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As a property owner, what as my obligations towards tenants who are victims of DFV?

Domestic & Family Violence is a community responsibility, and as such it is incumbent upon us all to assist victims where possible.

Current tenancy laws state that if a DFV victim wishes to leave a rental property, provided there is sufficient evidence, she only needs to give 7 days’ notice to end the tenancy agreement. Rent is therefore only payable until the end of that 7-day period. This is to assist her seek protection and alternative housing without the financial burden of a continuing lease.

If the DFV victim is a co-tenant, she can claim her portion of the Bond money when she leaves, again in order to free up some funds and to help her move forward.  Her bond money may be used as compensation for rent up to her departure; however, it may not be used to repair damages caused by the perpetrator (eg holes in walls, etc).

If your tenant wishes to remain at the property but requires minor modifications to be done to the property such as a change of locks, installation of security camera, more adequate exterior lighting etc, you are required to approve these changes. Costs will be incurred by the tenant, but you must not obstruct these changes.

If a DFV victim leaves the property with a debt such as unpaid rent, we are not permitted to list the tenant on a default tenancy database such as TICA, to enable her to make a fresh start.

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