Residential Tenancies Act review
Your house, My home: Rethinking renting in WA
The Residential Tenancies Act review is ongoing. Consumer Protection will update this page as changes occur.
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Consumer Protection is reviewing the Residential Tenancies Act 1987 (WA) (RTA) to consider what changes are needed in light of Western Australia’s changing tenancy market. Changes to the tenancy laws will occur in phases.
What are the first phase of changes?
On 29 November 2023 the Western Australian Government introduced the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill 2023 into Parliament. The Bill proposes the following changes to residential tenancy laws:
- Tenants will be allowed to keep pets with the landlord only able to refuse in certain circumstances (like where having a pet is prohibited by a strata by-law) or with the approval of the Commissioner for Consumer Protection. The scope of the pet bond will be expanded so that it can be used to fix damage or undertake cleaning required because of the pet. Landlords will be able to place reasonable conditions on the tenant keeping a pet.
- Tenants will be allowed to make certain minor modifications to the rental property, with the landlord only able to refuse in certain circumstances or with the approval of the Commissioner for Consumer Protection. A list of minor modifications will be prescribed and may include things like flyscreens, a water-saving shower head or installing a vegetable garden. Unless otherwise agreed, tenants would need to restore the premises to its original condition at the end of the tenancy or compensate the landlord for restoration costs. Landlords will be able to place conditions in certain circumstances.
- Rent increases will be limited to once every 12 months.
- The bond disposal process will be easier by allowing both landlords and tenants to start the application process for the release of the bond.
- Most disputes relating to bonds, pets and minor modifications will be determined by the Commissioner for Consumer Protection rather than the Magistrates Court.
- Any person (including landlords, real estate agents and property managers) will be prohibited from encouraging tenants to offer a higher rent to secure a property (known as ‘rent bidding’) i.e. a landlord cannot ask you to offer more rent to out bid other tenants.
- Tenants will be able to apply to the Court for relief when the landlord takes retaliatory action against the tenant enforcing their rights.
Landlords will continue to be able to terminate tenancies without grounds.
The Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill 2023 sets out the details of the reforms and how they will operate. It is available on the WA Parliament website. Changes to the Bill may occur while it is being considered in Parliament.
The Decision Regulatory Impact Statement (or DRIS 1), published in May 2023, sets out the research and feedback which led to the reforms.
DRIS 1 meets the objectives of the Government's Better Regulation Program.
Downloads and resources
- Decision Regulatory Impact Statement (DRIS 1) released in May 2023
- Review of the Residential Tenancies Act 1987 (WA) consultation paper released in December 2019
The Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill 2023 will be considered by Parliament in early 2024. It is anticipated that reforms will come into effect in stages, beginning around mid-2024.
Consumer Protection will provide more information about commencement of the new reforms after the Bill has passed through Parliament.
As part of the second phase of reforms, Consumer Protection is developing recommendations to be presented to the Government in 2024. The second phase will deal with topics including:
- Information landlords must give tenants before signing a lease.
- Information landlords are allowed to seek from potential tenants.
- Setting minimum standards for rental properties.
- Maintenance and repairs.
- Tenant responsibility for wilful damage.
- Regulating boarding, lodging and room-by-room rentals.
Enquiries can be made by calling the Consumer Protection on 1300 30 40 54 or by email.
Subscribe to the tenants, landlord or one of the property industry email bulletins to stay up-to-date on any developments.
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