Schoolies accommodation: Tips for a harmonious outcome

Archers Body Corporate Management has provided tips for unit owners and schoolies to combat schoolies stress when thousands of young high-school graduates hit the coast this week.

Senior body corporate manager Michael Ryall said that schoolies could be stressful for apartment owners and managers, and it was important to work together with school leavers and parents to ensure ground rules are laid down from the beginning and no one was left feeling taken advantage of.

“The good news is that the majority of school leavers are quite well behaved and will abide by hotel and apartment rules, with supervision,” Mr Ryall said. “To assist with preventing any misbehaviour or tragic events unit owners should revisit their behaviour management plan and schoolies’ House Rules now.

“If they haven’t already, the House Rules should be sent to school leavers early so that they have a chance to review them properly away from all the excitement, and parents can assist in helping the graduates understand what is expected from them. We implore parents to take a hands-on role now and we believe they should feel empowered to ring the hotel or apartment and discuss the House Rules, the security measures that are being taken to protect their children and to understand what the protocols are for any emergencies.”

Mr Ryall is also quick to point 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. If owners are looking to lock balcony doors they should discuss this with the resident managers of their buildings.

“Resident managers are on site and are in the best position to enforce house rules and determine what is best for the individual units. The body corporate needs to provide support to the resident managers by ensuring additional security and appropriate emergency procedures are in place.”

Mr Ryall gave some examples of House Rules to combat schoolies misbehaviour:

• 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 behaviour 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.

“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, a formal complaint can be made to the Office of Fair Trading by calling 13 74 68.”

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