Jay Cronan

Byron schoolies in rent rip-off

SCHOOLIES were relatively well-behaved at Byron Bay this year, but it was the odd instance of business misconduct that nearly ruined it all for one group of school leavers.

The group of eight Melbourne schoolgirls forked out $7000 for a week in a Byron Bay house that normally only gets $3000 at Christmas and $1000 during the off-peak season.

Rental costs aside, on arrival the girls were greeted with a maggot-infested rubbish bin, a dodgy fridge and dishwasher, and a spider nest in the bathroom.

Byron Youth Service officer Nicqui Yazdi said the raising of prices is not uncommon over the schoolies period, but usually the complaints were few and far between.

“The prices are high for any group of people who potentially will not respect properties, not just schoolies,” she said.

“These young people do not know what the costs of going on a holiday are as they have little life experience and schoolies is usually their first holiday.

“The high prices are to instil in young people to behave and to respect the properties. Across the board everyone was happy with the way schoolies left the properties and I received no complaints from schoolies.”

The Melbourne girls were eventually refunded $2000 by the accommodation agent after legal advice was sought and through the persistence of one the girl’s parents.

Overall, however, this year’s schoolies celebrations were applauded byByron businesses and residents.

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