• David Woolfall

Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2018: Domestic Violence

This is the sixth post in our series regarding the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2018 which will come into effect on or before 1stJuly 2020.

The Act will provide a clarity in relation to situations where renters are living with domestic violence and intervention orders. It will provide a mechanism for the renter to apply to VCAT to terminate a lease early on the basis of domestic violence to allow those suffering the abuse greater opportunity to escape the situation.

Whilst many rental providers may initially see this as taking away the security of having renters in a lease, I believe it is an improvement for both renters and rental providers. For renters the improvement is obvious, for rental providers maybe not so obvious, but the idea of renters living in a violent relationship in your investment is something you would prefer not to have. Putting aside the danger to the tenant, there is also a much higher risk of damage to the property whilst renters with a violent relationship remain in the property. Even once the perpetrator of the violence is removed there is great risk to damage occurring if they return to the property in breach of any orders that may be in place.

Overall, the new requirements provide clarity to what is possible to occur to a lease in these circumstances and provides protection to both the renter and the rental provider, the renter through actions to help ensure their personal safety and the rental provider with actions that will likely help ensure any damage caused by a domestic violence situation is minimised by allowing the renter to apply to terminate the lease remove themselves from the property.

Again, it is important as a residential rental provider that you appoint a competent agent to manage the property.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss further please give me a call on 0419 018 005 or email


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