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Agent fears for industry future

Principal of O’Reilly’s Real Estate, Ross O’Reilly, leaves the inquest into the death of baby Isabella Diefenbach, with his son.
Principal of O’Reilly’s Real Estate, Ross O’Reilly, leaves the inquest into the death of baby Isabella Diefenbach, with his son. Emma Mcbryde Rokinquest

THE principal of a Yeppoon real estate agency yesterday spoke about his fears for the future of rental property management.

Ross O'Reilly took the stand on the last day of the coronial inquest into the death of seven-week-old Isabella Diefenbach, who died in May, 2010.

The baby slipped from her father Adam's arms and fell 3m from the deck of a rental house under the management of O'Reilly's Real Estate.

The accident occurred when Adam's foot fell through a wooden plank on the deck.

Mr O'Reilly said the deck felt solid, but he could see some deteriorating boards, when he walked on it with a builder before the tragedy.

He said his agency's property manager did not read the building report they received because it was not their responsibility and they were not qualified.

Mr O'Reilly said REIQ had never advised them building reports be read and highlighted for important aspects.

Mr O'Reilly said there was very little training available in a "difficult industry".

"I really fear for this industry going forward," he said.

"There's just too much responsibility on the property managers."

Mr O'Reilly said since Isabella's death the agency had relinquished several difficult properties and landlords and was working on a spreadsheet to improve communication between property managers and sales consultants.

Coroner Annette Hennessy will release her findings at a later date.

Topics:  isabella diefenbach real estate



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