On 15 April, WA’s rental laws for private and public tenants changed to provide better support and more options for people affected by family violence.
The changes to the Residential Tenancies Act mean that WA’s legal system can now consider the needs of tenants in WA who experience family violence, making it easier for them to access additional support within the rental system. The changes allow for quick removal of a perpetrator from a co-tenancy agreement, as well as options to change locks or install additional security measures.
This comes in recognition of the additional burdens carried by tenants experiencing family violence. These can include paying for property damage caused by a perpetrator, or being pursued for rental payments after they have left the property due to family violence. Should they choose to stay, tenants sometimes faced a lengthy wait time to remove a perpetrator from a co-tenancy, change locks or request increased security measures.
The Department of Communities has been working closely with lead agency Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety through Consumer Protection WA to prepare for the changes, which will help improve the range of support provided to victims of family and domestic violence in private, public or social rental accommodation.
Consumer Protection WA have developed a video resource explaining the changes:
To find out more:
- Visit communities.wa.gov.au/safetenancy for a range of information and fact sheets for public and social housing tenants
- Access a range of resources from Consumer Protection WA explaining the changes at www.safetenancy.wa.gov.au