Tenancy WA congratulates the McGowan Government on passing The Residential Tenancies Legislation Amendment (Family Violence) Bill 2018. Having passed the Legislative Council on 5 December 2018, the Bill will now go to the Legislative Assembly for concurrence when State Parliament resumes in 2019 meaning the amendments are one step closer to becoming a legal reality for tenants. This important piece of legislation is likely to have a commencement date in March/April 2019 and will provide life-changing, tangible options for tenants experiencing family violence.
The Bill enables victims of family and domestic violence to have much greater control over their circumstances by providing powers to remove themselves from a shared tenancy, or have a perpetrator removed from a shared tenancy with appropriate supporting evidence. It will also allow victims to install fixtures to improve security in a rental property within certain limitations.
This Bill, which Tenancy WA has long advocated for, is supported by industry and the broader community services sector. It was developed through long and extensive consultation with landlords, the real estate industry and the housing sector. The Standing Committee on Legislation recently reviewed the Bill and were satisfied that the Bill reflects the policy intent for people experiencing family and domestic violence to quickly terminate their tenancy; and recommended the Bill be passed subject to minor amendments.
Congratulations to all parties involved in getting this important reform through the Upper House. We look forward to the Bill being re-considered by the Legislative Assembly in early 2019 and these reforms becoming a reality.
Tenancy WA has received $50,000 from the Department of Mines Industry Regulation and Safety to train refuge workers, tenant advocates, GPs, psychologists and others in the changes to the Act and will begin rolling out a targeted training program in February 2019. The dates and details of training will be published early in the new year. For more information on training in this area or to register your interest please contact Vachel Spirason at Tenancy WA (firstname.lastname@example.org).