Response to COVID-19: Information for tenants experiencing financial hardship
New laws have been introduced in WA to prevent eviction of residential tenants who are unable to pay their rent due to financial hardship caused by COVID-19. This is for a six month period backdated to 1 March 2020. Unpaid rent will still need to be paid back at the end of the period. Provisions supporting victims of family and domestic violence will continue to apply. Further information, including the ban on rent increases and when evictions can occur can be found at the Consumer Protection website.
Tenants who are having difficulty meeting their rent should inform their property manager or landlord as soon as possible, and talk honestly about the situation and options that might include a decrease in rent, a rent-free period or mutual agreement to terminate the lease. Any agreements reached should be put into writing.
Information about tenancy matters, including the Residential Rent Relief Grant Scheme, can be found at the Consumer Protection website.
Information about housing, renting and your rightsTOP
If you need information about housing, renting and your rights, there are two useful organisations:
- Consumer Protection:
- has information on the Consumer Protection website; or
- you can telephone them on 1300 304 054.
- Tenancy WA
- has information on the Tenancy WA website or via their “get help” page; or
- you can telephone their Advice Line from 9.00 am to 4.00 pm, Monday to Friday (not public holidays). Telephone numbers are:
- 08 9221 0088 (metropolitan);
- 1800 621 888 (country free call);
- If you need translating and interpreting services, ring 131 450 and ask to speak to Tenancy WA.
Protection for residential tenants who are victims of domestic violenceTOP
Important changes to the law came into effect in early 2019 to provide increased protection for victims of family violence in relation to their rental property (including on-site residential park accommodation). The changes give victims of family and domestic violence better choices such as the right to stay in a rental home by excluding the perpetrator or moving to safer accommodation by removing themselves from the tenancy agreement.
Tenants affected by family and domestic violence (FDV) are now able to:
- GO – leave a tenancy agreement without going to court and with as
little as seven (7) days' notice (you can leave right away for safety
but will need to pay rent until the end of the 7 day notice period);
- STAY – apply to court to have a perpetrator’s name removed from a
- Make a rental home safer through lock changes or security upgrades;
- Ask the court to make the perpetrator of FDV liable for damages to the property or unpaid rent, and to make arrangements about security bonds;
- Seek removal from, or avoid being listed on, a tenancy blacklist database if the
listing was because of FDV.
Read about the changes to the laws, and watch an explanatory video, at the Safe Tenancy website.