Policy: Owner's Neighbour Construction & Renovation

 

Company Position: 

Property Providers™ vision is to, “Help People Live Better” through being Sydney’s most flexible residential rental company. This vision is driven by 3 core values; Passion, Performance and Partnership. 

 

Document Purpose: 

The purpose of this document is to clearly communicate the company’s policy as it relates to short-term rentals and claims of disruption caused by, but not limited to:

  • Neighbours renovating or nearby construction of the property being rented.

  • Public events within a small radius of the property being rented.

  • Roadworks/overnight works within radius of property being rented.

  • Extreme domestic noise or pet noise within radius of property being rented.

 

Background: 

We want to provide people with a “home away from home,” not just a roof over their heads. Construction, renovations and noise disturbances are a reality of living in or visiting Sydney, however guests reserve the right to peaceful enjoyment during their stay.  These projects are unpredictable and involve several different parties including but not limited to owners, various trades/contractors, neighbouring properties, council and strata or body corporates. Very rarely are property managers consulted or even notified of these projects being planned or taking place, yet projects can have a huge impact which often result in aggressive complaints from highly emotional guests in a stressful situation. The noise and disruption from construction can often push them over the edge. Last but certainly not least, Property Providers™’s is not the decision maker to the ultimate solution to these confrontations (i.e. as our role is as an agent between the owner and the guest). We do understand that these situations can be highly charged and costly which is the reason we have created this policy so that we can most effectively and fairly manage them.

 

Policy Objectives:

  • To be clear, concise and consistent regarding what the company’s position in relation to guest disturbance relevant to construction, renovations and other noise related issues.

  • To support the company’s guiding principal that all long-term relationships have a foundation of mutual respect, mutual reward, mutual investment and mutual risk.

  • To implement a consistent and fair framework that balances the guests experience and our fiduciary duty that we have to you, the property owner, in managing all parties inconvenience, cost and risk.

  • To effectively manage the facilitation/implementation of fair and balanced solutions to all parties involved.

 

Agency Policy:

  • It is our professional view that to deal with these matters most effectively we need to be upfront and honest.

  • It is the property owner’s responsibility to accurately advise Property Providers™ regarding any works that are planned to take place on or nearby their property, and to provide the agency instruction regarding construction and renovation projects that may affect the peaceful enjoyment of their property/guests.

  • Property Providers™ does not accept responsibility for disruption and associated compensation claims caused by local renovation and construction projects. Importantly, however we do endeavour to do our best to negotiate win-win solutions between you, the owner and the guest. Should the matter be escalated through formal channels our NCAT policy applies.

  • Where we are notified in writing, Property Providers™ will update the property listing (under Home Truths as it relates to the dates and extent of the work that is planned and the date that we have been notified) to be upfront and transparent.

  • Where guests have booked the property prior to Property Providers™ being notified the agency will advise the upcoming guests of the works and negotiate an appropriate, fair and workable solution if required. In some cases, the appropriate solution may be to adjust the dates, reduce the rate or cancel the booking on the guest’s behalf.

  • Where a guest feels that a reduction or cancellation of their booking or compensation is warranted, we will act as an agent to facilitate communication between the guest and the owner with the objective of arriving at a swift solution. In this regard, we ask the owner to draft a written proposal (preferably with fair and factual evidence and fair rationale) for Property Providers™ to clearly to present and negotiate on their behalf with the guest.

  • Where a reduction, adjustments or cancellation of a booking occur the owner will be responsible for paying the agency’s commission on the original booking value. Where guests have reduced their stay, Property Providers™'s property management commission applies only on the dates the guests have stayed in the property. Importantly however, our Booking Commission will apply to the entirety of the original booking. Please see working example below:

  • They agency is more than happy to assist the owner in helping to attain compensation in relation to drafting and lodgement of paperwork according to our insurance claim policy .

 

Working Example/Scenarios:

Scenario #1: Ben and Sally book a property for 20 nights for $20,000.  10 nights after they move into the property the house next door is being demolished. As they have 3 small children it is inappropriate for them to remain at the property. It is mutually agreed that they can exit the property and they have found alternative accommodation and there is no reimbursement awarded for the nights they have already stayed. The agency commission is a 10% Property Management Fee and a 10% Booking Fee. The owner’s charges are as follows:

  • Property Management Commission:  ½ of the nights stayed so ½ commission owed as property management is applicable for this time

         = ($20,000 x 10%) – ($10,000 x 10%)           = $1,000

  • Booking Commission:

         = ($20,000 x 10%) - ($0)                                = $2,000

  • Total Agency Remuneration:

                                                                                                       = $3,000

 

Scenario #2: Tom and Sarah book a property for 35 nights for $15,000. Upon moving in, they discover renovations taking place in the upstairs apartment. They decide to stay in the property, but with an agreed reduced rental rate of $10,000 for the entire stay. As the owner of the property did not inform Property Providers™ of the scheduled renovations, Property Providers™ will take their commission on the original booking value ($15,000). The agency commission is 10% Property Management fee, and a 10% Booking Fee.

Example:

  • Property Management Commission:

                            20% on the originally agreed tariff of $15,000 = $3,000

  • Owner disbursement:

                               $7000 (revised rate, $10,000 – agency commission $3,000

  • Agency remuneration:

                               $3,000

 

Operational Mechanics:

  • Property Providers™'s Guest Booking Terms and Conditions apply to all bookings which include the cancellation policy included in these terms.

  • Claims made retrospectively or retroactively will not be considered. It is best and advisable for guests to raise issues immediately upon them being discovered (i.e. the same day). 

  • The burden of proof and drafting of any compensation or cancellation proposal lies with the guest staying in the property and not us the property managers. The guest is staying at the property and is therefore in the best position to gather and consolidate facts. We ask that guests that are facing this issue record the facts in the form of times, dates, images etc as part of their proposal for you, the owners, consideration.

  • Irrational emotion, rhetoric and/or accusations is not constructive, and Property Providers™ will not tolerate abusive language or behaviour directed at our staff. Simply put we ask for all Party’s to be professional and respectful, as we feel that this is the best approach to achieving equitable solutions.

  • We expect you, our owners, to be reasonable and fair when reviewing guests’ complaints.

  • Proposals and evidence are required for any compensation/cancellation to be considered. This is required to maximise the probability of the owner making a successful claim against any respondent (albeit project managers, neighbouring owner, relevant trades and/or strata and landlord insurance for loss of rent). We feel that this approach is fair and balanced and considers the interest of all parties considers.

  • Genuine disruption of peaceful enjoyment is the basis of any claim.

  • The agency may elect to visit the property personally depending on the specific circumstances or severity of the renovation or construction.  If this is appropriate, we will sincerely do our best to schedule a time to do so with the guest. If this is not possible, Property Providers™ will still access to the property to observe the challenges “as the guest is experiencing it” if required.

  • Property Providers™’s reserves the right to challenge the case put forward by the guest on the owner’s behalf. The agency reserves the right to put forward our professional point of view.

  • In the cases where compensation in any form is provided this will be done so in a rational and prorated manner. We accept and respect that guests have the right to disagree with responses to their proposals however if the guest feels that the matters should be escalated the guest has the right to lodge their case with NCAT (NSW Civil Administration Tribunal). Hereby, Property Providers™ is recognised as the agent only and the Guest would be the Applicant and the Owner the Respondent.

  • We endeavour to resolve complaints/proposals within 5 working days in no more than 3 rounds/touchpoints. Please help us work within these timelines.

 

Summary:

Property Providers™ positioning is to be, “Sydney’s Most Flexible Residential Rental Agency”. In this regard, we really do want to be fair to both guests and owners alike. We have found that generally both guests and owners are reasonable, responsible and respectful.

We ask that in circumstances where construction and renovations impact a guest’s stay, owners understand that there is a significant amount of resource that is required to resolve the problem. We simply request that owners respect this and contribute to helping the agency with smooth, speedy, fair and professional dispute resolution. Lastly, we believe that the above policy has been developed with the spirit of partnership in mind and is grounded by our guiding principal of mutual respect, mutual reward, mutual investment and mutual risk.

 

Effective Date:  This policy is effective July 1st, 2019.