Peard Property Managers are on the front foot as changes to the RTA loom

09 Nov 2022

The RTA or The Residential Tenancies Act 1987 (WA) (the Act) sets out the rights and responsibilities of tenants and landlords, as well as providing the process for settling disputes. The Act applies, even if you don’t have a formal lease or anything in writing.
Some tenants who are not covered by the Act include:

  • boarders and lodgers
  • long-stay caravan and park home residents
  • people in hotels/motels
  • retirement village residents
  • students living in accommodation provided by an educational institution (like a university) or a not-for-profit body, unless the accommodation is covered under the Residential Tenancies Regulations 1989 (WA).
  • holiday accommodation residents
  • those in hospitals and nursing homes
  • commercial tenants (such as business leases and shops).
According to the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety, it’s been more than 10 years since the rental laws in Western Australia have been reviewed. Western Australians are caught up in a rental crisis which has seen demand high and stock levels very low. As affordability is out of reach for some, tenants are staying in the rental market for much longer periods.

What is REIWA doing about it?

In June 2020, REIWA lodged a submission with DMIRS about the issues raised in the consultation paper. 
‘The desired result of the review of the RTA should be a reinvigorated rental market – one with the ability to adapt to changing market conditions, provide greater choice and facilitate decision-making that enables lessors and tenants to come to flexible agreements in their best interest. To achieve this, the legislation must not be overly prescriptive and should empower all parties to negotiate suitable terms.’ Source: Consultation Regulatory Impact Statement. A review of the Residential Tenancies Act 1987 (WA) December 2019. REIWA submission June 2020.

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. 

How are Peard involved?

With the looming changes, our highly skilled and trained Property Management department are on the front foot, keeping up-to-date with any changes and will be updating our clients regularly once the final changes have been passed through Parliament.

Our job is to take the stress away from you, so don’t risk trying to manage your own property while there are legislation changes under review. Our staff will be fully trained on all aspects of the review and implications it will have, not only on our role, but how it will affect Landlords.

We will do the hard work for you so you can be using your time to enjoy the things you do best.

If you have any questions at all regarding the review of the RTA or if you are thinking of having your property managed, please feel free to reach out our friendly Property Management team.

Back to blog