The Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) has called on federal, state and local governments to help property managers better stand up against domestic violence.
In a recent REIA survey conducted ahead of the National Women’s Summit, 57 per cent of property managers said they had experienced domestic violence in tenancies over the past 12 months.
Meanwhile, around 30 per cent of property managers said they regularly deal with domestic violence two to three times a year.
As such, the REIA implored the federal and state governments to address this industry concern by introducing strategies that would protect property managers while on the job and support those who are dealing with domestic violence.
“We are urging the governments to address how property managers can gain support from local law enforcement and departments,” REIA president Adrian Kelly said.
“Resources such as increased coaching and mentoring on how to deal with situations as they arise will be instrumental in keeping these workers safe.”
The survey revealed some of the top strategies that property managers believe will help support them, including toolkits (55 per cent), support from police or local departments (50 per cent) and coaching to assist in dealing with domestic violence (43 per cent).
“Toolkits for both property managers and tenants are the most useful area of support, in particular, for less experienced staff, while coaching and mentoring would assist in awareness of rights and responsibilities, diffusion and even self-defence,” according to Mr Kelly.
The survey also highlighted a number of other recommendations from property managers to address the concern against domestic violence, including:
- Clarity of reporting obligations for property managers
- Consideration of inclusion of a “zero tolerance” policy in both workplace and lease agreements
- Relevant physical protections
- Establishment of a national database of violent tenants
The REIA has acknowledged that state and territory institutes are already active in family and domestic violence awareness activities, with a range of toolkits, training and philanthropic activities in place, but Mr Kelly said these efforts need to be supported by a national plan.
“We all have a role to play in stamping out this deplorable activity and we are keen to support our hardworking property managers to do exactly that in a safe way,” the president concluded.