Update to family domestic violence regulations - Residential parks bulletin issue 12
29 November 2019
In this issue:
- Update to Family and domestic Violence regulations
Update to family domestic violence regulations
From October 2019 the regulations to the Residential Parks (Long-stay Tenants) Act 2006 (the Act) prescribed additional classes of persons who can make a report of family violence to support long-stay tenants experiencing family and domestic violence (FDV).
Family violence refers to:
- violence or a threat of violence, by a person towards a family member of the person; or
- any other behaviour by the person that coerces or controls the family member or causes the member to be fearful.
It can be experienced by people of all classes, religions, ethnicity, ages, abilities and sexual preferences.
In many cases, the affected tenant(s) and the perpetrator may live together, however the perpetrator does not have to be living in the same house for the situation to qualify as FDV.
Additional to list of 'designated professionals'
Long-stay tenants are able to terminate their interest in an on-site home agreement by providing a Notice of Termination of Tenant’s Interest in On-Site Home Agreement on Grounds of Family Violence and accompanying documentation evidencing FDV.
Evidence can include a Domestic Violence Order, a Family Court injunction or an application for a Family Court injunction, proof of criminal charges being laid by the tenant or a conviction relating to violence against the tenant or a Family Violence Report - evidence form signed by a professional designated in the RTA.
From 12 October 2019, the list of designated professionals includes a prescribed class of person which means that additional professionals can now sign the evidence form. These professions are:
- a child protection worker;
- a family support worker; or
- a person in charge of an Aboriginal health, welfare or legal organisation.
A park operator must provide a copy of the termination notice but not the FDV evidence, which is confidential, to any co-tenants. Penalties apply for any breaches of this provision. The tenancy will terminate seven (7) days after the tenant gives notice however they can leave the premises before that. Any co-tenants can terminate the tenancy after the termination notice is received by providing you with 21 days’ notice.
Park operators cannot charge fees to tenants that are related to FDV circumstances. An inspection that is required when a tenant’s interest is terminated for FDV is to be treated as an ordinary final inspection pursuant to regulation 8(4) of the Residential Parks (Long–stay Tenants) Regulations 2007 (the Regulations). Additionally s.12 of the Act and Schedule 8 of the Regulations prescribe and restrict the charges which can be raised against a long-stay tenant by a park operator. Park operators can be fined $5,000 for any breach.
Consumer Protection has developed a number of resources to assist you to meet your requirements in relation to FDV. These include flow charts for when Notice of termination of tenant’s interest in on-site home agreement on grounds of family violence has been provided; and Park operator chart 4 – When the SAT orders termination of perpetrator tenant’s interest in a lease on grounds of family and domestic violence
Industry Bulletins relating to FDV:
- Clarifying family and domestic violence tenancy law concerns - Residential parks bulletin issue 10
- Family and domestic violence tenancy preparedness & Tax time scams - Residential parks bulletin issue 8
- Family and domestic violence insights - Answering "How did the tenancy end?" - Residential parks bulletin issue 7
- FDV laws are now in effect - Residential Parks Bulletin Issue 5
- Family violence tenancy laws coming soon: Residential Parks Bulletin Issue 4
Safe Tenancy WA Video
Consumer Protection’s Safe Tenancy WA video created an animation to explain family and domestic violence related changes to Western Australia’s tenancy laws – has now been produced in five languages other than English.
The Safe Tenancy WA video is available on Vimeo in the following translations:
Consumer Protections Awards
The Consumer Protection Awards provides an opportunity to reward and recognise the achievements of individuals, non-government organisations, businesses, local governments, journalists and media outlets that have increased awareness of consumer issues, provided support for disadvantaged consumers or contributed to injury prevention for children. Potential nominees may have helped consumers with tenancy matters, scam prevention, debt management or understanding contracts.
Need more information? We’re here to help!
Contact Consumer Protection by calling 1300 304 054 or by email.