the fallout from any inappropriate and disturbing behaviour will be short lived as the schoolies will depart almost as quickly as they arrived. Any apparent minor damage costs can also be settled fairly quickly through bond deductions, provided they are in place.
The greater concern is when there is major damage and or disturbances which the Body Corporate is required to act upon quickly can be far more difficult to deal with, especially after the culprits have left the building!
In our experience, the best course of action is to make sure any visiting school leavers are educated on the potential cost and repercussions of bad behaviour when first identified in the building. This can be communicated by issuing ‘house rules’ specific to your property, written in plain English to ensure school leavers are aware of expectations and behave responsibly for the duration of their stay. The suggested rules below are not exhaustive and can be adjusted for individual building needs:
- Rooftop access is prohibited – this is to prevent skylarking and dangerous stunts
- Balconies are to be used responsibly at all times – set maximum occupant number relevant to size to prevent safety issues
- A register of occupants is to be maintained including any overnight guests – this will provide accountability beyond the term of occupation if required
- Any damages including false fire alarm and lift call out costs are to be recovered from the occupant listed on the occupants register as debt as a debt – provided there is sufficient evidence and identification of the culprit, costs should be recoverable
- No glass bottles in the unit, pool or common areas – bag checks can be carried out by onsite security if engaged
- Maximum of two guests permitted to a room or common areas at any time – this is to restrict the potential for parties
- Noise must be kept to a minimum – stipulate times relevant to your building
- Dangerous and illegal behaviour or activities will be referred to the police without further notice
Although all rules may not strictly be enforceable, if clearly communicated and set proactively they are far more effective than attempting to enforce rules after they have been broken. If appropriate, you may also consider seeking written acknowledgement of the rules as an additional assurance that they are clearly understood from the outset.
This article was contributed by Kim Cullen, Gold Coast Office Manager – Archers the Strata Professionals