AccordWest provides crisis and transitional accommodation for youth up to the age of 18.
There are a number of forms in which rental accommodation can be provided to an individual, this includes:
Private rental market – The majority of rental properties are offered through the private rental market in Western Australia. Private rentals are leased by private owners either directly or often through real estate agents. Private rental accommodation is offered through the following websites:
Public Housing – The Department of Housing provides rental accommodation to eligible households across Western Australia. Rent is calculated at 25% of gross assessable income.
Community Housing – Community housing is affordable housing for people on low to moderate incomes with a housing need. This type of housing is owned by, or under the legal control of, a community housing organisation. These organisations are generally, but not always, not-for-profit. Local governments also provide community housing. Indigenous Community Housing refer to dwelling owned or leased and managed by Aboriginal organisations and Aboriginal Community Councils in major cities.
The Department of Housing and community housing organisations are working together to amalgamate community housing wait lists into the joint wait list managed by the Department. Completing an Application for Rental Housing and ticking yes in the “Do you also wish to be considered for a community housing property?” will allow you to be assessed for the joint wait list.
The Department also maintain a list of Registered Providers which can be contacted directly to access community housing.
The Department of Commerce Consumer Protection office has detailed information about Renting a Home. This includes:
As soon as you experience difficulty paying the rent, contact the owner/agent to explain the situation and make an arrangement. The sooner you contact them, the less likely you are to encounter problems. You can also contact the Tenancy WA or Financial Counsellors Association of WA for more information, and read the following section for other supports.
Support to maintain a tenancy
It is easy to fall into difficulties when renting a property, for example if the rent falls behind or a large utility bill is not able to be paid, or one of the children accidentally breaks a window and a neighbour makes a complaint. There are support services available to assist people to deal with these types of issues to avoid eviction and the threat of homelessness. It is important to do something about any problems as early as possible, and support services may be able to negotiate positive outcomes, or assist with emergency relief funds if the matter is dealt with in its early stages.
The Federal Government, Western Australian Government and non-government organisations provide several types of rental housing products and supports to Western Australians on a low to moderate income who have a housing issue. These products and supports come in the form of rental housing options, rent assistance, information on tenant rights, legal support and emergency relief. Eligibility criteria vary from product to product or service.
Private Rental Tenancy Support Services:
Australian Red Cross – 9225 8888
Centrecare – 9440 0400
Ruah Community Services – 9493 5021
Anglicare – 9528 0702
UnitingCare West – 1300 663 298
Multicultural Services Centre of WA – 9328 1544
Accord West -South West of Western Australia – 9791 3213 (Bunbury)
Anglicare WA – Great Southern area of Western Australia – 9845 6666 (Albany)
Geraldton Resource Centre – 9938 0600 (Murchison)
WestAus Crisis and Welfare Service – 9582 9920 (Peel)
These Private Rental Tenancy Support Services work with families or individuals experiencing difficulties with their private rental tenancies. The services link with mainstream services before debts or other tenancy management issues become unmanageable or eviction processes start.
Support workers liaise with landlords and property managers to facilitate tenants remaining in tenancies by assisting tenants to come up with solutions to the issues being experienced.
The Department of Housing’s Bond Assistance Loan Scheme offers bond assistance and two weeks’ rent in advance as an interest-free loan to help people obtain accommodation in the private rental market. Maximum loan depends on your circumstances. Eligibility requirements apply.
Commonwealth Rent Assistance is a non-taxable income supplement paid to eligible people who rent in the private rental market. In order to receive Rent Assistance, a person or family must qualify for an income support payment, Family Tax Benefit Part A or a service pension, and pay or be liable to pay private rent (not government rent) above the applicable rent threshold for their usual home. Eligibility requirements apply.
The Private Rental Aboriginal Assistance Loan provides financial assistance through a loan scheme to Aboriginal people in private rental accommodation who are within Department of Housing income limits, are at risk of eviction as a result of rent arrears and experiencing financial hardship.
The National Rental Affordability Scheme is an Australian Government initiative which provides people on a low to moderate income with the opportunity to rent homes at a rate that is at least 20 per cent below market value rent. The Department of Housing maintains a list of NRAS providers in Western Australia.
Renting a home/unit in Western Australia is governed by a set of laws called the Residential Tenancies Act 1987 (RTA) and the Residential Tenancies Regulations 1989.
Not everyone is covered under the RTA. Residential tenancy laws do not relate to the following:
Lessors, real estate agents and tenants, the Department of Housing (formerly Homeswest) and its tenants are all bound by the Act.
It is unlawful under the Equal Opportunity Act 1984 for an owner or agent to discriminate against anyone seeking private rental accommodation because of their:
It is also unlawful under the Residential Tenancies Act 1987 to refuse to let a property to person/s because they have a child or children who will live at the property.
For more information about discrimination in housing visit the Equal Opportunity Commission, 08 9216 3900. If you think you have been discriminated against, contact the EOC or your local community legal centre. To find a community legal centre near you, go to the Community Legal Centre Association directory or call (08) 9221 9322.
The Department of Housing offers a range of housing options to help people with disabilities access appropriate and affordable housing. This includes people with intellectual, physical, sensory or psychiatric impairment.