The new laws mean that tenants who are the victims of family violence now have options. This may be to stay in the tenancy but have the name of the perpetrator taken off the lease, or to leave by legally ending the lease agreement by giving seven days’ notice and evidence of family violence – this can be an order from the court or a signed family violence report from a designated person such as a doctor, police officer, social worker or psychologist.

Tenants dealing with family violence are also able to make the rental home safer by changing the locks or by making certain security upgrades. From October 2019, this may be done without the landlord’s permission, but tenants will still have to advise the landlord that they intend to upgrade security.

The changes support the victims of family violence and put Western Australian residential tenancy laws at the forefront of similar laws across the country.