The state government has flagged reforms to tenancy laws in a bid to balance the rights between tenants and landlords, including banning rent bidding and allowing pets.Proposed amendments will be drafted to the Residential Tenancies ActThe proposed changes include a prohibition on the practice of rent bidding, reducing the frequency of rent increases to once every 12 months, allowing pets in rental premises in most cases, and streamlining the release of security bonds at the end of a tenancy.Under the proposed reforms, landlords and property managers would be unable to pressure or encourage tenants to offer more than the advertised rent.Other amendments include enabling tenants to make minor modifications to rental premises under certain conditions and referring disputes over bond payments to the Commissioner for Consumer Protection.“Given the current housing market conditions, these tenancy reforms will help strike the balance between the rights and needs of tenants and landlords,” Housing Minister John Carey said.“Our focus is on boosting the supply of housing, which is why we’re investing a record $2.6 billion in housing, lands and homelessness measures throughout Western Australia.“As part of the 2023-24 State Budget we’ve committed an additional $750 million in housing, homelessness and lands initiatives which include 100 per cent stamp duty concessions, a range of changes to Keystart loans and $47.6 million to expand WA’s housing construction workforce to bolster the supply of housing across our state.”Commerce Minister Sue Ellery said the proposed laws would strike a balance by protecting the owner’s investment property while providing stability for tenants.“It’s no secret that some tenants in Western Australia are doing it tough at the moment, facing a combination of low vacancy rates and rising rents,” she said.“Prohibiting rent bidding and reducing rent increases to once a year will help ease the financial burden on many families.“There is no single solution to ease the current tight rental market.“The modernisation of WA’s tenancy laws will give tenants more freedom to make the rental their home by being allowed to have a pet and make small modifications to the property.”The state government had flagged changes to the Residential Tenancies Act for some time.In August, the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia had lobbied against the changes, citing a survey of more than 7,000 investors revealing that 61 per cent would sell their properties if the changes came into effect.