Real Estate Agent Supports Domestic Violence Victims
A Hunter Valley real estate agent is helping to change the lives of victims of domestic violence by providing them with accommodation.
REINSW President Leanne Pilkington said Alexandra Haggarty, managing director of First National David Haggarty, Maitland, has created a Domestic Violence Rapid Rehousing Partnership to help create better outcomes for property managers, landlords, tenants and the community.
“Alexandra’s work in helping survivors of domestic violence came about by pure chance after discovering one of her tenants had been a victim,” Ms Pilkington said.
“As a result, Alexandra created a partnership with Carries Place which provides domestic violence and homelessness services in the Maitland and Lower Hunter area.
“They developed a formal agreement which set down ground rules and a memorandum of understanding. This includes having access to case workers for the duration of the tenancy,” Ms Pilkington said.
Ms Haggarty said before a tenant is signed-up there is an open and honest conversation with their caseworker, the tenant, and the landlord.
“There's a lot of services that come with domestic violence tenants, so our staff are trained by Carrie's Place on what’s available, and that helps make the landlord more comfortable.
“It's full disclosure to the owners. They are fully aware of the circumstances for each tenant, and they make the decision to take the tenancy or not.”
Ms Haggarty said the first domestic violence tenant that the agency housed was one of the best tenants they had ever placed.
“The benefit to the landlord is they get great tenants as they are grateful to have a roof over their head and a safe place for their kids.
“We've had a 100 per cent success rate and had clients move on to second properties, found work, and who keep the property in great condition.
“It also builds trust and the relationship in the community, with our tenants, and our landlords.
“My husband and I own the business, and we really want to run it in a different way to a lot of traditional real estates. We want to give back, increase social responsibility, client service and trust so it adds value.
“I'm so much more grateful for the life I have, and the marriage I have as well. We've got more respect for the open and honest relationship we've got and the trust there.”
As a result of her great work, Alexandra was nominated for the REINSW Awards for Excellence John Greig OAM Community Service Award last year.