Clarifying family and domestic violence tenancy law concerns - Landlords' bulletin 34
21 August 2019
In this issue:
- Clarifying family and domestic violence tenancy law concerns
Clarifying family and domestic violence tenancy law concerns
Since the family and domestic violence (FDV) changes to residential tenancy legislation came into effect, we’ve received a number of questions regarding FDV situations.
Read on for some important clarifications and tips to help you prepare to handle an FDV situation appropriately.
Serving notice to co-tenants
All notices related to FDV circumstances must be served to each co-tenant individually. This includes the concurrent or subsequent notice of an exit property condition report.
When serving notice of proposed entry, be sure to use the latest version of Form 19 that includes options for FDV-related circumstances.
Storing keys and documents
- Attach a tag to clearly identify the keys.
- Keep them secured at all times, for example in a separate locked cabinet.
- Maintain a record of keys received (when and from whom).
- Store documentation related to affected tenants and/or alleged perpetrators in a secured location.
- Restrict access to keys and documents.
When there’s been family violence at a property and the victim tenant has remained, their safety and security are a prime concern. If tradespeople need to work at the property, take the following precautions to contribute to a safer space for your tenant:
- Tell the tenant the name of the company that will be attending, in case there is a connection to the perpetrator.
- Ensure tradespeople maintain adequate security while working at your property, such as not propping open gates/garage doors. You are responsible for any damage or loss that occurs to a tenant's property while tradespeople are on site, so this is always a best practice.
When a perpetrator wants to terminate their interest in a lease
The only way a perpetrator can initiate termination of their interest in a lease due to FDV circumstances is through an application to the Magistrates Court using court Form 12 - Application for court order. The perpetrator can apply for a court order in situations where there is a family violence order against them or they admit to committing family violence against a co-tenant during the term of the lease.
A perpetrator cannot use Form 2 - Notice of Termination of Tenant’s Interest in Residential Tenancy Agreement on Grounds of Family Violence to terminate their interest in a lease. This form is exclusively for the use of tenants who have been, or are likely to be subjected to FDV during their tenancy.
The Application for court order (Form 12) guide explains how to complete the form when making a court application in situations arising from FDV. This guide may be helpful to share with tenants.
Tenancy WA produces a number of fact sheets for tenants, including for FDV situations. Of particular interest to perpetrator tenants would be Fact Sheet 3: I’ve been accused of family violence, what are my rights and responsibilities in my tenancy?
- Lessor and tenant flowcharts – Help you navigate the process when a tenant’s interest in a lease terminates due to FDV
- Landlord factsheet - Explains how the FDV changes affect landlords.
- www.safetenancy.wa.gov.au – Information hub for FDV changes. Share this link with existing and new tenants.
- No place for family violence 5min video – Animated explainer video outlining the FDV changes. Great link to share with existing and new tenants.
- No place for family violence – Chinese version – As above.
Need more information? We’re here to help!
Contact Consumer Protection by calling 1300 304 054 or by email.
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