New reforms proposed in Western Australia will make renting fairer for everyone. For three years the WA government has been consulting on changes to the Residential Tenancies Act which governs the WA rental system, and some sensible and overdue changes will bring WA up to speed with other states that have already made these reforms.
The state government is currently considering a review of the Residential Tenancies Act WA that includes a suite of reforms that are understood to improve safety, security and fairness within the statutory framework for renting in WA. The government has hailed these proposed amendments as “the most comprehensive review of residential tenancy laws in Western Australia in well over a decade.”
Recent changes to the Residential Tenancies Act 1987 enable victims of family and domestic violence to have greater rights, flexibility and protection in their rental property. The McGowan Government is to be congratulated on these important changes.
However, there are many outstanding issues with rental accommodation that can be addressed in the current review of the Residential Tenancies Act 1987, which is currently underway.
There is abundant research demonstrating the need for reforms to Make Renting Fairer and more secure.
The Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre 2018 report, for example, on the private rental sector highlighted how the lack of security in the sector is a huge issue for private renters. They found around a third of tenants were forced to leave their last property (31%) with the primary reason being the owner selling the dwelling. An appetite for longer leases (and greater security) also exists, with 46% of respondents indicating they would choose to sign a lease longer than one year.
Three years ago, we conducted a massive survey of almost 900 West Australian renters. More than 85% rented in the private market, two thirds through a real estate agency.
At the time, one quarter of respondents paid more than $350 per week in rent. The vast majority of renters said they were on a fixed term tenancy agreement. 50% reported they had been renting for more than 10 years.
When queried about issues during their tenancies, the results were startling:
Read the fact sheets here with more results from the survey.
Copyright 2022 Make Renting Fair WA.
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