Domestic violence in a rented property

If there is violence in your rented home you should contact the Police or an advice service.Here are some steps you can take under the tenancy agreement to improve your safety.

Changing the locks

If you obtain an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO), you can immediately change the locks. This applies if the AVO is a provisional, interim or final order.

Normally you would need the landlord or agent’s consent, but not under these circumstances. You need to give the landlord or agent a new key within seven days, unless agreed otherwise.

Changing the locks does not alter the tenancy agreement.

Changing the tenancy agreement

If the person excluded from the premises was named as a tenant on the agreement, a final AVO made by a magistrate will terminate that person’s tenancy. If you were named on the agreement as a co-tenant, the tenancy simply transfers to your name.

If your name is not on the agreement, you can ask the landlord or agent to have the agreement put into your name. If they refuse you can apply to the Tribunal.

If you are an occupant of social housing premises, contact the social housing provider for more information.

Ending the lease early

If you are a tenant and you obtain a final AVO which prohibits a co-tenant or occupant from accessing the premises, you have the option to end the lease early without having to compensate the landlord. You must give the landlord or agent 14 days notice in writing of your intention to leave.

Tenancy database listings

If you are listed on a tenancy database due to damage to the property caused by a co-tenant or occupant during an incident of domestic violence, there are steps you can take. Visit the tenancy database listings page for more information.

Further advice and support

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