The Western Australian Residential Tenancies Act 1987 has recently been reviewed and amended. Here is a list of the main changes due to come into effect as of 1 July, 2013.
A new prescribed form (agreement) must be used for all residential tenancy agreements.
All written residential tenancy agreements must be in a prescribed format and cannot be changed. If you agree special conditions with your tenant then they may be added to the agreement as long as they don’t contravene the Residential Tenancies Act or the prescribed terms of the lease.
Bond must be lodged with Government Agency.
Landlords can no longer just deposit the bond with an authorised financial institution.
All existing bonds are to be transferred to the Bond Administrator on renewal of the Tenancy Agreement or within 18 months of 1 July 2013.
Condition Reports must be completed at the start and end of tenancy.
The lessor must complete a property condition report detailing the condition of the premises at the start of the tenancy. Two copies must be given to the tenant within 7 days of the tenant moving into the premises.
If the tenant disagrees with any information contained in the report, the tenant must note his or her disagreement on a copy of the report and return it to the lessor within 7 days of receiving the report from the lessor.
If the tenant does not give a copy of the property condition report back to the lessor, the tenant is taken to have accepted the property condition report as a true and accurate description of the condition of the premises.
A final property condition report must be completed by the lessor and provided to the tenant as soon as practicable at the end of the tenancy (in any event, within 14 days of the end of the tenancy). The tenant must be given a reasonable opportunity to be present at the final inspection.
Limits to option fees.
The Act places a cap on option fees that can be charged to prospective tenants for tenancy applications.
Pet bonds can be requested for all pets capable of carrying parasites that can affect humans.
Pet bonds are no longer limited to dogs and cats but any animal capable of infecting a human with parasites (with the exception of guide dogs).
The tenant cannot be made to pay more than 2 weeks rent in advance at any time throughout the tenancy.
Monthly payments in advance cannot be enforced. If the tenant has elected to pay monthly, they are able to revert to fortnightly payments if they choose.
The lessor must ensure the residential premises are reasonably secure.
- DoorsThe main entry door should be fitted with a deadlock or AS 5039-2008 compliant key lockable security screen.
Non main entry doors should be fitted with dead lock, or patio bolt lock or AS 5039-2008 compliant key lockable security screen.
Please note that these conditions do not apply to balcony doors if there is no access to the balcony except from inside the residential premises.
- WindowsEach exterior window must be fitted with a lock (does not have to be keyed) that prevents the window from being opened from outside the premises unless the window:-
(a) is on, or above, the second floor of a building and is not easily accessible from outside the premises; or
(b) is fitted with a AS 5039-2008 compliant security grille
- Exterior LightingElectrical lights must be fitted to or near the exterior of the premises that*:-
(a) is capable of illuminating the main entry to the premises; and
(b) is operable from inside the premises.
(*Not applicable to residential premises to which the provisions of the Strata Titles Act 1985 apply if the strata company relating to the premises provides and maintains adequate lighting, outside of daylight hours, to the main entry to the premises.)
Our legally compliant Residential Lease Kit provides information and tenancy documentation in an easy to use format.