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Domestic Violence Victims To Flee Home Faster Under New Lease Law

They won't be penalised for breaking a lease.

05/07/2016 10:54 AM AEST | Updated July 15, 2016 12:56
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Leaving a violent relationship will be easier with new reforms.

People fleeing domestic violence will soon be able to break a lease without fear of penalty under proposed changes to NSW tenancy laws.

Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Pru Goward said the changes would make the decision to leave an abusive relationship easier.

"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," Goward said.

Currently victims of domestic violence need to give 14 days' notice on a fixed lease and Minister for Innovation Victor Dominello said that was a vulnerable time, especially when paired with the wait to obtain an Apprehended Violence Order.

"This is an unacceptable and often burdensome process for people living in dangerous situations," 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."

The proposed reforms will be introduced to NSW Parliament in 2017 and will make way to:

  • 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 banned from listing victims on tenancy databases holding such information.
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