Family violence prevention: Residential Parks Bulletin Issue 2
Western Australia’s residential parks and tenancy laws are changing to support victims of family and domestic violence (FDV) and help them leave abusive relationships.
The proposed amendments to the Residential Parks (Long-stay Tenants) Act 2006 (Parks Act) will apply only in relation to on-site long-stay home agreements, that is, those agreements where the long-stay tenants rent homes provided by the park operator.
While Consumer Protection has written to a number of park operators regarding the impending changes, this bulletin is a friendly reminder of how the legislation will assist victims of FDV.
The key amendments to the Parks Act include:
- allowing a long-stay tenant who is a victim of family violence to terminate their interest in a long-stay agreement by issuing the park operator with a notice of termination of agreement on the grounds of family violence;
- allowing either judicial (for example, an interim or final family violence restraining order or a family court order) or non-judicial evidence from an independent third party (such as a doctor’s report) to verify the family violence for the purposes of termination of the long-stay agreement;
- allowing a park operator who receives a termination notice on the grounds of family violence to appeal to the State Administrative Tribunal (the Tribunal) if the evidence required to accompany the notice does not meet the prescribed requirements;
- allowing either a victim or perpetrator of violence to apply to the Tribunal to terminate the perpetrator’s interest in a long-stay agreement;
- allow the Tribunal to assign liability for damage to the premises to the perpetrator of the violence (this will not affect the amount a park operator can seek to recover);
- prohibiting the listing of a victim of family violence on a residential tenancy database if the reason for the listing arises out of, or is a consequence of, family violence;
- allowing a long-stay tenant who is a victim of family violence to change the locks on the agreed premises without first having to obtain the permission of the park operator;
- allowing a long-stay tenant who is a victim of family violence to affix fixtures or make alterations to the agreed premises to improve the security of the premises, provided they pay for the alterations or fixtures and restore the premises at the conclusion of the long-stay agreement; and
- prohibiting discrimination against a prospective, current or former tenant on the grounds of family violence.
Where can I get more information?
Consumer Protection is providing updates on its website as the amendments progress through Parliament. The website also contains videos and other useful information.
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