26 September 2023

Consumer commission warns on rental rules

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Commissioner for Consumer Protection, Lanie Chopping has revealed that the Commission has been actively fielding enquiries from landlords and tenants about their rights and responsibilities now that the moratorium on rent increases and some evictions have been lifted.

“When increasing rent, landlords need to provide tenants with at least 60 days’ notice,” Ms Chopping said.

“While there is no cap on rent increases, a tenant can apply to the Magistrate’s Court for a determination if they believe the amount is excessive.”

She said tenants should know they could not be evicted from a property straight after the end of the emergency period, as there was a process involved in ending a tenancy.

“Landlords are required to give 30 days’ notice to end a fixed-term tenancy and 60 days’ notice to conclude a periodic lease,” Ms Chopping said.

“If a tenant has received a notice of termination, but has not left the premises on the due date, the landlord must then apply to the court for an order for vacant possession of the property.”

Should a tenant have nowhere to go, the Emergency Relief and Food Assistance Service was a good first option, she said.

“This service, provided by Anglicare, connects people with emergency relief assistance, financial counselling and other community help,” Ms Chopping said.

“If it’s a crisis situation, Consumer Protection has a guide to help tenants find a service that may be able to help.

“Consumer Protection will continue playing its part to preserve tenancies across WA through the Residential Rental Relief Grants Scheme and providing a conciliation service to help tenants and landlords reach agreements on issues that have arisen during the pandemic,” the Commissioner said.

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