WA extends residential, commercial evictions ban

Emergency tenancy laws put in place to protect WA commercial and residential tenants from eviction during the pandemic have been extended for six months.

Temporary amendments to the tenancy laws, brought in during WA’s COVID-19 lockdown, were due to end September 29.

The Residential Tenancies (COVID-19 Response) Act 2020 will now run until March 28, 2021.

The laws include a moratorium on evictions, freeze on rent increases, and a code of conduct that outlines dispute resolution.

The commercial tenancy protections are targeted to apply only to businesses who experience financial hardship as a consequence of the pandemic – in line with the JobKeeper payment thresholds.

Under the laws, landlords must offer rent relief to businesses suffering a 30 per cent reduction in turnover.

Commerce Minister John Quigley says, though the State was entering a period of economic recovery, the threat of COVID-19 was still very real, making such support measures necessary.

“Western Australia is entering a period of economic recovery, however with the threat of COVID-19 and a second wave still real, extending the rent moratorium protects WA renters and landlords, and helps create stability for everyone.”

Exceptions to the eviction ban are allowed where a tenant is seriously damaging the property, or causing injury to neighbours.

The WA Government has launched a new Consumer Protection Landlord Hotline to support landlords.

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