The response to The Friendly Bay Islanders’s Zero Tolerance initiative has been outstanding, but not totally surprising.
All good law abiding citizens want to live in relative harmony without the disturbance and turmoil that comes from a dysfunctional existence.
The problems highlighted in our May feature are not unique to our islands.
They are in every community.
However, because we are a cluster of islands, the situation is more pronounced than in other communities.
Elsewhere, there is the distraction of adjoining suburbs, different shopping malls to enjoy and visit, and the proximity of a wider cluster of family and friends.
In other words, it is more ‘in your face’ on our islands than elsewhere.
Because we are a cluster of islands, we can do something about it, and that is what our Zero Tolerance program is all about.
One of the conclusions we came to in our feature was the problem associated with people with a criminal and turbulent history living and disrupting the lives of their island neighbours.
The failure to research criminal history plays a role here, and we mentioned that some in the real estate industry have failed to be as vigilant as they could be.
It must be stated that the majority in the island real estate industry do the right thing.
And, with police officers like Sgt Ben Suckling and Senior Constable John Levi on Macleay Island educating the local real estate industry on that island, positive change is sure to continue to happen.
Real Estate agents are under considerable pressure to rent empty homes, not just on our islands, but throughout the industry.
Property owners want tenants in their homes constantly with as little ‘changeover’ time as possible.
This pressure is applied to letting agents.
There is less pressure on the agent in regard to the ’quality’ of the tenant.
However, it is a truism that if a tenant has a poor history, it is almost certain that either a damaged property or the non payment of rent will follow. Perhaps both.
In other words, an early tenancy may cost more to the landlord in the long term.
It is our view that such a policy results in the downgrading of the value of property on our islands, thereby exacerbating the problems that comes with low property values and low rental returns.
By advocating Zero Tolerance when it comes to island property rentals, we are saying to the real estate industry to totally reject a certain type of tenant.
That is a hard pill to swallow.
What we would like to say now is that there is another way.
Cr Mark Edwards is on the right path seeking to get the local real estate industry to work more closely together to develop a Charter of Good Intent when it comes to rental placement and good real estate practices.
We believe that if the island real estate industry works together, new directions and new markets can be found that could prove beneficial to all island residents, businesses and the real estate industry.
The Friendly Bay Islander is exploring these new directions and we will be making some positive announcements in the near future.
Thanks for the support for our Zero Tolerance program and we would like to say to you: WATCH THIS SPACE!