Landlord Changed Locks While Tenant Was In Hospital

Fined almost $12,000

7 July 2017

Article heading image for Landlord Changed Locks While Tenant Was In Hospital

A woman from Munster has been fined after she entered a North Fremantle rental property and began renovations and changed the locks, all while the tenant was in hospital.

It happened back in February 2015, when the woman tried to get in touch with the tenant to organise a viewing of the property by prospective buyers and to do some bathroom renovations.

She didn't get any consent though, because the 87-year-old was very ill and in hospital at the time.

Despite this the landlord organised for the locks to be changed and illegally took over possession of the property to carry out extensive renovations whilst the lease was in place and the tenant was still paying rent.

The elderly tenant who had rented the property since 1985, sadly passed away four months later.

Acting Commissioner for Consumer Protection David Hillyard said this case demonstrates the necessity of the strict laws governing the owner’s access to a rental property.

“The laws which control a property owner’s ability to access the property while it is subject to a tenancy agreement are necessary in order to give the tenant peace of mind and allow them quiet enjoyment of their rented home without undue harassment by the owner,” Mr Hillyard said.

The landlord was found guilty last week and has been ordered to pay $11,907 in fines and costs by the Fremantle Magistrates Court.

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