The Minister for Commerce has announced the McGowan Government’s intention to extend the emergency period under the Residential Tenancies COVID-19 Response Act 2020 to 28 March 2021.
The Act will remain in force, in its current form until then. This means there will be no rent increases and terminations can only occur in very limited circumstances. Shelter WA is seeking urgent clarification on rent freezes.
Elements Not Addressed
Shelter WA is pleased that rental housing security is being continued. However, we are very disappointed that despite the extensive evidence provided by the boarding and lodging accommodation providers regarding the significant impacts of the Act on boarding and lodging residents and staff safety, due to the inability to terminate residential agreements, that this issue has not been addressed in the extension.
The Department’s Mandatory Conciliation Service will continue to be an alternative way in which community housing providers can deal with disruptive, criminal and dangerous behaviour. This is an additional avenue to applying to court, which was agreed to during COVID.
For matters to raise via the Conciliation Service, please contact the General Manager, Trish Blake directly here.
Boarding and Lodging Facilities
Shelter WA will discuss with the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS) and the WA Police on enabling an alternative approach within these set administrative guides to address the issues with boarding and lodging facilities. It is also seeking an urgent meeting with the Commissioner for Consumer Protection, Ms Lanie Chopping. Please see advise from the Commissioner on the extension here.
To arrange an interview with our CEO Michelle Mackenzie, please contact Heather Bush, Head of Communications and Marketing here.