Saturday, 18 May 2013

New rental laws for WA landlords from July


New rental laws for WA landlords from July

WA landlords will have to maintain minimum levels of door and window security and outdoor lighting for tenants following the introduction of new rental laws.
New legislation in WA covering tenancy agreements, bonds, databases and limit option fees will come into effect in July.
Refundable option fees for rental applications will be limited to either $50, for properties renting under $500 a week or $100 for properties renting below $1200 a week.
The options fees are charged to rental applicants and are often a week’s rent. They are refunded if the applicant is unsuccessful. Limiting the fees will allow renters to apply for multiple properties without incurring excessive fees.
All security bonds will be handled by a centralised body run by the Commerce Department instead of held in trusts by real estate agencies.
Property condition reports will now be compulsory at the end of each tenancy and landlords will be limited to four inspections per year.
Tenants will have access to tenancy databases which are used to check a tenant’s history with the ability to challenge inaccurate and outdated information.
And tenants will be able to seek emergency repairs where an owner has not taken action within 24 hours.
Commerce minister Michael Mischin says the laws will strengthen the rights of tenants and property owners.
“These changes were the result of extensive consultation with stakeholders and the community and will create a fairer rental market that balances the rights and interests of both tenants and property owners,” Mischin says.
The REIWA says told The Australian Financial Review they welcome the laws which strike the right balance between the interests of renters and landlords.
Alistair Walsh
Monday, 13 May 2013
First published at www.propertyobserver.com.au