Real Estate News

Why our Residential Tenancies Act in WA is not workable in areas
Market Place Realty, Fri 27 February 2015

 Can Any Person Answer in the Government Departments Relevant to The Residential Tenancies WA Act answer the following; WHY when a tenant wilfully damages a property they are not prosecuted by the Police? If you damage a car in an accident over a $1000 value the Police have to be informed and charges could follow. However, if you wilfully damage a property to the tune of $20,000-$30,000 whilst tenanting and on Court Notice to vacate (as a Magistrate awarded 7 days to vacate) no one wants to know and no department is interested, I believe it should carry a jail sentence, am I the only one who thinks like this?

Lessors and Agents are increasingly becoming frustrated that no one when reviewing an act considers all aspects - and does not protect investor/lessors from such occurrences, nor takes into consideration a Property Manager's role, just to name a few, the length of time notices that require to be issued with time frames are too long, failing of the tenant/s to rectify and or adhere to the notices, applications to courts for a hearing are made, waiting sometimes up to 4-6 weeks for a hearing, whilst the majority of Lessors have Landlord Protection, it does not cover all costs, and there are excess amounts to pay per item of accidental or malicious damage, the Insurance Companies costs also continue to rise. The aim should be to minimise all parties losses.

Tenants are not penalised for contravening the Act with maybe the exception of winding down the bond when vacating, however, Lessors and Agents can be penalised for contravening the Act in numerous places.

This does not encourage investors/Lessors to make available Rental properties to cover the shortfall of affordable housing we supposedly already have.

Lodgement of Tenants on data bases cannot now occur until a court order has been obtained, in the meantime whilst waiting for the hearing, they have sourced another property only to do the same over and over again. Majority of tenants usually also fail to appear in court. This is definitely not minimising Lessors/insurance company’s costs and is only adding to the tenant’s ability to find another property to live in.

I believe notice periods should be changed to enable quicker action, there really should be no waiting times for court for terminations offences as we have already waited the prescribed notice period. I would also suggest we have a tribunal and not rely on the Court system, as the Local Court are obviously too busy to address our claims earlier. Waiting periods to get into the Court, (as losses continue to rise) after the notice periods have expired is not and should not be acceptable, when there could be an alternative.

Some of the changes to the Legislation July 2013, areas are definitely not workable and are costly to Agents and Lessors, many agents have fixed term agreements for fees with Lessors and cannot pass on to the Lessors the costs that the legislation changes has caused to the business, and are forced to swallow the costs involved. This is adding strain to business and is now forced to look at staff ratio.

The only way I can see forward is to start a petition on for the relevant departments to address the changes to the legislation as no party relevant to the legislation are willing to either listen and or take up the challenge of actually doing something.

I would like to hear from anyone out there, investors/Lessors and or Agents who would be willing to sign a petition to put the process in motion.