RTA Review – The Proposed Changes

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There are a few proposed changes to the Residential Tenancies Act 1987, which if they are passed through will affect you as a landlord.

Some of the changes being considered include:

  1. Allowing a tenant to have a pet in the rental property, without the rental provider’s consent;
  2. Allowing a tenant to make modifications to the rental property, without the rental provider’s consent;
  3. Requiring a rental provider to have a reason, from a given set of reasons, to terminate some tenancies; and
  4. Allowing a tenant to break a lease for financial hardship or loss of income.

REIWA absolutely opposes all the above changes. They are launching a campaign to inform the Government of the monumental impact this would have on the rental market.

For example the proposed change for allowing a tenant to make modifications to the rental property, without the rental provider’s consent. The WA Government holds the view that tenants continue to find it very difficult to obtain permission to make even the most minor of modifications. Therefore, they are considering amending the law so that a tenant would be entitled to make minor changes to the premises that can be removed or undone without the owner’s consent.

Another change proposed is that an owner can only terminate a lease for a reason that is contained in a list of stated reasons. These reasons would include:

  1. Owner is selling the rental property.
  2. Owner is moving into the rental property.
  3. Owner is doing major renovations which would render the house uninhabitable.
  4. The tenant breached the agreement and hasn’t rectified it within 14 days.

Importantly, if none of these reasons apply, then the owner would not be allowed to terminate the lease.
For both of these changes REIWA has a clear message that the current system is not broken and does not need fixing. Changing the law only renders owners with less ownership over their asset, and they will look to invest elsewhere.

You can find more details in REIWA’s formal submission in response to the Government’s consultation paper.

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