Property managers can be faced with a lot of tricky situations in their day-to-day work. From tenants who don’t pay their rent, to illegal activity being conducted on the property. The problem is, you don’t tend to get an instruction manual on how to deal with these situations, or even when it’s serious enough to get the police involved.
When do you initiate police involvement in situations involving your tenants? How do you respect your tenants’ privacy, while also making sure everyone living on the property is safe? How do you keep yourself safe while doing your job?
Unfortunately, finding processes to follow for situations can be difficult. Processes for situations like tenant death, domestic violence, personal threats, mental health issues and illegal drug activity are difficult to come by. Each situation is so different that you can’t account for every situation you may find yourself in.
But, hopefully the information below will give you some direction as to what to do, who to call and how to keep yourself safe.
In Australia, residential tenancy legislation affords tenants the right to reasonable peace, comfort and privacy while renting, without interference from the landlord or property manager. However, the right to privacy does not supersede the personal safety of others, or of yourself. Nor does it mean illegal activity by tenants should be ignored in order to maintain that privacy.
This can be a fine line, so a lawyer will be able to take you through the details of your State legislation and how it works alongside the Privacy Act. But, know that in certain situations, it is ok to get the police involved.
Your safety is paramount when you’re conducting inspections, and there are a few other things you can do to minimise the risk involved:
Your safety, and that of your colleagues, employees, tenants and landlords, is of utmost importance. Police involvement isn’t going to be the correct process for every tenant-involved matter. But, it does have its place so don’t be afraid to ask for their help – that’s what they’re there for! They will provide assistance in any situation where you feel unsafe or you suspect illegal activity.