• The issue 

    The Residential Tenancies Act 1987 (RTA) is the current law in WA which regulates the relationship between lessors and tenants.  

    The WA Government committed to a review of the RTA in its 2017 election platform. Since that time, the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS) has begun a review of the RTA. 

    DMIRS released a consultation paper in December 2019, which looked to examine all issues affecting the tenancy process, including security of tenure, the application process, bonds, rents, the premises, terminations and dispute resolution. 

    REIWA is very concerned about the impact some of these proposals will have on the WA rental market, if they were to be introduced. Our society expects a fair residential tenancy system that balances the rights of property investors and those of tenants. 

    The vast majority of residential tenancies are working well, so we need the WA Government to exercise caution and think carefully of the consequences before making drastic changes to the rules. 

    What is REIWA doing about it?

    In June 2020, REIWA lodged a submission with DMIRS about the issues raised in the consultation paper. 

    REIWA continues to consult widely with its members and the WA public and has conducted extensive surveys of more than 1,000 property managers, lessors, and tenants.  

    REIWA's research has found that, with some exceptions, the current system is working well. Rents are generally affordable and lessors have adequate safeguards to protect their investment.  

    REIWA is advocating for a balanced approach to ensure the rights of both lessors and tenants are protected. It is essential that any reforms to the laws don’t impact the supply of rental properties, that rents stay affordable and owning rental properties remains attractive to investors.  

    REIWA's key areas of focus for the RTA review are to: 

    1. Maintain the ability of the parties to choose between a fixed or periodic tenancy.  
    2. Preserve a lessor’s rights to end a periodic tenancy without grounds.   
    3.  Making sure any pets owned by the tenant are appropriate for the specific property.  
    4. Ensuring homes comply with existing housing standards while avoiding additional red tape.  
    5. Protect all parties’ interests by requiring lessor consent before a tenant modifies a property. 
    6.  Handle any disputes quickly, fairly, and efficiently. 
    7. Maintain the current hardship provision for those seeking to break-lease.  

    REIWA will continue to have discussions with the WA Government and is collating evidence through extensive research, to advocate for changes to the RTA that are fair and equal for everyone involved. 

    More information

    For more information, read REIWA's 2020 submission to the RTA review.