Baby death may lead to reforms

Little Bella Diefenbach who died in May 2010.
Little Bella Diefenbach who died in May 2010. Contributed

QUEENSLAND real estate industry representatives have welcomed findings handed down by a Rockhampton Coroner on Wednesday.

Coroner Annette Hennessy made 13 recommendations for major changes to rental property policies after an inquest was held into the death of Yeppoon baby Isabella Diefenbach.

Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) chief executive officer Anton Kardash said the institute was looking forward to working with State Government departments to consider these changes.

However, he said the institute had already raised some of the issues in the past.

"The institute has made ongoing representations to the government during the lead-up to the proposed review of the Property Agents and Motor Dealers Act about the need for the introduction of an appropriate disclosure regime for landlords," he said.

"Property managers are the intermediary between property owners and tenants and can often be perceived as having statutory responsibilities under the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act which in fact remain with the owner."

Minister for Housing Bruce Flegg said the government had initiated a review of the Tenancies Act.

He said recommendations from the coroner's report would be considered as part of this review.

Tenants Union of Queensland state co-ordinator Penny Carr said it was "important the government takes heed of these recommendations".

"We don't want to see these tragic circumstances revisited," she said.

She particularly welcomed recommendations for a mandatory inspection process, a mandatory register of repair issues and a standard system to record these complaints.


Isabella Diefenbach died in May 2010 after falling from her father's arms

His foot fell through a rotted wooden plank on the deck of their Yeppoon rental home

Complaints about the deck had previously been made to the estate agent

Topics:  death isabella diefenbach real estate real estate institute of queensland rockhampton

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