WA Rent Reforms

Here is what you need to know about the WA rent reforms:

The next four reforms come into effect as of 29 July 2024.

  • New forms will be available for pet and minor modification applications from 29 July 2024.
  • Information and links for the Commissioner's determination process will be ready from 29 July 2024.
  • Landlords and property managers should ensure they are using the updated tenancy forms (1AA, 1AC, 1AD) from 29 July 2024.

12 month rent rises – as of 29 July 2024

Rent increases will only be allowed once every 12 months.

  • For periodic rental agreements (with no end date), the minimum 12-month time frame between rent increases will apply from 29 July 2024, regardless of when the agreement was signed.
  • For fixed term rental agreements signed on or after 29 July 2024, the minimum 12-month time frame between rent increases will apply from 29 July 2024.
  • For fixed term rental agreements signed before 29 July 2024, the minimum 12-month time frame between rent increases will apply once the current fixed term ends.

Why is this change being made?

The minimum 12 month period before rent can be increased allows tenants time to assess the affordability of premises and plan their budget.

The new law will make WA consistent with other states and territories such as the ACT, South Australia, Tasmania, Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria which require a minimum of 12 months between rent increases.

What if my agreement commences after the reform about rent increases comes into effect?

There must be a minimum of 12 months between rent increases.

Example A: You enter into a periodic tenancy agreement on 1 August 2024. The earliest date the rent could be increased is 1 August 2025. The landlord is required to give at least 60 days notice before a rent increase is payable.

Example B: If you enter into a tenancy agreement on 1 August 2024 for a fixed term of 2 years, the earliest date the rent could be increased is 1 August 2025. For rent to be increased during the 2 year fixed term of the lease, the tenancy agreement must set out the amount of method of calculating the rent increase.  The lessor is required to give at least 60 days notice before a rent increase is payable.

What if my periodic agreement commenced before the reform about rent increases comes into effect?

Once the reforms come into effect the changes will apply to your periodic agreement, regardless of when it was signed. The next rent increase must be at least 12 months from the previous increase.

Example: You enter into a tenancy agreement on 1 March 2023 and the rent is increased at 6 monthly intervals. The most recent rent increase was 1 March 2024. The earliest date the rent could next be increased is 1 March 2025.  The landlord is required to give at least 60 days notice before a rent increase is payable.

What if I have signed a fixed term agreement prior to 29th July 2024, but the new agreement does not commence until after 29 July 2024?

Any rent increases agreed to between the parties and set out in fixed term agreements signed before 29 July 2024 would apply. These agreed rent increases can apply at 6 monthly intervals – but only if the amount or method of calculating the rent increase is set out in the agreement. At the end of the current term set out in an existing fixed term agreement, the new provisions will apply and there must be at least 12 months between rent increases.

Example: You enter into a tenancy agreement on 1 July 2024 that commences on 1 August 2024. The agreement sets out that rent increases may apply at every 6 months in the amount of $50.00. The rent increases set out in the agreement will apply until the term ends. Once the term ends, the next rent increase must be at least 12 months from the most recent increase under the agreement.

Example: You enter into a tenancy agreement on 1 March 2024 for a 2 year fixed term that provides that the rent is to be increased by a set amount every 6 months.  The rent increases set out in the agreement will apply until the 2 year term ends.

If the tenancy continues after 1 March 2026 (e.g. you agree to a new fixed term lease), rent can only increase every 12 months calculated from the most recent rent increase. Assuming this is 1 September 2025, the next date the rent can be increased will be 1 September 2026.

What if I have a 6 month fixed term agreement which I continually renew - can the rent be increased with each new contract? 

No. Where there are “rolling” fixed term leases between the same parties for the same premises, this will be treated as a continuous agreement for the purpose of calculating the timeframe and rent can only be increased once every 12 months.

Example: You enter into a tenancy agreement on 1 August 2024 for a fixed term of 6 months. At the expiry of the 6 months, you agree to an extension of that fixed term for another 6 months. The earliest the rent could be increased is 1 August 2025 – that is, rent cannot be increased at the end of the first 6 month fixed term. The lessor is required to give at least 60 days notice before a rent increase is payable.

I was given notice of a rent increase before 29 July 2024 for a rent increase that takes effect after 29 July 2024 – does it still apply?

For a periodic tenancy agreement, from 29 July 2024 there must have been at least 12 months since the previous rent increase.  Even if a notice of rent increase is given before 29 July 2024, it will not apply unless the date of the rent increase is at least 12 months from the previous rent increase.

Example: The rent was last increased under a periodic tenancy agreement on 15 February 2024.  On 31 May 2024, the landlord gave the tenant notice that the rent will increase on 15 August 2024.  This rent increase will not apply - the next rent increase must not take effect before 15 February 2025.

For a fixed term agreement signed before 29 July 2024, the notice of rent increase will still apply if it relates to a rent increase that is written into the agreement and the tenant is given at least 60 days notice.

Example: A fixed term agreement was entered into on 15 February 2024 and includes rent increases of $50 every 6 months. On 31 May 2024, the landlord gave the tenant a notice that the rent will increase by $50 on 15 August 2024. This rent increase can apply because it was agreed before 29 July 2024.

Pets welcome – as of 29 July 2024

In most cases pets are allowed, however tenants must seek permission. Tenants will need to fill in an approved form to give to the landlord or agent. 

  • Landlords or agents can refuse if:
    • a law specifically prevents pets;
    • they can prove a ‘good reason’ to the Commissioner for Consumer Protection – for example the property is not fully fenced.
  • A landlord can place ‘reasonable conditions’ on having a pet – for example a bird must remain in a cage, or the carpets must be professionally cleaned at the end of the tenancy.
  • A landlord or agent can use the pet bond in addition to the regular bond to clean mess and fix damage a pet has caused.

Can I refuse permission for my tenant to keep a pet?

Yes, on reasonable grounds. You can refuse consent for your tenant to keep a pet without making an application to the Commissioner for Consumer Protection where keeping the pet would contravene a written law, local law or scheme by-law. 

You may make an application to the Commissioner for Consumer Protection to refuse consent for your tenant to keep a pet in a range of circumstances. This includes:

  • The premises are unsuitable for keeping the pet.
  • Keeping the pet would exceed a reasonable number of pets being kept at the premises.
  • Keeping the pet at the premises is likely to cause damage to the premises that could not be repaired for less than the amount of the security bond.
  • Keeping the pet at the premises would pose an unacceptable risk to the health and safety of a person.
  • Keeping the pet at the premises is likely to cause the landlord undue hardship.
  • The pet is a ‘dangerous dog’ as defined in the Dog Act 1976 (WA).

What condition can I place on allowing my tenant to keep pets?

You can place reasonable conditions on your consent for the tenant to keep pets. Conditions include:

  • Conditions about the number of animals that may be kept at the premises.
  • Conditions about the cleaning, maintenance or fumigation of the premises in relation to the keeping of the pet.
  • Conditions that you have had approved by an application to the Commissioner for Consumer Protection.

If the pet damages the premises, will the tenant be responsible?

Yes. The tenant is responsible for repairing any damage caused by the pet.

What happens if the pet causes a nuisance?

The tenant will be responsible for any nuisance caused by a pet kept at the premises.

Why can’t landlords refuse to have pets in their rental properties?

Tenants who currently have pets or wish to have a pet often face limited choice in the number of rental premises available, or they face uncertainty if they move to another rental property. Tenants can be faced with the significant emotional stress of having to abandon a much-loved pet to secure housing.

Under the new laws, landlords will be permitted to refuse consent to have a pet where it is reasonable to do so.

The landlord may also place reasonable conditions on the keeping of a pet, such as that it must be kept outside.

Home sweet home - as of 29 July 2024

To help make a rental feel like a home, small, personalised changes (known as minor modifications) will be allowed in most cases, however tenants must seek permission.

  • Modifications tenants can do themselves:
    • picture hooks
    • screw for wall mount, shelf or bracket
    • wall anchoring device eg for tv or furniture
    • water-efficient shower heads. This means a shower head with a water efficiency rating of 3 or more stars under the AS/NZS 6400:2016 Water efficient products — Rating and labelling | Standards Australia Store
    • hand-held shower heads
    • LED light bulbs that do not need new fittings
    • Window covering eg curtains or blinds
    • curtain or blind cord anchors
    • Adhesive child safety lock on a drawer or door
    • Pressure mounted safety gate
    • child safety device on window
    • lock on letterbox and gates – landlord may require tenant to provide a copy of the keys
    • wireless doorbell
    • vegetable or herb garden
    • flyscreens on doors and windows
    • draughtproofing
  • Landlords can require a qualified tradesperson make these modifications:
    • lever style taps
    • phone or internet connections
    • painting a room
    • non-permanent window film
    • security lights, alarms or cameras - landlord may require tenant to provide the code for alarms 
  • If the modification is on the list of allowable changes, a landlord will only be able to refuse if:
    • a law or strata rule prevents the change
    • it will disturb asbestos
    • there is a heritage listing
    • they can prove one of the listed reasons to the Commissioner for Consumer Protection.
  • A landlord must apply to the Commissioner to refuse for other good reasons. For example if the modification would:
    • result in extra maintenance costs to the landlord
    • make the home unsafe
    • cost more than the security bond to repair or remove
    • not be practical to reverse/remove the changes e.g. holes in a tile
  • At the end of the rent agreement, a tenant will have to remove any changes made and restore the premises, unless the landlord or agent has agreed to leave them – for example remove picture hooks, fill in holes and repaint the wall.

Can I refuse permission for my tenant to make minor modifications?

It depends on the type of modification that the tenant is asking to make and why you want to refuse.

If the modification is on the list that is prescribed in the Residential Tenancies Regulations, you will only be able to refuse consent in limited circumstances. 

You will be able to refuse the request without making an application to the Commissioner for Consumer Protection in a few situations, such as where the modification would disturb material containing asbestos or a written law or scheme by-laws prohibit making the modification.

You will be able to make an application to the Commissioner for Consumer Protection to refuse in other circumstances such as where the modification would result in additional maintenance costs, would make the premises unsafe or the action required to reverse the modification is not reasonably practical.

You may also impose reasonable conditions on making the modifications. For some modifications this includes that the work must be undertaken by a qualified person.

For other more significant modifications, landlords will be able to refuse consent, but consent cannot unreasonably be withheld.

What conditions can I place on allowing my tenant to make minor modifications?

You can place reasonable conditions on your consent for the tenant to make minor modifications. “Reasonable conditions” include:

  • Conditions that you have had approved by an application to the Commissioner for Consumer Protection.  This may include conditions that are specific to your premises, such as the placement and direction of security cameras on the exterior of the premises.
  • For certain types of modification, that the work must be done by a qualified person.

Is the tenant required to ‘make good’ at the end of the tenancy?

Yes. Unless otherwise agreed, the tenant will be required to either:

  • restore the property to the condition it was in immediately before the changes were made (allowing for fair wear); or 
  • pay an amount equal to the reasonable cost of restoring the property.

Why is the law changing to make it more difficult for landlords to refuse to have modifications made in their rental properties?

The rental sector is growing and more Western Australians are renting for longer and through different life stages.

An increasing number of WA tenants see their rental property as their long-term home. Allowing tenants to make small modifications to the rental premises helps them feel at home and allows them to stay for longer.

Landlords will still be able to refuse consent for major modifications, such as those that affect the structural integrity of the premises.

Consumer Protection Commissioner decisions – as of 29 July 2024

Disputes over tenants’ rights to have a pet, make minor changes to a property and bond release payments will no longer have to go to court.

  • The Commissioner for Consumer Protection will hear from both sides and rule on these disputes as an independent authority. This process is known as ‘Commissioner Determination’.
  • Tenants, landlords and agents can make their case online.   

Will decisions by the Commissioner for Consumer Protection regarding bond disposals favour the tenant?

Decisions of the Commissioner for Consumer Protection will be transparent and based on evidence provided by the tenant and landlord. A written decision of the Commissioner for Consumer Protection will be provided to the landlord and tenants so they can read the reasons why the bond was disposed in a particular way.

If parties are not satisfied with a decision of the Commissioner for Consumer Protection, they can appeal it to the Magistrates Court. The Magistrates Court will then make an order.

Bond release – likely to start January–July 2025

A streamlined bond release process will be much simpler and prevent disputes from going to court.

  • A tenant, landlord or agent can ask for the release of the bond.
  • The Bond Administrator will notify all of the other parties about the application. If the parties agree, then the bond will be paid.
  • If the landlord and tenants do not agree, the Comissioner for Consumer Protection will hear from both sides and make a decision.

Will it be harder for landlords to retain the bond where there is rent owed or damage to the property?

The rules about when the landlord is entitled to the bond money will not change. If the tenant damages the property, or there is unpaid rent, the landlord may recover the debt from the bond.

Need advice

The Consumer Protection Contact Centre can walk you through the reforms and what they mean for you. Call 1300 30 40 54 or email

Subscribe to Consumer Protection tenant or industry bulletins for regular updates, including start dates for individual reforms. 

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