Domestic Violence Study

Shelter WA has been interviewed for a study focusing on how the tenancy laws of each Australian state and territory impact on women and children leaving family and domestic violence. 

The University of South Australia study will provide recommendations to government on how residential tenancy laws might work better in the future. 

Adjunct Professor Eileen Webb from the Faculty of Business and Law at Curtin University interviewed staff from Shelter WA about the Western Australian Residential Tenancies Act 1987 (RTA) and what needs to be improved to provide safeguards to victims. 

Michelle Mackenzie; CEO Shelter WA, Adjunct Professor Eileen Webb; Faculty of Business and Law at Curtin University, Klaudia Mierswa; Policy Officer Shelter WA

Last month Shelter WA urged the State Parliament not to delay the passage of critical reforms to the Residential Tenancies Legislation Amendment (Family Violence) Bill 2018, after it was referred to the WA Parliament’s Standing Committee on Legislation, and provided a submission to the Committee.

The Bill proposes sensible amendments to the Residential Tenancies Act 1987 and Residential Parks (Long-stay Tenants) Act 2007 to ensure that victims of family and domestic violence can:

• terminate a tenancy quickly, by giving the lessor a notice of termination on the grounds of family violence supported by required evidence;
• make modifications to the home they are renting to ensure safety, such as changing locks without having to seek approval prior from the lessor; and
• affix any prescribed fixture, or make any prescribed renovation, alteration or addition to the premises to prevent the perpetrator’s entry onto the premises.

“Shelter WA’s was pleased to be able to contribute to the study and discuss our policy work on amendments to the Residential Tenancies Act to make rental more safe and secure for victims of family and domestic violence,” said WA CEO Michelle Mackenzie.

Researchers at the University of South Australia are seeking professionals with work experience in family and domestic violence and/or residential tenancy laws to take part in the study to help better understand how residential tenancy law impacts on women and children who have left, or want to leave, a violent relationship.

Further information: Project Leader Professor Andrew Beer on (08) 8302 0711.



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