Chapter News

Your questions answered

Question one

I am a real estate agent who wants to start a holiday rentals department in my current agency. We are going to charge a management fee to our owners, a booking fee to our guests and get a kick back from a few of our suppliers. What do I need to show on my agency agreement?

Answer: All fees charged to both the owner and the guest must be clearly stated on the agency agreement between the agent and the owner. This includes the management fee, the booking fee and any rebates, discounts, commissions or other benefits that you might receive from any third party.

Question two

I am a real estate agent with a small holiday rent roll. One of my owners is complaining to me. They want their money as soon as the guest has paid. Can I give it to them?

Answer: No way. As a matter of practice, the money must be held in trust until after the stay is completed. The money only becomes the owner’s money once the stay has been completed. Any money paid must be held as a deposit until such time as the guest has left the property.

Question three

I am a real estate agent with a small holiday rentals department at my office. We had guests staying at a property we manage and subsequently left the property damaged and soiled. We held credit card details for the bond and have a signed copy of our terms and conditions. However, when we went to process the credit card for the bond it was declined by the bank. What can I do?

Answer: Keep trying to process the credit card daily. If this doesn’t work then try to process a smaller amount. Keep trying for at least a month. If the credit card still doesn’t work then contact the guest and explain the situation to them. Appeal to their better judgement and ask for updated credit card details to cover the charge of the bond. You can then suggest to the guest that you will be left with no other option but to list them on a bad guest register and/or take them to NCAT (small claims, not tenancy) to recover the costs if they are not forthcoming