The Western Australian Legislative Assembly. Picture: Youtube/The WA Nationals.

Tenancy reform Bill is put to Parliament

The state's housing minister introduced the Bill on November 29, the second last sitting day of Parliament.
December 7, 2023
Gera Kazakov

THE Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill has been introduced into the state’s Lower House on the second last sitting day of parliament, leading rental advocacy groups to call for the Bill to be debated as soon as Parliament sits again next February.

Housing Minister John Carey introduced the Bill into the Lower House on November 29 and said it sought to reform a range of priority areas which were identified through consultation with the state’s tenancy community.

“The review commenced in 2019 with the release of a consultation paper that examined a number of issues across the life cycle of tenancy and outlined options for reforms to the Western Australian Residential Tenancies Act 1987,” he said.

“More than 350 submissions were received from landlords, tenants, members of the real estate industry and bodies representing those groups.”

Mr Carey said the amendments would streamline the dispute resolution process for minor modifications, matters related to pets and bond disputes.

“Under the process, the Commissioner for Consumer Protection will issue a written determination based on evidence provided by both the landlord and tenant,” he said.

Mr Carey said other reforms included a streamlined process for the release of bonds alongside only allowing for rent increases every 12 months as opposed to six.

“Another reform that will improve rental price stability and certainty is prohibiting the solicitation of rent bidding by landlords and property managers,” he said.

Make Renting Fair Alliance campaign coordinator Chantal Caruso said it’s fantastic to see the introduction of a bill to Parliament containing the first tranche of reforms to the Residential Tenancy Act.

“Unfortunately, we understand the Bill won’t be debated or passed until the middle of next year, so we’re really urging the government to bring this Bill for debate as soon as Parliament sits next February,” she said.

“In the meantime, we’ll keep advocating for the WA government to join other states in getting rid of no-grounds evictions and unfair, unlimited rent increases.”

The Legislative Assembly will return to Parliament February 13, while the Legislative Council returns February 27.

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