New residential tenancy laws for WA

New residential tenancy laws for WA

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The Real Estate Institute of Western Australia (REIWA) is urging homeowners to consider professional management services, in light of new changes to the Residential Tenancies Act that came into effect yesterday.

The state government overhauled the 27 year-old Act’s rules and regulations on leasing, which applied to all new and renewed residential lease agreements starting this financial year.

“Owners in particular, need to be aware that property condition reports are mandatory at the start of a lease, there are increased security requirements for doors and windows and there are changes to both option fees and bond arrangements,” CEO David Airey said.

“There have been changes made to urgent repairs, notices for ending fixed term leases and greater timeframes are now allowed for infringement notices,” Mr Airey said.

While Mr Airey welcomed the changes, he said they were a bit complex to some private owner-managers unfamiliar with the details of the Act, and encouraged property managers to educate their landlords on the new Act.

Divisional manager of property management at Realmark Sara Young told Residential Property Manager she agreed with Mr Airey’s comments.

“The Act has made it a lot stricter for landlords in general and in doing so, it will encourage private landlords to take up property management services. So there’s a huge opportunity in WA for property managers in the private rental market,” she said.

She said all property managers had to embrace the Act in a positive way.

“It’s a legislation and it’s changed and there are some things that will be challenging to start with," she said.

The Realmark team has already prepared themselves in the lead up to the new changes by hiring external training providers to run sessions on the Act and adjusting their forms.

“As with most property managers, it’s going to be an ongoing learning experience because we’re going through the department of commerce and they don’t always have all the answers, so we are learning together,” Ms Young said.

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