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Better protections for tenants experiencing domestic violence

Published 21st May, 2018 in Family & Community Services, Living in NSW, Police & Justice

Victims of domestic violence will be better protected when leaving violent relationships if changes to residential tenancy law are passed by NSW Parliament. 

Rental agreement form with signing hand and pen

One of the proposed changes to the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 will allow tenants to terminate their tenancy immediately and without penalty by providing evidence of domestic violence, such as:

  • a provisional, interim or final AVO
  • certificate of conviction
  • family law injunction
  • a statutory declaration made by a medical professional.

Another proposed change will protect victims of domestic violence from being listed on a tenancy database by agents or landlords where a debt or property damage arose because of a violent partner.

Currently, victims of domestic violence on a fixed term lease have to give 14 days notice to their landlord if a co-tenant or occupant is prohibited by a final AVO from having access to the property.

Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean the proposed reforms ensure victims will not be penalised in future rental applications. 

“These stronger measures will enable tenants to escape domestic violence much faster, as a provisional AVO or declaration by a medical professional can be obtained without the added trauma of appearing in court,” Mr Kean said.

Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Pru Goward said NSW is again leading the way in domestic violence policy by ensuring victims can swiftly leave their violent partners.

“We know the time when a victim decides to leave a violent relationship can be incredibly dangerous, and when they are at their most vulnerable,” Ms Goward said. 

“These changes aim to get rid of the red tape and streamline the system to support domestic violence victims to leave a rented home, and most importantly find safety as soon as possible.”

An Exposure Bill regarding the proposed reforms will be released in 2018. 

Learn more about the residential tenancy law review

Learn what else the NSW Government is doing to reduce domestic violence

Published 21st May, 2018 in Family & Community Services, Living in NSW, Police & Justice
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