Property managers with the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia (REIWA) have welcomed a new smartphone app that helps tenants understand their rights and responsibilities.
The app has been designed by the WA Department of Commerce and was launched recently by Minister Michael Mischin.
The app provides handy information for tenants, including information about their legal rights.
REIWA’s Property Management Network spokesperson, Jenni Wood, said the app also explains tenants’ obligations as well as providing important information for owners.
“This app is a really great way of helping people to be better tenants by understanding the rules of the Residential Tenancies Act, and by providing timely reminders when rent payments are due,” she said.
The app will also help tenants calculate the maximum amount they might have to pay to secure a lease through an agency, store photos for property condition reports or keep a record of rental receipts.
“Property managers also love the fact the app can set reminders for routine inspections and for giving the proper notice before moving out,” Ms Wood said.
“With the current metropolitan vacancy rate at a high four per cent, many existing tenants are breaking their leases unaware of the costs in doing so. However, this app will help better inform them about their obligations under the lease agreement so they can budget to make decisions that suit them and the owner for the right outcomes.”
Ms Wood said the Property Management Network enjoyed a good relationship with the Department [of Commerce] and had been able to suggest some of the issues for it to include in the app.
“It’s clear from our members as well as the sorts of issues that pop up in the magistrates court or surface as complaints to the department that there are several key areas of weakness in people’s understanding of the Residential Tenancies Act,” she said.