Policy: Guest Pets
Property Providers vision is to “Help People Live Better” by being Sydney’s most flexible residential rental company. This vision is driven by three core values; Passion, Performance and Partnership. Importantly, we seek profit not through dollars and cents but through the pursuit of partnership through our guiding principle that all meaningful long-term partnerships have a strong foundation of mutual investment, respect, risk and commitment. We aim to create these virtues in all our relationships and touch-points with long-term leasing tenants, short-term rental guests, employees, suppliers, partners and our property owner partners.
The purpose of this document is to clearly communicate the company’s policy as it relates to short-term rentals and guests with pets.
A sizeable amount of Property Providers’ portfolio is premium homes. These higher-end assets typically attract families, many of whom have pets. As we are focused on servicing the executive market, over the years we have found that strong customer verticals are locals who are renovating or in between houses, insurance claims and international corporate relocation. Therefore, most of our guests are actually people who are looking for legitimate, family-friendly accommodation for extended stays. In short, these are people who are living versus visiting. Naturally, a high proportion of these guests have pets who they feel are members of the family who want/expect accommodation that will welcome or accept their animals. Property Providers is generally pro-pets, however, juxtaposed to this is the fact that we must protect our properties from damage. This dichotomy has been an impetus for us to be proactive and formulate a Pet Policy with the following objectives:
- To be clear, concise and consistent regarding the company’s position about pets.
- To support the company’s guiding principle 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 guests’ desire to accommodate their pets while also protecting owners and their properties from unintentional inconvenience, cost and risk.
- To effectively manage the facilitation of pets in properties and to ensure the best possible experience for the guests, owners and the agency facilitating these bookings.
- Property Providers extend this policy to guest bookings that are greater than 21 nights on properties whose owners have indicated that they MAY accept pets based on the following considerations/mechanics:
Operational Mechanics and Considerations:
All parties accept that:
- Requests for pets are required to be made in writing at the time of booking (i.e. before confirmation is provided or payment in any part or in full is made).
- Requests for pets will be considered on a case-to-case basis based on the owners/agency’s preferences or selection criteria. The agency reserves the right to ask for the number of pets, kind (i.e. cat/dog) images of the pets, breed, age, etc. whereby this proposal may be shared in the interest of transparency and respect with the owner.
- Approval is not to be assumed by the guest unless the agency provides written approval.
- The owner/agency reserves the right to terminate the booking or request the guest to remove the pet from the property for the remaining period of the booking if it is deemed that the animal is causing reasonable disruption of peaceful enjoyment to neighbours.
- Disruption to peaceful enjoyment is defined as the agency/owner receiving two or more credible complaints.
- The agency/owner has the right to inspect the property at any time.
- Guests are responsible for having the carpets/upholstery professionally pet fumigated and cleaned at their expense if it is deemed required by the agency/owner. In these cases, the agency’s verified trades will be required to facilitate this cleaning and the costs will be directly deducted from the guests’ security deposit and/or pet bond.
- Pet(s) is/are not allowed to be left alone for more than five hours at any time and there are no more than two pets to be on a property at any time.
- Guest/s are responsible for cleaning up pet droppings/waste from the property. If feces are found at the property, the guest will return to the property to clean it up or extensive charges will apply.
- Grass or turf depletion is not considered fair wear and tear. It is the guest’s responsibility to keep/leave the garden as it was found. It is also the guest’s responsibility to document/photograph it upon their arrival to avoid potential disputes, confusion or conflict.
- Any damage by the pet to furniture, soft furnishings or general damage to the property will be the guests’ sole responsibility and where our normal Terms & Conditions apply.
- If an animal is distressed or unwell the agency is permitted to contact RSPCA and/or the kennel and have the pet/s relocated at the guest’s expense to an appropriate external facility.
- If a property is advertised as pet friendly this does not mean that permission to host a pet within a booking is automatically granted or guaranteed (that is written application must be submitted and approved by the agency).
- If this policy in any part is broken it will be deemed as a breach of the Terms & Conditions of the guest booking. If pets are found to be in a property without explicit written permission from Property Providers at or before the time of booking, all costs associated with this policy will apply for the entire booking term. The guest’s credit card will be charged immediately for additional costs and the pet security deposit will be forfeited in its entirety as a minimum consequence of not having advanced agreements in place.
- We highly recommend that Guest Bookings with Pets do not conclude on the same day (i.e. back-to-back) as other guest bookings. This has created significant issues for the agency in the past and it is something that we would like to avoid in the future
- Associated Costs:
- Security Deposit/Pet Bond: Where a pet(s) are accepted by the agency/owner, an additional contribution to the property’s security deposit of 50% (i.e. if the normal security deposit is $1000, this would equate to $1500). The incremental security deposit will be included as an extra and denoted as a “Pet Bond” to quarantine these funds. This bond will be returned to the guest within 21 working days of guest exit as it relates to identifying damages/pests due to pets can be protracted.
- Pet Nightly Surcharge: A Pet Surplus Charge will apply to a booking at a minimum rate of $25 per night per animal or 3% of the total tariff (whichever is greater) to effectively manage the booking.
- Exit Cleaning: The exit cleaning for bookings with pets will be increased by 33% higher to make sure the property is adequately and professionally cleaned to a standard that is acceptable and safe for the next guests arriving.
- Interim Cleaning: For bookings with pets, interim cleaning will be required at a minimum of every seven days, at the guest’s cost which is to be paid at the time of booking (see Interim Cleaning Policy for more details).
- Breach: Should it be determined that pets have been permitted to be in the property without Property Provider’s written consent the entire security deposit value will be retained as compensation.
- Pets and Property: Guests’ often say that “their pet is perfectly behaved,” however when pets are placed in a different location they often become distressed and naturally behave differently which can be unlike their behaviour in an environment that they are familiar with. We feel that the above policy helps not only to set clear expectations and rules; but is also fair to the owner, the agency and neighbours.
- Special Requirement: The request to have a pet join the guests for a stay in a property is, in fact, a special request and therefore we feel that it is appropriate to have special conditions attached to the regular terms and conditions of a booking.
- Privilege & Not a Right: Guests need to understand the granting of a pet within guest booking (even if they are paying for it) is a privilege that is provided in good faith and goodwill.
- More Work: The reality is that accommodating a pet is more work (not only in terms of cleaning and maintenance of the property but also with communication with the owner and other stakeholders) and is, therefore, an additional demand that needs to be considered and accommodated for.
- Risk: The addition of a pet within a booking is an additional risk to the owner’s property and reputation that needs to be respected.
- Emotional Bond: Property Providers understand that a pet is often felt like a part of the family which is why we have created this policy. We understand the sensitivities around pets and it is our aim to be respectful to all parties in this regard.
- Safety: The addition of a pet into a property broadens the owner’s/agencies’ responsibility to the health and safety of future guests which must be prioritized (i.e. future guests who may have allergies, asthma or other health considerations).
- Fairness: We believe that this is fair and balanced to all parties and is in the spirit of partnership.
Property Providers’ positioning is to be “Sydney’s Most Flexible Residential Rental Agency.” In this regard, we do want all our guests to enjoy having their animals stay with them. We have found that the majority of guests with pets are respectful while they are staying at our properties. This ultimately enhances the guest experience and our joy in managing the property.
Importantly, we ask that guests with pets understand that there is a significant amount of operational resources that are required to manage all stays under our agency. We simply request that our guests respect our policies and contribute to helping the owner/agency in ensuring the smooth operational delivery of given services. Lastly, we believe that the above policy has been developed with the spirit of partnership in mind and is grounded by our guiding principle of mutual respect, mutual reward, mutual investment and mutual risk.
Effective Date: This policy is effective April 1st 2019