New Law To Empower DV Victims To Break Rental Agreements Without Penalty

In a bloody brill move to empower victims of domestic violence to leave their abusive partner, new laws are to be introduced that will allow abused tenants to abandon their rental property immediately – without having to worry about being hit with associated penalties.
The new reforms, which follow a review of the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 led by Innovation and Better Regulation Minister Victor Dominello and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Pru Goward, also mean landlords and real estate agents will be prohibited from listing a DV victim on any database where debt or property damage occurred because of a violent partner (which could make it harder for them to find a new property to rent in the future). 
It’s a step in the right direction to cut through the masses of red tape that currently make it very difficult for DV victims to seek protection from their abuser.
As it currently stands, victims are required to provide 14 days’ notice to their landlord, with the high risk of liabilities, in addition to a final AVO that can take up to a year to obtain in our cooked legal system – and that great a time period can mean life or death for many women and children.
Under the new laws, to be introduced by the NSW Government during the first half of 2017, will allow residential tenants who are victims of domestic violence to  immediately terminate their tenancy, and then provide evidence of domestic violence through a provisional, interim or final AVO, or court order after the fact.
Changes will also be made to the list of reasonable excuses to change locks, to protect a tenant from domestic violence; and to remove, in cases of domestic violence, the automatic liability of a tenant for the damage caused by others who are on the premises. 
“Leaving a violent relationship can be one of the most challenging decisions anyone makes,” says Goward. “And we are getting rid of the red tape and streamlining the system to support domestic violence victims to leave.”
More of this type of action, pls.
Photo: Getty / Brendon Thorne.

Domestic violence is never acceptable. If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, calls can be made 24 hours a day on 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) to the National Sexual Assault, Family & Domestic Violence Counselling Line, or to Lifeline on 131 114.