Department of Family and Community Services

New residential tenancy laws to protect victims of domestic violence

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05 Jul 2016

Victims of domestic violence will receive greater protections under proposed changes to the state’s residential tenancies laws, announced by the NSW Government today.

The proposed changes will:

  • Allow tenants to terminate residential tenancy agreements immediately by providing evidence of domestic violence through a provisional, interim or final AVO, or court order; and
  • Ensure domestic violence victims are not penalised for property damaged or rental debt caused by a violent partner. Landlords and Agents will be prohibited from listing victims on tenancy databases holding such information.

“Currently victims of domestic violence on a fixed lease have to give 14 days’ notice to their landlord, with potential liabilities, and provide them with a final AVO which can take months to obtain. This is an unacceptable and often burdensome process for people living in dangerous situations,” Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation Victor Dominello said.

“The new laws will provide victims with certainty that they won’t be penalised in future rental applications. They also include stronger safety measures as a provisional AVO can be obtained quickly without court hearings.”

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 there is flexibility in residential tenancy laws so that victims can swiftly leave their violent partners.

“Leaving a violent relationship can be one of the most challenging decisions anyone makes and we are getting rid of the red tape and streamlining the system to support domestic violence victims to leave,” she said.

The reforms follow a review of the Residential Tenancies Act 2010, which included a public consultation. The new laws are expected to be introduced into Parliament during the first half of 2017. Further information is available atwww.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au