Independent polling has found overwhelming support for removing “no reason” evictions and ensuring other recommended protections, including a majority of landlords in favour of these reforms.
Polling released this morning by the Make Renting Fair campaign reveals that a large majority of West Australians support changes to make the rental market fairer.
The polling, conducted by Painted Dog Research, surveyed 819 Western Australians and shows 74 per cent support for removing “no reason” evictions and 74 per cent support for limiting rent increases to once a year.
Importantly polling showed an outright majority of private landlord’s support both changes, with 55 per cent support for removing no reason evictions and 58 per cent support for limiting rent increases from people who own a tenanted residential investment property.
These responses contradict recent claims from the real estate industry that these proposed reforms to the Residential Tenancies Act, if implemented by the government, will cause investors to leave the market.
Instead, 73 per cent of West Australians overall and 57 per cent of landlords, report that they support reforms to make the rental market fairer for tenants.
Michelle Mackenzie, CEO of Shelter WA, said, “Reforms to remove no reason terminations, limit rent increases and allow minor modifications to properties without penalty are backed overwhelmingly majority of West Australians, including a majority of landlords. This corroborates our independent review of the REIWA research, by the University of NSW, which showed that the methodology and assumptions within the REIWA study was flawed and not sound.
“Majority of Western Australians support increased security.”
“These findings should give the government confidence that the majority of Western Australians support increased security and stability for tenants in the WA rental market,” Louise Giolitto, CEO of WA Council of Social Services (WACOSS) said.
The polling also looked at other ways someone may have been impacted in their rental housing in the last twelve months.
Regrettably, the polling found that 1 in 20 tenants have experienced a “no reason” eviction in just the past 12 months, and nearly a quarter of tenants (24 per cent) fearful to ask for basic repairs to their home because of fear of eviction.
In response to record rental inflation in the last two years, 32 per cent of tenants reported receiving significant rent increases over the past year.
Almost a third (31 per cent) of tenants reported they are living in fear that the owner will sell the rental home and they will have nowhere to move.
“Stress and fear.”
Sarah Kane, CEO of Circle Green Community Legal, said: “It is heartbreaking that so many tenants currently live in such a state of stress and fear but in the current rental market, with rents increasing by 30 per cent over the past two years and a record low vacancy rate, it is unsurprising so many renters report feeling this pressure.”
Summary: Community Perceptions Poll Findings
Support for specific changes to tenancy laws:
- 85 per cent support increasing the amount of affordable rental housing in WA; and
- Three quarters (73 per cent) support reforms to make the rental market fairer for tenants.
Support for specific changes to tenancy laws:
- 74 per cent support ensuring tenants can’t be evicted without a valid reason, including 86 per cent of tenants and 54 per cent of landlords
- 74 per cent support limiting rent increases to once per year, including 83 per cent of tenants and 58 per cent of landlords
- Over two thirds (67 per cent support) allowing tenants to make minor modifications to make the house feel more like a home (on the provision it is returned to normal when they exit) including 77 per cent of tenants and 54 per cent of landlords
- 81 per cent support increasing access to tenant advice, advocacy and information, including 88 per cent of tenants and 71 per cent of landlords; and
- A majority of landlords support all proposed changes: 55 per cent support removing no reason evictions, 58 per cent support limiting rent increases to once a year, and 54 per cent support allowing minor modifications.
Specific ways renters may have been impacted in their rental housing in the last twelve months:
- Evictions: Five per cent had experienced an unreasonable termination of their tenancy, and 31 per cent live in fear that the owner will sell the rental home and they will have nowhere to move
- Rental stress: 32 per cent had experienced significant rent increases and 35 per cent were paying over 30 per cent of their income on rent
- Modifications: 16 per cent were not allowed to make reasonable modifications during their tenancy, and another 24 per cent felt fearful to ask for repairs or maintenance because they don’t want to be evicted
- Standards: 33 per cent had lived in a property with poor standards (such as lack of insulation, heating or cooling, window coverings etc.)
The polling was conducted in August 2022 by Painted Dog Research group operating in line with the international standard for market, opinion and Social Research (ISO 20252). The sample size is n=819, with a survey error of 3.96 per cent at the 95 per cent level of confidence. All survey participants were over 18 years of age and include residents from the Perth metropolitan and regional areas.
Detailed results – Community Perceptions Rental Poll Findings
(SHWA-2) To what extent would you support or oppose initiatives that aim to:
(SHWA-12) Recently, proposed changes to the Residential Tenancies Act, have been reviewed. To what extent do you support or oppose:
(SHWA-13) Below are some other ways someone may or may not have been negatively impacted by the housing market in the last twelve months. Please select any which are true for you: