Family violence laws coming soon

Source: Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety

We’re pleased to see an amendment to Western Australian’s tenancy laws in relation to family and domestic violence was passed in February.

The Residential Tenancies Legislation Amendment (Family Violence) Act 2019 is due to commence next month (April).

What’s next?

It is expected these new laws will commence from 15 April 2019. From this date renters affected by family and domestic violence FVD will have new options to:

  • Provide at least seven days’ notice to exit a tenancy and leave right away for safety
  • Apply to court to have a perpetrator’s name removed from a lease
  • Make a rental home safer through lock changes or security upgrades
  • Sort out disputes about property damage, unpaid rent or bonds

We’re currently drafting regulations and developing the new forms, such as the Notice of Termination and the Consumer Protection Family Violence Report – Evidence Form. Although draft versions of forms have been used in training exercises for various sector professionals, these should not be used as the official forms are yet to be released.

The final forms will be available at the Safe Tenancy website when the laws come into effect.

If a tenant provides the correct form and evidence you must not dispute whether family violence has occurred.

As the laws come into effect we’ll release another e-bulletin that links to a landlords’ factsheet and additional information on our website.

Warning to keep FDV evidence confidential

When the new laws commence it’s important to remember that landlords (lessors) must keep any evidence of family violence provided by a tenant confidential and store it in a secure manner. This means that while you must give a copy of the termination notice to any other co-tenants, you must not give them or anyone else a copy of the restraining order, family court order or report of family violence.

The penalty for failing to comply with this obligation can result in a fine of up to $5,000.

Consumer Protection will be ensuring landlords comply with this obligation because revealing FDV evidence information to anyone else, such as a perpetrator or co-tenant, may put a victim’s life at risk.

For more information, go to the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety website.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *