Domestic Violence and Residential Tenancies update
Research has shown that domestic and family violence is the main reason women and children leave their homes in Australia. On average, one woman a week is murdered by her current or former partner. Intimate partner violence is a leading contributor to illness, disability and premature death for women aged 18-44. Domestic and family violence also affects the wider community with an annual cost of around $22 billion in Australia.
Previously in NSW there has been minimal assistance for domestic violence victims in the tenancy laws. Since Residential Tenancies Act 2010, a domestic violence victim could terminate their lease, however they had to provide their landlord with 14 days' notice after obtaining an apprehended violence order with an exclusion order as evidence.
As of 28 February 2018, NSW Fair Trading have further changed residential tenancy laws to provide new protections for tenants who experience domestic violence. A survivor of domestic violence will be able to terminate their tenancy early with supporting evidence. Tenants (or their dependent child or children) who need to escape circumstances of domestic violence will be able to end their tenancy immediately and without penalty. A survivor of domestic violence will be protected from breach fees and costs for property damage in some circumstances. A landlord or agent will not be allowed to list information about a tenant in a tenancy database in which the tenant has terminated the agreement in circumstances of domestic violence.
RETS has created a short course to assist Property Managers (3 point CPD -1 hour) in understanding these changes - click here to find out more