WA Parliament Passes Rental Reforms


The Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill 2024 has been passed by the WA Parliament.

REIWA CEO Cath Hart said while the Bill had been passed, the changes would not come into effect immediately and it will be business as usual until they did.

“The reforms are expected to take place in three phases,” Ms Hart said.

“Phase One, which includes the ban on rent bidding, is scheduled to likely come into effect in May.

“Owners and property managers will be banned from asking for more than the advertised rent. In addition, they must list the property for rent at a single price, not a range or a ‘from’ price.

“However, tenants can still voluntarily offer to pay more than the advertised price, and this will not constitute rent bidding.

“This phase will also provide new provisions for tenants to seek remedy or compensation from a court if they believe the owner has taken retaliatory action against them after they exercised their rights as a tenant.”

Phase Two will include limiting rent increases, pets, minor modifications and changes to the dispute resolution process and is expected to come into effect in mid-2024.

In this change, rent increases will be limited to once a year, tenants will be able to have pets in and make minor modifications in certain circumstances, and minor tenancy issues will be overseen by the Commissioner for Consumer Protection.

Ms Hart said the limit on rent increases would only apply to new leases signed after the legislation became effective.

“If tenants on existing fixed-term leases already have a six-monthly rent increase written into their lease agreement, this will apply until the end of the term of the lease,” she said.

“And any new fixed term agreements, lease renewals or extensions signed from today until the date the legislation comes into effect can still have six-monthly increases included.”

Ms Hart said there were still many details, such as those regarding modifications, that had to be prescribed by Regulations and REIWA would continue to engage with Government on these matters to ensure they met the needs of the community and supported investment.

The final stage of the reforms would include the changes to the bond disposal process and was expected in 2025.

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