The director of BDM Academy has warned the property management industry on the perils of poor security measures.
BDM Academy director Tara Bradbury said when she started in the industry it was more common practice for offices to hand out keys to prospective tenants, without a property manager accompanying them to the property.
“I would have thought those days were over but I have been very surprised in the last 12 months to still hear of offices that are handing out keys to prospective tenants, and obviously I travel throughout Australia and New Zealand, so it is quite a broad spectrum,” she told Residential Property Manager.
“Throughout both countries it is still happening and I can’t understand why."
“I think it does reflect badly on the industry as a whole. I think any office that is handing out keys is absolutely fraught with danger and it needs to stop.”
Ms Bradbury said she would have expected, with the world we now live in, that offices would not be taking security lightly.
“They should be going out to the properties with the perspective tenants rather than just taking a $50 bond and a copy of a driver’s licence for proof of security,” she said.
“I think it does come down to time management and people saying ‘Ok, I then have to go and spend half an hour of my time to open the property and close the property’. But in the long run, ultimately if they see it as a time management issue and they think they are saving time, they are in fact not."
“They should really be going out and checking the property after the end of each session, or at least at the end of the day, to ensure the [prospective tenants] haven’t maybe turned the stove on, or left a window or a door open, or potentially there is a squatter in the property - it doesn’t take much for them to re-copy keys,” she added.
Ms Bradbury said it is about reducing the risk in a business and preventing these kinds of potential outcomes.
“It is not even really my core area, and I was surprised when I was doing some of my audits on the departments that there are still offices handing out keys,” she said.
“For those principals and business owners, I certainly wouldn’t be allowing my property management department by any means to just be willy nilly handing out keys to anyone.”