Ms Anghie leased an office under her name in the Esplanade in March but after she was unable to provide a head lease to council officers she entered into a new lease in West Perth on August 27.

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The editor of The Architect magazine said she could not provide a head lease due to “confidentiality”.

“When the landlord and building owner finally provided the head lease my application was rejected,” she said.

Ms Anghie said her legal counsel had advised her the initial lease agreement was valid but she had chosen to find an alternative arrangement to avoid engaging in “unnecessary legal argument with uncertain time and cost”.

Mr Keiller and Ms Zhang both have leases within the council boundaries but neither are under the candidates’ names, which rules them ineligible under the Local Government Act.

Mr Keiller said he had taken out a new lease on a nearby property but had been knocked back again by the City of Perth over concerns he did not have “continuous occupation for three months” of the premises required under the act.

“I believe it’s valid, they don’t. So we are just having a discussion about that,” he said.

“Because of the City of Perth inquiry, they are being very careful about things but I think in this case they are being overly cautious and I don’t think I’ve been afforded due process.”

Ms Zhang, who had been spotted campaigning with Mr Zempilas and Mr Keiller at Chung Wah Association in August, said the City of Perth was “taking a conservative approach”.

“I am still looking at my options within the legal boundary,” she told Nine News Perth.

Friends restaurant owner Clyde Bevan and Sweet and Sour host Gary Mitchell, who are also on Mr Zempilas’ ticket, have also faced scrutiny but been deemed eligible to stand for council.

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Mr Zempilas unveiled plans to run with a team of like-minded council hopefuls in August, just days after dysfunction caused by factionalism and “gameplaying” during Lisa Scaffidi’s reign as Lord Mayor was laid bare in a 2000-page government report.

The lengthy report by special inquirier Tony Power into the previous administration also found some councillors had used sham leases to be eligible to stand for election and taken advantage of their positions as elected members to advance personal business interests.

At the time, Mr Zempilas refuted allegations his ticket would bring factionalism back to the troubled council but said he had enlisted Mr Keiller, Mr Bevan, Ms Zhang and Mr Mitchell as part of a “team”.

If the City of Perth’s ruling on Mr Keiller and Ms Zhang stands, Mr Zempilas could lose two of the four necessary councillors on his ticket to get a voting majority in the council chambers.

When asked if it would throw a spanner in the works, Mr Zempilas said he would “work with whoever the councillors are”.

“And work for a cohesive council unified in its mission to right the ship and work for the ratepayers to get things done,” he said.

City of Perth electors will take to the ballots on October 17 in the first election since the council was suspended in 2018.

Marta is an award-winning photographer and journalist with a focus on social justice issues and local government.

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