Consumer Protection leads campaign to call out real estate racism
- Consumer Protection disciplines real estate agent for racist conduct
- Email accused Indian immigrants of “turning our beautiful country into filth”
- WA tenants urged to speak out and report racist behaviour
Consumer Protection Commissioner Trish Blake has promised to stand behind any tenant calling out racist behaviour within the WA real estate industry.
“There is no place for racism in society – we will support any tenant who can provide evidence to help us shine a spotlight on hidden and often hard-to-prove racist behaviour in the industry,” Ms Blake said.
The call comes after Consumer Protection successfully led an action against a Victoria Park real estate agent for sending an email to former tenants regarding the disposal of their security bond that was littered with racist and offensive language.
Licensed director Ms Bronwyn Pollitt of Mavin Real Estate was reprimanded and personally suspended for eight months from 1 September 2023 by the State Administrative Tribunal.
In the offending email to two former tenants concerning their final property inspection, Ms Pollitt claimed Australian living standards, quality of life and expectations were different to the “overcrowded, overpopulated, dirty squaller (sic) of many other countries including India” and that “a white Australian has an expectation that they will move into a clean (of) Australian standard, not an Indian standard clean”.
The email also included vile and offensive remarks around Indian immigration – “Hopefully the massive influx of Indian people will not turn our beautiful country into the filth that is India.”
Commissioner Blake said she was disgusted and shocked upon viewing the full content of the email and Consumer Protection was quick to lead the disciplinary action against Ms Pollitt.
“There is absolutely no place for racism in the real estate industry,” Ms Blake said.
“This is not the first complaint of this nature within this industry, but I want this result to stand as a warning – we are watching you and we will take action to protect any tenant in the community that is subjected to this type of appalling behaviour in the future.
“It is easy for people renting to stay quiet for fear of being kicked out or missing out on a rental.
“I urge anyone in the market to report any evidence of racism to us so we can investigate.
“I am putting all agents, property managers and sales representatives on notice, we will act accordingly if we receive any complaints against you.”
Ms Pollitt told the tribunal that she had reflected on her actions, had apologised to the tenants and agreed to undertake training and weekly mentoring during her suspension.
Complaints about Ms Pollitt or any real estate agent, property manager or sales representative can be made on the Consumer Protection website at www.consumerprotection.wa.gov.au, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 1300 30 40 54.
Media Contact: Jasmine Sidhu, (08) 6552 9233 / 0429 078 791 / email@example.com
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