Family violence tenancy laws coming soon: Residential Parks Bulletin Issue 4
18 March 2019
Family violence tenancy laws coming soon
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). It is important to understand that this Act amends the Residential Parks (Long-stay Tenants) Act 2006 in relation to on-site agreements.
Watch our animated explainer video.
We know reading legislation can be daunting, so we’ve broken it down for you. Check out our five-minute video to understand what this means for renters in WA:
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:
- Provide at least 7 days’ notice to exit a tenancy and leave right away for safety
- Apply to court to have a perpetrator’s name removed from a lease
- Make a rental home safer through lock changes or security upgrades
- Sort out disputes about property damage, unpaid rent or bonds
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.
Warning to keep FDV evidence confidential!
When the new laws commence it’s important to remember that park operators 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 park operators 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?
You should keep this e-bulletin handy so you can easily refer to it should a tenant present a Notice of Termination to you.
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