The appointed housing company takes pride in being able to offer up-market accommodation to our participants. We are always delighted to see the participants’ responses on viewing their apartments for the first time. It is our expectation that participants leave their apartments in the condition in which they were found.
Here are some helpful questions and answers for dealing with housing issues:
How do I get in touch with the appointed housing company?
Please contact our offices in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.
How do I make sure that I get my security deposit money back?
Each apartment will be provided with an inventory of the contents of the apartment. The inventory will list those items that are leased by the appointed housing company, from vendors including kitchenware and all furniture and linens. It is important that participants make note of any variances on the appointed housing company’s, inventory list.
It is the participant’s responsibility to deliver these inventory sheets to their respective housing coordinator within seven days of occupation of the apartments. If these lists are not completed, the vendor’s itinerary will be assumed to be 100% correct and on final inspection, participants may be charged for “missing” items that were never delivered to the apartment. If listed items are found to be faulty (e.g. toaster, iron, vacuum cleaner) it is important to email your housing coordinator to inform them of the problem. Your housing coordinator will then communicate this problem to the vendor and the item will be replaced.
Can my security deposit be increased?
Although the appointed housing company views this as a last resort, a participant’s refundable weekly security deposit deduction may be voluntarily increased in lieu of termination or eviction. Examples of possible reasons for eviction follow:
- abuse of alcohol
- smoking in the apartments
- mistreatment and/or damage to the participant’s apartment
- excessive noise making within the apartment complex
- partying in the apartments
The increase in refundable weekly security deposit deduction is intended to have the following effects:
- Reduction of the participant’s disposable income in an attempt to temper the consumption of alcohol.
- Make provision for the future expense of replacing or repairing damage to the apartment.
- Limit the damage to the good name of the program by limiting noise complaints.
Please note that, depending on your employers pay cycle, both increases and reductions in security deposits may only take effect two to three weeks after notification.
Can I be moved from one apartment to another by the appointed housing company?
It is possible that participants will be required, by the appointed housing company to change apartments, and possibly roommates, during the course of the season. This is most likely to happen nearer to the end of the season as participants depart for their home countries. Participants may be consolidated into fewer apartments with vacant apartments being turned back to the apartment complex management. Please remain positive at all times and assist your housing coordinator with your relocation.
Can I smoke in my apartment?
In accordance with the appointed housing company’s policies, smoking in the apartments is STRICTLY forbidden. All (smokers and non-smokers) occupants of an apartment where this policy is not adhered to will be subject to an increase in security deposits to cover replacement of carpets due to the likelihood of cigarette burns. Should your roommates not respect this please contact your housing coordinator.
Can I use the apartment complex facilities?
Yes, but each apartment complex has its own rules and regulations which participants will need to abide by. These rules are available from the apartment complex leasing office. Please read these rules carefully as fines may be imposed or items confiscated on contravention of the rules e.g. bicycles left in the breezeways may be confiscated by complex management. If a key or entry card is required to enter the gym you may contact the leasing office and purchase a key at your expense.
Can I have a party in my apartment?
All participants living in an apartment are responsible for all activities within the apartment. This includes and is not limited to underage drinking, drug abuse and damage to property. Parties in the apartments invariably result in noise complaints from neighbours and damage to the apartment and its contents. The appointed housing company prohibits partying in the apartments and recommends that all parties be held at local restaurants, bars or nightclubs. Workaway International does not condone underage drinking and the provision of alcohol to minors.
“But what if my roommate is having a party and I am innocent?”…you are encouraged to call your housing coordinator immediately to inform him/her of the problem. Please remember that the person hosting the party has shown a lack of respect to his/her roommates by knowingly breaking the rules. You are also encouraged to call 911 should your roommates ignore your requests to discontinue partying.
What should I do if my neighbours are making a noise despite polite requests to keep it down?
It is important not to confront neighbours in this situation. Please call 911 and inform your housing co-ordinator of the problem as soon as possible.
What do I do if I witness a crime within my apartment complex?
DO NOT GET DIRECTLY INVOLVED IN THE INCIDENT. Immediately call 911 and inform the police operator of the problem. Stay inside your apartment and wait for the police to knock on your door.
How do I make sure that my toilet does not continuously get blocked?
The capacity of the water tanks and water pressure of the toilets in the USA are considerably less than you are accustomed to in your country. To avoid embarrassment and repeated visits from the apartment complex maintenance crew, please follow these simple guidelines:
- Purchase a plunger from your local hardware store. It is a worthwhile investment.
- Minimize the amount of toilet paper used.
- When flushing always hold the handle down for at least five seconds.
- Never flush feminine products, make-up removal cloths or paper towels down the toilet.
- Until the blockage has been cleared and to avoid flooding, shut off the water by turning the valve which is located on the water pipe under the tank.
What is the appointed housing company’s policy regarding apartment inspections?
The appointed housing company reserves the right to inspect apartments at any time over the course of season. You will be notified prior to all scheduled inspections. Where an apartment is found to be poorly maintained, the housing coordinator will give notice to the occupants to rectify the situation within a stipulated period of time. Should the occupants fail to act on this instruction, each occupant’s refundable security deposits may be increased. Participants are entitled to request (via email only) an apartment inspection at any time over the course of the season.
How do I operate the air conditioner/heating system?
- If you leave the apartment for more than four hours during the day, set the thermostat to approximately 82 degrees. Do not turn the air conditioner off completely on hot days, as you will use more energy to re-cool the room when you return.
- Set the thermostat to between 76 and 78 degrees for a comfortable setting while you are in the apartment.
- Keep all windows and doors closed while the air conditioner is turned on.
- Close the blinds in your apartment during the day to keep your apartment cooler.
- Check and replace the filter in the air conditioner once a month. You may pick up a new filter, free of charge, at the leasing office.
- Excessive electric bills, due to leaving doors and windows open while the air conditioner is running, may result in a written warning and a subsequent increase in occupant’s security deposits.
What do I do if something in my apartment breaks or stops working?
You will need to report broken apartment items to your housing coordinator who will report to the leasing office. Each apartment complex has a maintenance department that attends to standard wear and tear issues within 48 hours of reporting the problem. Please note that where items are misused or broken due to excessive force the occupants of the apartments will be charged for the replacement of these items. If a member of the apartment complex maintenance crew does not attend to the problem within 48 hours of filing the report please contact your housing coordinator who will follow up on the report. Your housing coordinator must be contacted immediately in the following emergency situations:
- plumbing faults
- electrical malfunctions
- air conditioner malfunctions
- fire and crime
- telephone calls
What do I do if I don’t like my roommates and wish to move into a different apartment?
It is the appointed housing company’s policy to do our utmost to ensure that participants live in a comfortable and harmonious environment. However, our program is designed to cater to adults who are assumed to be aware of the challenges of sharing an apartment with people who may have different value systems and lifestyle habits to their own. Under no circumstances are you allowed to change apartments without authorization from the appointed housing company. Wherever possible, we will honour the relocation requests of participants within the following parameters:
- Requests may not be entertained until all participants from a particular club are settled into the apartments to which they were allocated.
- Participants are asked to bear in mind that there is a limited number of beds available and that 100% occupancy may be a limiting factor.
- Participants will not be required to share a bedroom with a member of the opposite sex, however this cannot be guaranteed on an apartment level e.g. there may be members of the opposite sex occupying another room within the same apartment.
- Priority will be given in cases where there is a reasonable suspicion that one or more of the occupants of an apartment is/has engaged in illegal activities e.g. sexual harassments, drug abuse etc.
- Priority will also be given in instances where a participant’s health and/or safety may be jeopardized by virtue of his/her sharing an apartment with certain other participants.
Please note that the FLATMATE REQUEST FORMS (Romania, South Africa, USA, Ireland, Portugal, Italy) you completed prior to departing your home country serve as no more than a “request form” and guideline to Workaway International staff. Unfortunately, Workaway International is unable to guarantee compliance with all requests.
What constitutes “noise” in my apartment complex?
The following activities tend to trigger the majority of noise complaints, in particular after 8pm in the evening:
- slamming of doors
- opening and closing of garage doors
- groups of participants talking outside of the apartments (please note that two people talking outside of an apartment after 8pm can be considered to be a disturbance). This is particularly problematic when food and beverage staff returns from a late shift
- gathering and talking at bus drop-off points
- television too loud
- stereo too loud
- after hours use of the complex facilities, in particular the pool areas
- bouncing of balls in the apartments
If my roommate has resigned/been fired and is still in the area is it ok if he visits my apartment from time to time?
If a participant is no longer employed he is required, by law, to leave the United States. Workaway International will endeavour to assist the individual by booking his/her return flight to his/her home country. Should this person choose to stay within the United States, he/she is no longer entitled to utilize the appointed housing company’s accommodation. Participants found to be housing such a person may be expelled from the program or evicted from the housing, forfeiting all security deposits paid up until that date.
What do I do if I lose the key to my apartment?
It is the participant’s responsibility to look after apartment keys. New keys can be purchased (cut) from the leasing office or certain local supermarket chains at a cost to the participant. The leasing office will not issue a new key or open an apartment door without verifying the identity of the person requesting the key. No participant is permitted to request a key for any apartment other than their own.
What is the procedure for refunding security deposits?
The season culminates in a final inspection per apartment. This inspection will only be carried out once all occupants have vacated the apartment and it is therefore imperative that apartments are left in the condition in which they were found. You will be provided with move-out cleaning instructions prior to your departure. Please note that most apartment complexes will charge former tenants for having unwanted items that remain in the apartments.
Once the appointed housing company has received all damage reports from the apartment complex and furniture vendors, the accounting department will begin calculating participant’s refunds net (minus) of the cost of damages.
Participants can choose to have their security deposit refunds deposited directly into their USA bank accounts OR have the monies sent via check to the Workaway International recruitment office in their home country. Please note that these dollar checks may be difficult and expensive to cash in the participant’s home country. Money deposited into the participant’s USA bank account is easily accessed, anywhere in the world, when using a VISA Debit Card.
Should you wish to have your security deposit refund transferred into your USA bank account, please email your housing coordinator the following details:
- your full name as recorded by your USA bank
- the name of the Club that you work for
- your full USA address
- name of your USA Bank
- your bank account number
The accurate calculation of security deposit refunds is a time consuming process. Participants should only expect refund payments to be issued by the end of July.