Changes to the Residential Tenancies Act (part 2)

Today is part two in our look at recent changes to the Residential Tenancies Act.

On Monday we outlined changes to the Bond system. Today we’re wrapping up some of the other key changes.

Security – properties are to have deadbolts installed on all ground-level timber doors that don’t have security screens, as well as locks on all windows and porch lights at all front doors. Owners will have two years from 1 July 2013 to implement new security updates.

Tenancy databases – as you know, property managers like Rentwest utilise a number of tenancy databases to check on the renting history of prospective tenants. In the past, access to this store of information has been closed to tenants. From 1 July, tenants will be able to request access to their information and will be able to challenge any outdated or incorrect information.

A standardised Tenancy Agreement must be used for all agreements (up until now, some property managers used their own agreements).

Property condition reports are compulsory upon entering a lease. Tenants are able to record their own notes and comments against any item in the report. 

Option fees will be capped. If a property’s rent is under $500 per week, the option fee is capped at $50. If a property is from $500 from $1200, the option fee is capped at $100. If the property is over $1200 per week, the maximum option fee is $1200 unless the property is above the 26th parallel.

More information about the changing tenancy laws can be found at www.commerce.wa.gov.au/renting.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch