Cockburn Gazette - - RESIDENTIAL - With Act­ing Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion Com­mis­sioner David Hill­yard

RENT­ING a home is a good op­tion for many con­sumers but some­times the re­la­tion­ship be­tween ten­ants and land­lords can ex­pe­ri­ence dif­fi­cul­ties when is­sues arise.

Res­i­den­tial ten­ancy is a large part of the work we do at Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion. We give free ad­vice to all par­ties in a res­i­den­tial ten­ancy agree­ment, look into com­plaints and, wher­ever pos­si­ble, help to set­tle dis­putes.

Rent­ing a home in WA is gov­erned by a set of laws called the Res­i­den­tial Te­nan­cies Act 1987 and the Res­i­den­tial Te­nan­cies Reg­u­la­tions 1989. If we can’t ne­go­ti­ate a fair out­come to re­solve a dis­pute, then it may be nec­es­sary for the mat­ter to be set­tled in court.

Ten­ants and land­lords have shared re­spon­si­bil­i­ties when it comes to rental home main­te­nance and re­pairs. Ob­vi­ous main­te­nance and re­pair is­sues should be noted in the prop­erty con­di­tion re­port, which has to be com­pleted by the land­lord when a ten­ancy agree­ment starts and fin­ishes.

As a tenant, you must keep the prop­erty rea­son­ably clean and you are ex­pected to hand it back in a sim­i­lar con­di­tion to when you moved in, tak­ing into ac­count nor­mal use – mean­ing fair wear and tear is ex­pected to oc­cur on fix­tures such as car­pets and cur­tains.

If there are any is­sues, then you should ask the land­lord if they in­tend to fix the prob­lems and make sure this is writ­ten into the ten­ancy agree­ment.

It is a good idea to take pho­tos of the prop­erty be­fore you move in and when you move out.

More in­for­ma­tion about your rental rights and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties is avail­able at www.con­sumer­pro­tec­

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