The WA Government has created a free conciliation service to assist renters and landlords reach agreement about COVID-19 related tenancy disputes, without having to go to court.
The aim of the Residential Tenancies Mandatory Conciliation Service (RTMCS) is for all sides to reach a fair and achievable solution through informal discussion. Unlike court where a decision is imposed, mandatory conciliation encourages renters and landlords to work together to come up with arrangements that suit everyone.
RTMCS General Manager Trish Blake says this conciliation service is different to court.
“It’s a relaxed environment and gives people the power to choose the outcome in a non-adversarial setting,” Ms Blake said.
“If you are involved in a dispute being conciliated by the service, you must take part in the process. This means you have to at least talk to the conciliator and be involved in a discussion with your landlord or tenant. The conciliator will be flexible to ensure you have every reasonable opportunity to participate and have your issues heard.”
Consumer Protection conciliators are impartial and have extensive experience in dealing with tenancy disputes. If parties to a conciliation do not participate, they may be fined.
The mandatory conciliation scheme complements the introduction of a six-month moratorium on evictions and rent increases. The emergency residential tenancy laws aim to provide some certainty during these uncertain times for those in private and public housing, residential long-stay parks, as well as boarders and lodgers.
To apply for conciliation, a submission can be made at www.dmirs.wa.gov.au/covidrenting.