Residential property owners and real estate agents will no longer be able to charge prospective tenants up to a week’s rent to apply for a lease, under new laws introduced by the state government today.
Commerce Minister Michael Mischin said the new laws were designed to make renting fairer for tenants, while also protecting the interests of property owners.
The new laws will deliver standard tenancy agreements, minimum levels of security for rental properties including window and door locks, and security bonds, as well as property condition reports and tenancy databases.
Mr Mischin said the laws would put a limit of $50 to $100 on option fees for prospective tenants, and ensure the fees were returned within seven days if an applicant is unsuccessful in securing a property.
“Also, tenants won’t be forced to pay more than a fortnight’s rent in advance, which will help ease the financial pressures of renting a home in WA,” Mr Mischin said.
“Making property condition reports compulsory at the beginning and the end of each tenancy will help reduce disputes over the return of bond money, which is the subject of numerous complaints to Consumer Protection.”
Mr Mischin said all security bonds would be deposited with the Department of Commerce’s bond administrator.
“These changes were the result of extensive consultation with stakeholders and the community and will create a fairer rental market that balances the rights and interests of both tenants and property owners.”