REIWA Lauds Department of Commerce's Handy New App for Tenants In Latest Website Entry

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A recent article by The Real Estate Institute of Western Australia expressed support for the newly launched app — and the convenience it stands to provide tenants.

Real Estate Institute of Western Australia

This app is a really great way of helping people to be better tenants by understanding the rules of the Residential Tenancy Act, and by providing timely reminders when rent payments are due.

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To help tenants in Western Australia manage and understand their rental rights and responsibilities better, WA's Department of Commerce recently launched a new smartphone app this month that provides all kinds of handy information and capabilities. The Real Estate Institute of Western Australia or REIWA recently published its latest Web article welcoming this provision and the opportunities it opens up for tenants all across the state.

Launched by the Minister, Michael Mischin, the free app is designed to enable tenants to manage different aspects of their tenancy at the mere click of a button. This would include calculating the maximum amount that must be paid to a landlord before moving in, securing rental receipts, or even saving photos that can be used for the required property condition reports.

Jenni Wood, spokesperson for REIWA's Property Managers Network, welcomed the positive impact and vale of the app, highlighting its helpful role in educating tenants about their rental rights and obligations, as well as providing useful information for property owners.

She stated, “This app is a really great way of helping people to be better tenants by understanding the rules of the Residential Tenancy Act, and by providing timely reminders when rent payments are due.”

The smartphone app is devised to synchronise with users' calendars and provide pre-set reminders about important tenancy issues such as paying rent on time, the dates of proposed rent increases, day and time of routine inspections, end dates of a periodic or fixed-term tenancy, and home open times and dates for prospective tenants or buyers.

According to Wood, members of REIWA's Property Managers Network have called attention to "many key areas of weakness in people's understanding of the Residential Tenancies Act" — issues that are also evident from complaints received by the Department of Commerce and from matters being discussed in the Magistrates Court. To address these, she says the network was able to make suggestions of issues that the app can tackle for both the owners' and the tenants' benefit.

In addition, the Minister explained during the launch that the app is also designed to contain reminders that would warn users if any data entered was incompatible with current laws. As such, if a date of a rent increase is less than six months from the last increase, for example, or if a landlord attempts to schedule a home open for prospective tenants earlier than 21 days before the tenancy's end, the app will warn the user that such practices are not allowed. Devising the app to work this way "helps them to keep good habits as well," shared the Minister.

Wood stated, “With the current metropolitan vacancy rate at a high four percent, many existing tenants are breaking their leases unaware of the costs in doing that, but this app will help better inform them about their obligations under the lease agreement so they can budget to make decisions that suit them and the owner for the right outcomes.”

The app can be downloaded for free from the App Store or Google Play. For more information on the use of the app or for more news on tenancy and property matters, visit http://reiwa.com.au/.

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