Furniture Law Changes

Laws to allow renters to fix furniture to walls to prevent death or injury to children from toppling furniture have passed through State Parliament.

The Consumer Protection Legislation Amendment Bill 2018 amends the Residential Tenancies Act 1987 and means landlords must allow tenants, who submit a request form, to attach furniture to a wall to prevent a child, or a person with a disability, from being hurt or killed.

The changes come after the tragic death of Reef Kite who was crushed by a chest of drawers he had been trying to climb in his parent’s home.

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His mother, Skye Quartermaine, had asked her landlord if she could secure it to the wall but her request was denied.

Amending tenancy law, in light of Reef's preventable death, was a recommendation of the Western Australian Coroner's report, delivered in November 2017.

“It’s critical that renters have the right to make reasonable modifications to the houses they rent,” said Shelter WA CEO Michelle Mackenzie. “A rental house is a tenant’s home, and they and their families should be safe in their home at all times.”

Shelter WA is part of the Make Renting Fair Alliance comprised of a coalition of WA’s leading community organisations, and people who rent their home. The Alliance recognised allowing renters to make reasonable modifications to their home as one of the ten key issues of concern in their ‘Tenancy Ten’ list.

The Residential Tenancies Act 1987 is currently being reviewed and provides the opportunity to create positive and effective outcomes for not only tenants, but landlords and real estate professionals too. Shelter WA looks forward to seeing the consultation paper due to be released later this year.

Read in full the Consumer Protection Legislation Amendment Bill 2018 here.