Chicago referencing style:

Marston, Greg. Social Policy and Discourse Analysis: Policy Change in Public Housing. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2010.

Wearne, Phoebe. “Tenants who Fail Probation Face Eviction.” The West Australian, Jun. 17, 2005.

[Word count: 1252 words]

  1. Identification of areas of law relevant to the selected media report

The following article entails a report that focuses on the laws and regulations that encompass public housing. Specifically, the periodical reports on the repercussions that tenants living in public houses are likely to face if found to be participative in bad behavior, exude failure to pay rent, or littering the respective taxpayer-financed homes. 

Property Law

The issue of public housing as established in the report is an aspect of property law. The Department of Housing recognizes taxpayer-financed homes as properties of the tenants who utilized upon entering a probationary tenancy agreement. In this respect, the agreement acts as an imperative measure in protecting the respective property. This is enabled by ensuring that the tenants comply with the terms and conditions set within the probationary tenancy contracts. Additionally, the concerns regarding the limited nature of taxpayer-subsidized housing are attributable to laws based on property ownership. The Department of Housing recognizes the significance of securing public houses. Damages committed by tenants impose considerable costs on the property thereby reducing their value at alarming rates. For instance, the respective entity notes that damages worth $12.7 million occurred during the past year (Wearne 2005, 16).

Contract Law

Contract law is illustrated by the terms and conditions illustrated within the probationary tenancy agreements. Accordingly, the respective agreements stipulate that tenants who participate in illegal behavior such as refusal to pay rent, littering the public housing schemes or misdemeanors will be liable for eviction. Additionally, the participation in the mentioned behaviors by tenants will act as a violation against the probationary tenancy contracts. Hence, aside from being eligible for eviction after six months, breach of the respective contract will ensure that the tenants face a tough State government suit (Wearne 2005, 16). Further illustration of contractual law is illustrated by the repercussions that tenants stand to face if they violate the conditions stipulated within the probationary tenancy agreements. Hence, if the tenants are guilty of violating the agreements, the Department of Housing will not renew the tenants’ probationary tenancy contracts, which will force them to register again for public housing (Wearne 2005, 16).

Criminal Law

The violation of probationary tenancy agreements is a criminal offence since it functions as a breach of contract. The breach of contract, such as the introductory tenancy agreement, is an issue in criminal law. Accordingly, if the tenants violate the respective agreements, they are required to face trial in a State government court. If they are found guilty, the tenants may face possible eviction and experience a termination of their present starter tenancy agreement. Such issues are prevalent in case law and involve criminal law to a certain extent.

2.         How the law functions in different ways

  • Ensures reasonable predictability in daily life

Contracts are a rational way of ensuring that reasonable predictability in daily life is present since they guide and enforce the actions that people are required to perform. A proper example from the news report involves the conditions that outline the introductory tenancy agreements. Accordingly, tenants are required to engage in moral and ethical behavior while occupying the taxpayer-subsidized homes provided to them by the state (Wearne 2005, 16). Such conditions or terms ensure that tenants inhabit the housing schemes respectfully and therefore, allow for a blameless exercise that will take place for certainty after the lease culminates.

  • Encourages and discourages certain conduct

The repercussions that the tenants stand to face if they violate the starter tenancy agreements is a perfect illustration of the law’s endorsement and discouragement of certain conduct. The property laws that guide the utilization of taxpayer-funded houses encourage the participation in moral behavior by tenants who occupy the respective premises. On the other hand, tenants will face trial and possible eviction after six months if they engage in activities that the agreements discourage such as littering, failure to pay rent, and bad behavior (Wearne 2005, 16).

  • Grants rights and powers to individuals and groups of people

The property laws in relation to the probationary tenancy agreements protect the rights of people or potential tenants who are still in line for public housing application. Under a yearlong trial, if tenants do not abide by the terms and conditions stipulated within the starter tenancy agreements, their agreements will not face renewal by the Department of Housing (Wearne 2005, 16). Furthermore, the tenants will be forced to wait in line for other tenants who have qualified for public housing. Additionally, the respective laws also allow tenants who engage in responsible behavior to gain longer-term leases (Wearne 2005, 16).

  • Imposes obligations on individuals/organizations to meet their legal responsibility

The possibility of eviction and a criminal trial forces tenants to meet their legal responsibilities. Consequently, the criminal rules that apply in contractual law ensure that tenants abide by the stipulations asserted in the probationary tenancy agreements. The fact that tenants can stand trial if they breach the respective agreements illustrates the extent to which criminal law imposes duties on such persons in order for them to assume their authorized roles.

  • Allows for the enforcement of recognized rights and duties

The provision of six-month starter tenancy agreements under property law illustrates the law’s involvement in the enforcement of recognized rights and obligations. Accordingly, the Department of Housing is required to ensure that tenants can access the taxpayer-subsidized homes evident within the South Metropolitan district (Wearne 2005, 16). Furthermore, the tenants are expected to go through a registration process that will expose them to attainment of introductory tenancies. In addition, tenants can only be evicted if they violate the contractual terms. Any other attempt otherwise would be a violation of their tenancy rights.

  • Provides remedies when an injustice is done

The remedies offered after violation of the introductory tenancy agreements show the law’s participation in repressing injustice. In this case, the remedies offered to the Department of Housing in the case of agreement violations comprise six-month evictions (Wearne 2005, 16). Accordingly, the legal entity will have the right to conduct an eviction of tenants who breach the terms stipulated in the probationary tenancy contracts.

3.         People should be aware of the content that the law provides in respect to the contexts they occupy. In this case, tenants were required to understand the regulations that guide the occupation of taxpayer-subsidized homes within the South Metropolitan district. Having an understanding and familiarity with the respective law allows the tenants to occupy their homes perfectly without violating aspects such as the conditions expressed in the introductory tenancy agreements. Additionally, the tenants, in their understanding of this particular property law, can apply the law to their benefit by refusing to participate in the activities listed as misdemeanors within the probationary tenancy agreements (Marston 2010, 68). Such information would allow them to avert the repercussions, specifically evictions that occur after violating the specified rules.

4.         The media influences public perceptions concerning the law and its administration by influencing different positions on the subject matter at hand. For instance, the issue on probationary tenancies and the causes for eviction illustrates a disparate take on the subject with persons either supporting or opposing the implications of the conditions stipulated within the agreements. As such, the public will gain different perspectives on the law and influence its establishment especially if it implies pressure on legislators and judges. In this context, the concerned legislature may adopt a strict stance by imposing harsher terms for tenants who violate the terms of the starter tenancy agreements.


Marston, Greg. Social Policy and Discourse Analysis: Policy Change in Public Housing. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2010.

Wearne, Phoebe. “Tenants who Fail Probation Face Eviction.” The West Australian, Jun. 17, 2005.

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