A new tenancy toolkit aimed at improving the understanding of renting rights in vulnerable WA communities was launched in Broome. Developed in partnership with Legal Aid WA and Consumer Protection, the toolkit incorporates visual art, plain language and storytelling to reach Aboriginal people and those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. It covers a wide range of tenancy issues such as property inspections, rent owing, getting things fixed, emergency repairs, property standards and escaping a tenancy for family violence reasons. Legal Aid WA director Dr Graham Hill said the tenancy Blurred Borders kit would address language and culture barriers, to provide information that can be easily understood. “The toolkit will be an effective way for frontline service providers to empower these communities with the knowledge they need to fight for their rights and understand their responsibilities when renting as well as the processes involved,” he said. “Dealing with issues that arise is extremely difficult when tenants don’t have even a basic grasp of tenancy laws and may, for instance, move out of a property even if the landlord hasn’t gone through the proper eviction process. “It’s hoped the availability of these extra resources will indirectly assist those in our community who might be at risk of becoming homeless.” Consumer Protection commissioner Gary Newcombe said the project would help get important tenancy information to groups which are often difficult to reach. “By partnering with LAWA, we increase our resources and ability to reach many communities, particularly those in remote and rural areas, that may not have the proper awareness of their rights and obligations when it comes to renting,” he said. “An analysis of tenancy enquiries received by Consumer Protection shows that there is a gap when it comes to the knowledge of tenancy laws among certain groups, especially in relation to ending a tenancy, maintenance issues, evictions and getting their bond back. “The toolkit will be used by officers of both organisations in their outreach programs and will also be made available to community groups and other agencies that deal with housing, welfare, financial counselling and legal support.” Elements of the toolkit feature Broome artists Jarred Franey’s work ‘connected with community’, which depicts a journey from feelings of isolation and confusion when dealing with tenancy issues, to feelings of being supported and connected.