Parliament passes new tenancy laws to support FDV victims
The McGowan Government's new tenancy laws to better protect tenants experiencing family and domestic violence have passed through State Parliament.
The passage of the Residential Tenancies Legislation Amendment (Family Violence) Bill will provide more options and greater support for those experiencing family and domestic violence.
The amendments are aimed at giving the victim better choices, including whether to stay in the tenancy or move to safer accommodation, or remove tenancy-related concerns, which are barriers to leaving a violent relationship.
The new laws for victims include:
- Being able to terminate a tenancy agreement within seven days by providing the landlord with evidence of domestic violence, such as a restraining order or a letter from a medical professional, removing the need to go to Court;
- Being able to stay in the home if they choose - they will be able to apply to the Court to have the perpetrator's name removed from the tenancy agreement;
- Being able to change the locks immediately, without permission from their landlord;
- Being able to install CCTV security at their rental home, at their own cost; and
- Provisions to deal with property damage, unpaid rent and disbursement of the bond to ensure the victim does not carry the financial burden after a tenancy ends.
Comments attributed to Commerce Minister John Quigley:
"These changes are long overdue and put Western Australia at the forefront of family and domestic violence residential tenancy law across Australia.
"The McGowan Government wants to make sure that people experiencing violence in the home are well-supported and do not suffer further because of inflexible tenancy laws."
Comments attributed to Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence Minister Simone McGurk:
"These provisions will give victims of family and domestic violence the ability to terminate their tenancy agreement in just seven days, one of the fastest turnarounds in Australia.
"Victims will also be able to make security modifications to a rental property to make their homes safer.
"This Government is committed to supporting victims of family and domestic violence. These changes to our tenancy laws are about making sure women and children are safe and secure."
Commerce Minister's office - 6552 6800
Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence Minister's office - 6552 6600