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Have a question in mind? 

F.A.Q

Please check our sections below:

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CARE & PROTECTION

Q: My children have just been taken away by the Child Protection/Department of Communities officer. What do I do now?

A: Take details of the Case Officer in charge (eg. Name, Office contact number, email address). Work closely and co-operatively with the Officer as much you can. Arrange with the Officer to spend time with your children, if possible. Then, seek legal advice soon.

Q: Do I really need a lawyer when I attend the Children’s Court for my own matter?

 

A: It is best to seek independent legal advice before deciding if you need a lawyer to represent you in your matter.

Q: I just had a visit from the Child Protection/Department of Communities officer. I am worried my children will be taken away from me.

A: First, get in contact with the officer in charge of your matter. Engage with the officer and work through with the officer about the Department’s concerns of your children.

 

As much as it depends on you (and any other support you can get), work closely with the officer to alleviate the Department’s concerns of your children’s welfare, development, safety & wellbeing.

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FAMILY LAW

Q: My husband and I no longer want to be in a marriage relationship, and would like to separate. However we both live together, can we separate while sharing the same residence?

A: Yes, one can separate under the same roof (family home). Some of the examples of separation under the same roof are sleeping in separate bedrooms, no marital relationship, living separate lives (not cooking, cleaning & washing for each other), informing friends and family of the separation, not seen as husband and wife when attending functions and activities.

Q: I have separated from my husband/wife recently. I want to file for divorce, how do I go about doing that?

A: You would need to be separated for 12 months before you can file for divorce with the Family Court of Western Australia.

 

You can find the brochure – Marriage, Families & Separation on: (https://www.familycourt.wa.gov.au/_files/Information_Kits_Brochures/Brochure_Marriage_Families_Separation.pdf) and an outline of the process for applying for a divorce on https://familycourt.wa.gov.au/A/application_divorce.aspx

Q: My long-term de facto partner and I have just separated.
We have joint assets together, what is the time limit for us to finalise our property settlement?

A: For de facto relationships, you have 2 years from the date
of separation to finalise your property settlement. A minute of consent orders can be signed by both parties if a settlement is reached/agreed between the both of you.

 

You then can file the minute of Consent Orders with the Family Court of WA to make it into a formal Consent Orders. However, if no agreement can be reached between the both of you, then one of you can commence property settlement proceedings with the Family Court WA within the 2 years of separation.

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TENANCY

Q: My fixed term residential agreement has ended, and I am still residing in the property and paying rent. However, my landlord has not provided me with a new lease agreement. Why?

A: This probably means that your fixed term agreement has reverted to a periodic agreement. Don’t worry, you are still covered by the provisions of the Residential Tenancies Act 1987.

Q: Is there any legislation in Western Australia that governs boarders and lodgers?

A: No. However, boarders and lodgers have some rights under common law.

Q: How much written notice must be given for a no grounds termination of a residential lease?

A: The time is not less than 30 days for a fixed term lease, and not less than 60 days for a periodic lease.

Q: Which legislation governs residential tenancies in Western Australia?

A: The primary legislation is the Residential Tenancies Act 1987 (the Act). There are also regulations to the Act, known as
the Residential Tenancies Regulations 1989.

Q: Where can I find a copy of these on the internet?

A: These are available on the ‘Western Australian Legislation’ website. Please visit: www.legislation.wa.gov.au

Q: I find legislation difficult to understand. Is there another source available that is easy to read and understand?

A: Yes. Consumer Protection, a division of the Department of Energy, Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety administers the above legislation. They have developed a tenant’s guide entitled ‘Renting a Home in Western Australia’. Here is a link to the document: Tenants Guide June 2023.pdf

Q: I want to rent a property. Is it best to put this in writing?

A: Yes, you should ensure that you enter into a written residential tenancy agreement with the lessor as this is a requirement under the Act. While the Act covers some unwritten lease agreements, it is prudent to have a written agreement especially if is a dispute arises between the parties. 

Q: I can get overwhelmed with contracts. If I’m happy with the rent and the term of the lease, should I just sign it as there aren’t many rentals available?

A: No. The residential tenancy agreement is a legally binding contract. Therefore, before signing, make sure that you fully understand your rights and responsibilities under the agreement. 

Q: A Property Condition Report (PCR) at the start of a lease sounds like a bit of a hassle. Is it worthwhile doing?

A: Yes, this is crucial. It is important that a PCR is completed at commencement and termination of a lease. The documents are vital in resolving disputes about the condition of a property and as to how bond money is dispersed.  

Q:  Is it a good idea to set up a direct payment schedule to pay rent from my bank account? 

A: Yes. However, it is your responsibility to manage your bank account and to ensure sufficient funds are available to pay your rent on time. 

Q: How is bond money calculated and where is it held?

A: Bond money is calculated at four times the weekly rent (unless the weekly rent exceeds $1,200). For example, if the weekly rent is $400, the bond amount is $1,600. Additionally, a pet bond, not exceeding $260, can be claimed to cover fumigation of the property at the end of the lease.

 

Bond money is lodged electronically with the Bond Administrator, being the Department of Energy, Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (Consumer Protection Division). Once a landlord/managing agent has lodged a bond with the Bond Administrator, an automatic receipt will be sent to you.

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