We thank the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety for the opportunity to contribute our feedback to the review of the Residential Tenancies Act. We believe that this review is an opportunity to extend legal protections to renters in student accommodation, chiefly by ending the exemption for private operators. We furthermore provide feedback on the proposed introduction of a provision for landlords to terminate the tenancy of someone who is no longer eligible for that student accommodation, suggesting that they be permitted to finish their lease agreement. We therefore make the following recommendations:
Recommendation one: That the exemption to the Act for student accommodation should only apply to residences that are both owned and operated by the educational provider.
Recommendation two: That the Western Australian Government investigate legislative protections for renters in university-owned student accommodation.
Recommendation three: That the proposed change to allow landlords to terminate a tenant’s lease early on eligibility grounds, not be implemented.
Recommendation four: That any early termination provision contains exemptions on the grounds of hardship.