26 September 2023

Landlords guided to new lease on life

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The Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS) has released guidance for tenants and landlords on ending a fixed-term lease in the age of COVID-19.

DMIRS said that under the temporary COVID-19 tenancy laws, landlords couldn’t issue a notice to terminate a fixed-term tenancy agreement with an expiry date that fell within the emergency period, from 30 March 2020 to 28 March 2021.

“Instead, the agreement will continue as a periodic agreement, unless the parties agree to another fixed-term,” DMIRS said.

“Once the emergency period ends, the ordinary tenancy laws apply, and either a landlord or tenant can issue a 30-day notice of termination at the end of the fixed-term agreement under section 70A of the Residential Tenancies Act 1987 (WA),” it said.

DMIRS said that if the fixed-term agreement ended on, or before, 28 March, landlords couldn’t issue a 30-day notice to terminate.

“You either need to agree on another fixed-term with the tenant or the arrangement rolls over into a periodic agreement,” the Department said.

“If the agreement becomes periodic and you want to terminate the tenancy, you can issue the tenant with a 60-day notice of termination.”

It said landlords could issue a 30-day lease termination notice if the fixed-term agreement ended after the emergency period.

DMIRS said its guidance and flowcharts would help landlords and tenants navigate the laws during and after the emergency period.

The Department’s guidance and flowchart for landlords can be accessed at this PS News link and for tenants at this link.

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