East Metro MLC Tim Clifford’s rental survey raises serious issues about renters’ rights

Greens housing spokesman and East Metropolitan MLC Tim Clifford.
Greens housing spokesman and East Metropolitan MLC Tim Clifford.

A MAYLANDS renter who had no lighting in her dining room for three months and went two weeks without hot water during winter is one of 700 people to complete a survey for renters and landlords.

Gemma Kuret completed East Metropolitan MLC and Greens housing spokesman Tim Clifford’s survey.

Following the survey, Mr Clifford will be holding a free public forum in Perth on May 2, which will focus on ways to improve WA laws that control the rights of renters and landlords.

Ms Kuret the oven and lounge room airconditioning in her current property did not work for periods of time.

“We went without lighting in the dining room for over three months,” she said.

“Every time I followed up, they said they would fix these items in the next week.

“In my previous property, we didn’t have hot water for 14 days in the winter… I would take a shower at work or the gym.”

Ms Kuret said the owner of the previous home did not take her and her housemate seriously until she issued a notice to Consumer Protection.

Mr Clifford said the survey found the typical image of a renter being young was not always true.

“Stories have been shared with us by older people who seek home security but due to the high cost of housing compared to wages, will never own a home,” he said.

“Renting is the norm in other parts of the world, yet in those countries laws provide lease security and fairness for renters, whereas here renters’ rights are relatively minimal.

“Long-term leases in WA are rare and at the end of a six or 12-month lease, a renter can be made to leave without a landlord giving a reason.

“This places strong disincentive on renters to raise maintenance or seek permission to hang a picture or plant a flowerbed, because landlord could perceive this as a nuisance.”

He said there were some stories about good landlords whose profit making was balanced with responsibilities towards tenants.

The WA Residential Tenancy Act is due for review later this year.

Renters’ Rights Forum
Wednesday, May 2, from 6pm to 8pm
City of Perth Library Auditorium, 573 Hay Street, Perth
RSVP: Tim.Clifford@mp.wa.gov.au

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