State evicts 10 bad tenants each week
Nearly 10 households are kicked out of public housing each week under the State Government’s three-strikes-you’re-out policy.
The number has grown in recent years, with 495 households forced out in the 2015-16 financial year, up about 20 per cent from the 389 households in 2014-15 and 456 in 2013-14.
Of the 495 households forced out of public homes, 313 households — or about six each week — refused to leave and were evicted by bailiffs, and 134 households were forced out by court order.
Only 43 households left voluntarily after breaching the threestrikes policy.
The Property Owners’ Association said the rising eviction rate showed the State Government was trying to shift the burden of public housing onto the private market.
POA spokesman Adam Bettison said there were already record
property disputes in the private rental market, and it would struggle with more recalcitrant tenants.
The West Australian recently revealed 130 tenants disappeared without a trace every week, without leaving landlords a forwarding address to deal with bond and repair issues.
Mr Bettison said landlords often had to wait for tenants to fall into rental arrears before they could force them out, because it was difficult to terminate contracts over damage or antisocial behaviour.
“There is a limited amount of public housing and increasing laws which prevent discrimination by landlords, so they are forced to accept a wide range of applicants,” he said.
“Once tenants are in, it is very hard to get them out.”
Housing Minister Brendon Grylls said the current policy was working and would not change. He said the Government strengthened the Disruptive Behaviour Management Strategy in May 2011 to help deal with antisocial behaviour.
Mr Grylls said a drop in the number of strikes issued to tenants, from 2102 in the 2013-14 financial year to 1647 in 2015-16, showed the policy was having a positive impact on tenant behaviour.
Public housing terminations occur when the tenant reaches the maximum number of strikes.
This could involve either three disruptive strikes, two serious strikes or one dangerous strike within a one-year period.
Mr Grylls said the State Government was also testing probationary tenancies to identify tenants struggling to meet their obligations.
The program provides an early indication as to which tenants require additional support or intervention, and allows more difficult tenancies to be terminated in a timely way.