Western Australia Alterations and Additions to Premises
Tenants and landlords can only make alterations to the premises if the other party gives consent. The best option to discuss the need and reason for any alteration before going ahead with it.
This guide covers landlords (or head-tenants) and tenants (or sub-tenants) in a Residential Tenancy. This applies to the majority of share accommodation and residential property rental situations. To confirm it covers your situation visit What is my share accommodation situation?
Who can make alterations and additions to the premises?
Before making any kind of alteration or addition to the property, the landlord or tenant should carefully consider whether they need the landlord’s consent and how it might affect the long-term value and nature of the rented premises.
During a tenancy, the tenant or landlord can only install a ‘fixture’, or make renovations / alterations / additions to the rented premises if the other party gives consent. The tenancy agreement will often include terms regarding the tenant’s rights to install fixtures or make renovations. The agreement can prohibit the tenant from installing fixtures and making renovations. The agreement can alternatively provide that the tenant can only install fixtures or make renovations once the landlord consents. Before going ahead with any work, the tenant should refer to their tenancy agreement.
If the tenant or landlord requests consent from the other party to install a fixture or make a renovation, the other party cannot refuse that consent unreasonably. This means that there should be a good, justifiable reason for withholding consent, such as a potential reduction in value of the premises.
Fixtures vs Fittings
A ‘fixture’ is a good that the tenant brings onto the rented premises, and which becomes part of the rented premises. Fixtures are normally attached to the premises in some way. Common examples of fixtures include carpets, gas stoves, or built in air-conditioners. Goods brought onto the premises that are not fixtures are called ‘fittings’ and include blinds, portable ovens, free-standing sheds, and portable air conditioners. The tenant only needs the consent of the landlord to install fixtures, not for fittings.
Generally, the tenant can remove any fixtures they have previously installed. Fixtures must not be removed, however, if the removal will cause irreparable or permanent damage to the premises.
If the tenant damages the premises while removing any fixture, they must notify the landlord. The landlord can charge the tenant for any reasonable costs involved in repairing that damage.
These legal guides provide a brief summary and introduction of the laws and regulations affecting share accommodation. They do not cover all cases in all legal jurisdictions and might not apply in your specific share accommodation situation. It is important that you use this information as a guide only and seek independent Legal Advice or consult the Relevant Acts. We do not accept any liability that may arise from the use of this information.