WA’s tenancy and residential parks laws are changing to support renters who're experiencing family and domestic violence (FDV).
Key changes, which should become law on 15 April 2019, will enable tenants facing FDV to:
exit a tenancy with seven (7) days’ notice without going to court;
remove a perpetrator from a lease by applying to the courts;
change locks or increase security;
handle disputes about property damage or unpaid rent;
and have their name removed from a tenancy database blacklist.
The key changes include the following new options for renters experiencing FDV:
• a process to terminate a tenancy quickly and legally, directly with a landlord / lessor or property manager by providing a termination notice and evidence, such as a Family Violence Restraining Order or a Consumer Protection form signed by a medical professional, for example a doctor or psychologist, or signed by another independent third party such as a police officer, social worker or person in charge of a refuge;
• the ability to remove an alleged perpetrator from a tenancy agreement and stay in the rental home if they choose, through an application to the Magistrates Court;
• ways to deal with disputes around property damage, unpaid rent and bond disbursement to ease the financial burden when leaving a tenancy;
• to be able to change locks without a landlord’s permission, to prevent a perpetrator regaining access, as long as a copy of the keys are given to the landlord;
• the right to improve security at the rental home at their own cost, for example installing CCTV or external lights;
• a pathway to have their name removed from a tenancy database if the reason for the listing was caused by FDV.
For more information visit: https://www.commerce.wa.gov.au/sites/default/files/atoms/files/fdv-tenancy-presentation.pdf
Sunday, 17 March 2019