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18 March 2019
We're pleased to say an amendment to Western Australia's tenancy laws in relation to family and domestic violence was passed last month (February).
The Residential Tenancies Legislation Amendment (Family Violence) Act 2019 is now due to commence next month (April).
We know reading legislation can be daunting, so we’ve broken it down for you. Check out our five-minute video:
We anticipate these new laws will commence from 15 April 2019. From that date renters affected by family and domestic violence (FDV) will have new options to:
We’re currently drafting regulations and developing the new forms, such as the Notice of Termination and the Consumer Protection Family Violence Report – Evidence Form. Although draft versions of forms have been used in training exercises for various sector professionals, these are not to be used as the official forms are yet to be released.
The final forms will be available at www.safetenancy.wa.gov.au when the laws come into effect. If a tenant provides the correct form and evidence you must not dispute whether family violence has occurred.
As the laws come into effect we’ll release another e-bulletin that links to a landlords' factsheet and additional information on our website.
When the new laws commence it’s important to remember that landlords (lessors) must keep any evidence of family violence provided by a tenant confidential and store it in a secure manner. This means that while you must give a copy of the termination notice to any other co-tenants, you must not give them or anyone else a copy of the restraining order, family court order or report of family violence.
The penalty for failing to comply with this obligation can result in a fine of up to $5,000.
Consumer Protection will be ensuring landlords comply with this obligation because revealing FDV evidence information to anyone else, such as a perpetrator or co-tenant, may put a victim’s life at risk.
Got a question?
We’re developing a Frequently Asked Questions page. If, after reading the Safe Tenancy WA content, you have an unanswered question, let us know by email.
You should keep this e-bulletin handy so you can easily refer to it should a tenant present a Notice of Termination to you.