Major Changes to WA Rental Laws Begin in Stages from May 2024

Western Australia is introducing significant changes to rental laws starting May 16, 2024. These reforms aim to create a fairer balance between the rights of tenants and landlords while allowing tenants to personalize their rental properties.

Key Rental Reforms:

Ban on Rent Bidding – Effective May 16, 2024
  • Tenants cannot be pressured into offering more money to secure a rental.
  • Landlords/agents must advertise rentals at a fixed price (e.g., “$425 per week” instead of “$400 to $500 per week”).
  • Tenants can report landlords/agents who solicit higher offers to Consumer Protection at 1300 30 40 54.
Protection Against Retaliatory Action – Effective May 16, 2024
  • Tenants can challenge retaliatory actions (e.g., unjustified rent increases or non-renewal of leases) in the Magistrate’s Court.
  • This applies when tenants exercise their rental rights, such as requesting maintenance or filing complaints.
Annual Rent Increases – Expected July 2024
  • Rent increases will be limited to once every 12 months.
  • For periodic agreements, this change takes effect immediately.
  • For fixed-term agreements, the 12-month interval applies after the current term ends.
Pets in Rentals – Expected July 2024
  • Tenants can generally keep pets with landlord approval, using an approved form.
  • Landlords can refuse if:
    • Local council by-laws prohibit pets.
    • They present a valid reason to the Commissioner for Consumer Protection (e.g., property not fully fenced).
  • Landlords can impose reasonable conditions (e.g., professional carpet cleaning) and charge a pet bond for pet-related damage.
Minor Modifications – Expected July 2024
  • Tenants can make minor modifications with landlord approval.
  • Examples include:
    • Hanging pictures.
    • Installing flyscreens.
    • Adding water-saving showerheads.
    • Planting vegetable gardens.
  • Landlords can refuse if:
    • Local council by-laws prohibit the changes.
    • There is asbestos or a heritage listing.
    • They present a valid reason to the Commissioner for Consumer Protection.
  • Conditions may be set (e.g., maintaining a vegetable garden, using specific hooks).
  • Tenants must restore the property to its original state at the end of the lease unless otherwise agreed.
Commissioner Determination – Expected July 2024
  • Disputes over pets, minor modifications, and bond release will be resolved by the Commissioner for Consumer Protection.
  • This eliminates the need for court proceedings.
  • Tenants and landlords can present their cases online.
Streamlined Bond Release – Expected January to July 2025
  • The bond release process will be simplified.
  • Any party (tenant, landlord, or agent) can apply for bond release.
  • The Bond Administrator will notify all parties, and if agreed, the bond will be paid.
  • Disputes will be adjudicated by the Commissioner for Consumer Protection.

These reforms aim to improve the rental experience for tenants and maintain fairness for landlords, fostering a more balanced and harmonious rental market in Western Australia.

Enquiry Form