Changes to WA tenancy laws to help victims of domestic violence

Changes to WA tenancy laws to help victims of domestic violence

EVERYONE has a right to feel and be safe in their home.

That’s a notion the State Government has supported with proposed changes for tenancy laws that will provide more options, greater support and remove tenancy-related concerns for those experiencing domestic violence.

The proposed changes will allow victims of domestic violence to terminate or have a perpetrator’s name removed from a tenancy agreement without applying to Court.

Victims would also be able to change locks without having to wait for permission from their landlord as well as being able to deal directly with their landlord or property manager, without the perpetrator’s consent.

Commerce and Industrial Relations Minister Bill Johnston said extensive consultation had been carried out to develop the proposed new laws, including safeguards to ensure landlords’ interests would be protected and unfair practices would not occur.

“The McGowan Government wants to make sure that people experiencing violence in the home are well supported and do not suffer further because of inflexible tenancy laws,” he said.

“We’re making sure the victims are not subjected to additional hardship, such as further debt or being listed on a tenancy database, so they won’t be penalised in any future rental applications.”

In 2016-17, there were more than 50,000 reported family and domestic violence incidents investigated by the WA Police Force, and more than 4500 calls to domestic violence helplines.