Policy: Owner Mail Management
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. This policy has been created in line with our guiding principal that all great long-term partnerships have a strong foundation of mutual respect, mutual reward, mutual investment and mutual risk.
The purpose of this document is to clearly communicate Property Providers’ Policy in relation to mail management for owners. This policy applies to both short-term and long-term rental owners.
Although it may seem straightforward, mail presents a unique challenge in property management. The ripple effect of relevant mail not being opened and actioned can be significant and can cause costly consequences (which we want to proactively avoid). Examples of these consequences include; disconnection of essential services/utilities, construction developments being approved, traffic infringements escalating, and unfortunately, mail fraud occurring. Mail by post (versus email) remains a major communication method for organisations to communicate with their customers. However, mail by its very nature is sensitive and private, which is why it is illegal to open someone else’s mail without their permission. Nevertheless to manage a property, property managers must be kept informed of relevant information communicated by mail. If the owner does not access this mail regularly, then we are required to open, read, inform owners and act when necessary, where it is relevant to effectively managing the property.
- To be clear about the role/responsibility and liability of the owner and the agency in relation to mail.
- To provide best practice recommendations that proactively avoid problems occurring for both parties.
- To implement a fair framework that balances the guests/tenant experience and our fiduciary duty that we have to you, the property owner, in managing all parties’ inconvenience, cost and risk.
- 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.
- During the onboarding process the owner should confirm with the agency how mail is to be managed. The owner has the choice of managing it themselves (i.e. getting it redirected to their permanent address/personal PO box/elected friend or family member OR getting the mail directed to Property Providers office). Mail should NOT go to the property being rented, as these letterboxes are not checked by the agency/guests/tenants and important information can be lost or missed.
- In general, where possible (and keeping the health of the planet in mind) property-related mail should be shifted electronically and sent directly via email to the owner of the property. This keeps the owner informed and in control to best instruct the agency if any particular actions are required.
- We recommend the owner also forward all post to their new address or to that a trusted friend or family member (as above). However, if the owner would prefer not to, they are welcome to forward mail to our secure PO Box 183 Spit Junction NSW 2088.
- If you choose to have your mail redirected to our PO Box, please note that our management agreement (both short and long-term) provides the agency’s employees permission to open mail on your behalf. Importantly, we will only open mail that is clearly marked “care of” Property Providers or is marked/branded as an essential property-related service (i.e. utility bill), that if not opened is deemed a risk to “disrupting the peaceful enjoyment” of a tenant/guest. All other mail will be appropriately “returned to sender. Should our relationship with the owner/property conclude or terminate for any reason, all mail will be returned to the sender.
- When a member of the Property Providers team does open mail, it will be scanned and sent directly to the owner (or owner’s delegate) via email for direction/instructions.
- Managing post is not considered part of Property Management and therefore it is excluded from our role/responsibility. The owner, therefore, indemnifies us from any recourse as a result of mail not being received/opened. If we are physically at the property and we see the mail in the owner’s name, we will retrieve it and open individual pieces if it is deemed relevant to property management (this should not occur if the steps in point 1 are taken).
- Property Providers will not hold onto any owner mail for longer than one month. Any mail that we do receive on behalf of an owner that is not relevant to property management and cannot be returned to the sender MUST be picked up by the owner/their elected representative within one month to ensure that we are not storing the owner’s mail. If this does not occur, it will be destroyed.
- Property Providers is not responsible to retrieve packages sent/delivered to the property. In cases where the package is requested to be retrieved either by the owner/tenant/guest, additional charges shall be applied.
- It is the owner’s responsibility to inform Property Providers within 30 days of receiving the utility invoice so that the agency will be able to deduct it from the security deposit.
- Upon agency appointment, owners should review the mail that they have received over the previous quarter and contact these organizations directly to set up an electronic mail or postal redirection to Property Providers if required.
- Retrieving and opening mail is not considered to be within the scope of property management.
- Opening another person’s mail without their explicit permission is against the law and unethical.
- Mail by its very nature is personal and private and even if we do have permission it can reveal information that can make all parties generally uncomfortable. It is inappropriate for agency personnel to be aware of individuals’ financial positions and legal situations etc.
Effective Date: This policy is effective December 1st 2019