Make Renting Fair surveyed 382 renters through our detailed WA Renters Survey. Here’s what we found (as of August 2023).
WA’s rental profile
- 23% had been renting more than 10 years and 32% have been renting more than 20 years
- 66% were privately renting through a real estate agent
- 51% reported either they, or someone in the household was experiencing disability
- 56% were on a 12 month fixed term lease, and 22% on a rolling/periodic lease.
- Just 4% were on a fixed term 2 year lease and 2% were on a lease of five years or more.
The condition of rental properties and need for minimum standards
- 57% reported issues with leaks, dampness or mould
- 56% had difficulty keeping the property cool or warm
- 49% had experienced issues with locks, doors and windows
- 42% had to pay or fix things themselves
- 33% had issues with hot water
- 30% reported storm or rain damage
- 27% reported a lack of flyscreen
- 18% reported major structural repairs were needed
- 7% reported accessibility issues, for example needing a ramp or grab rail in the bathroom
Rent increases and unaffordability
- 61% had a rent increase in the last 12 months, of which 18% had two or more rent increases in the last 12 months
- 40% tried to negotiate the amount their rent was increased but were refused
- 42% didn’t ask to negotiate, with the most common reason being fear of losing their lease
- Only 17% were able to negotiate the rent increase by a moderate amount
- 85% would find it difficult or very difficult financially if rents were to increase another 10% in the next twelve months, as is currently predicted will occur
- 87% of those receiving a rent increase said it was not accompanied by any property improvements or attention to outstanding repairs
- The most common reason provided for the rent increase by the landlord or agent was “the market” (65%). 16% of respondents were advised the rent increase was due to an increase in costs for the landlord.
Repairs and maintenance
When considering whether to make a request for repairs or maintenance in their current rental, our respondents reported:
- 62% were concerned that a request for repairs or maintenance in their current rental could mean a rent rise
- 42% were concerned the request could result in an eviction
- 71% were concerned the request would be stressful and 62% were concerned the request would be ignored
- 16% of survey respondents reported they had a lease not renewed due to a request of their landlord during the tenancy.
When asked about their experience of evictions in the last 12 months:
- 3 out of 5 respondents had received either a notice of eviction or threat to evict in the last 12 months
- 32% had experienced a ‘no grounds eviction’ which includes a notice of termination (30 days to vacate) at the end of a fixed term lease without any reasons provided (23%) or were given 60 days notice to vacate during a periodic lease without any reason (9%)
- 41% reported they had been evicted due to the landlord selling or moving back in
- Almost one in three (31%) reported they’d received a breach of agreement that they resolved within 14 days, with many examples showing breaches are often served flippantly or due to administrative issues, rather than the tenant actually doing anything wrong, which is extremely stressful for renters.
- 70% had no access to tenancy support services
When asked about the frequency and purpose of rent inspections, the survey found:
- 61% of respondents are having a rental inspection every three months, which is currently allowed in WA tenancy laws but is largely considered overly onerous, unnecessary and an invasion of privacy by tenant advocates and a majority of respondents.
- 56% feel stressed or anxious about the frequency of inspections
- 55% feel anxious about the landlord taking photos or videos during the inspection
- 42% feel anxious about the landlord looking through their belongings during the inspection
- 13% have caught a landlord or property agent going through their private belongings, cupboards or drawers
- 70% are not satisfied with the frequency and nature of rent inspections
Over their entire history as a renter:
- 12% had a lease not renewed at the end of a fixed term due to a request
- 46% had been too scared to report an issue with the property for fear of eviction or poor reference
- 63% had to pay or fix things themselves
- 34% had requested urgent repairs that were never completed, and
- 28% had structural issues that were not addressed adequately