New residential tenancy laws to bolster protections for victims of domestic violence
Victims of domestic violence will be better protected when leaving violent relationships thanks to new residential tenancy reforms, Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean said.
Mr Kean said the proposed changes to the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 are another step the NSW Government is taking to help tackle the scourge of domestic and family violence.
“This is about delivering better protections for victims, and gives them certainty they won’t be penalised in future rental applications, Mr Kean said.
The proposed changes will:
- Allow tenants to terminate their tenancy immediately and without penalty by providing evidence of domestic violence through a provisional, interim or final AVO, certificate of conviction, family law injunction or a statutory declaration made by a medical professional; and,
- 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.
“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.”
Under the previous laws, victims of domestic violence on a fixed term lease had 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.
An Exposure Bill regarding the proposed reforms will be released in the coming months.