Western Australia has some of the worst rates of family and domestic violence (FDV) in Australia. There are tens of thousands of reported incidents of FDV every year and often the abuse, whether physical or psychological, occurs in rental homes.
Before the reform, in Western Australia, including the Indian Ocean Territories, a person who left a rental property at short notice because of FDV was legally required to pay rent until a new tenant was found or the agreement expired. This was costly and meant FDV victims, including children, either stayed in a violent home or risked becoming homeless.
The Residential Tenancies Act 1987 needed reform to provide options for tenants affected by family and domestic violence enabling them to decide whether to leave or stay on the property. These laws give new rights to tenants and obligate landlords with new responsibilities.
This legislation reform empowers victims, and gives the court, landlords and property managers tools to reduce the impact of family and domestic violence.