Review of Family Domestic Violence Tenancy Laws - Tenants bulletin 38

This publication is for: 
Tenant

21 November 2022

Have Your Say About Family Domestic Violence Tenancy Laws

Consumer Protection is keen to hear from you if you, or someone you know is a tenant who has been impacted by family domestic violence (FDV).

Review of Family Domestic Violence Tenancy Laws

FDV Tenancy Laws  included in WA’s residential tenancy laws are due for review.

The Consultation Paper outlines the issues being considered during the review.

How to have your say

Family Domestic Violence Tenancy Review
Consumer Protection WA
Locked Bag 100
East Perth 6892

Confidentiality

If you prefer your name to remain confidential or your information to be de-identified, please indicate this when you contact us.

Closing date for surveys and submissions

The closing date is Friday 16 December 2022.
 

What will Consumer Protection do with my input?

Your input will help Consumer Protection to assess how the FDV tenancy laws are operating in practice and whether the laws have helped victims and survivors of FDV.

Once consultation has closed, Consumer Protection will prepare a review report which the Minister for Commerce will table in the Parliament in the first half of 2023.

The report will help the State Government to decide whether further changes to the laws may be needed.

What were the main changes?

  • Enable tenants to end a tenancy early on the grounds of FDV.
  • Enable the courts to make orders to reduce the tenant’s financial liability in situations of FDV (for example, rent arrears or expenses associated with damage caused to the property).
  • Enable the courts to terminate the perpetrator’s interest in a tenancy agreement so that victims and survivors of FDV can choose to stay in the property.
  • Allow victims and survivors of FDV to change locks, without first needing the landlord’s permission.
     

Why were the changes made?

FDV is recognised as a serious and highly complex issue facing our community.

WA’s rates of family violence remain high.

In 2020-21, over 10,000 Western Australians sought assistance from specialist homelessness services because they were experiencing family and domestic violence.

At the time of making the changes to the law, WA had the highest rate of reported family and domestic violence in Australia.

Also, it was recognised that WA’s tenancy legislation sometimes operated as a barrier for tenants needing to escape dangerous, abusive and controlling relationships. The changes to the law were needed to remove these barriers.

The changes aimed to help victim-survivor tenants to act to protect their interests as quickly as possible, particularly in circumstances where their safety was at risk.
 

How to contact Consumer Protection

For any queries email consultations@dmirs.wa.gov.au or call 1300 30 40 54.

Consumer Protection
Bulletin
Last updated 29 Nov 2022

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