Tenancy laws are making it hard for domestic violence survivors to escape

Inconsistent tenancy laws across Australia are making it difficult for women and children experiencing domestic violence to leave and find new housing, new research shows.

Currently, only New South Wales and Western Australia have processes in place that allow family and domestic violence victims and survivors to break a tenancy at short notice without involving the police or court system.

Across other states and territories, though, if a domestic violence survivor flees their home, they can be blacklisted and put on a database of bad tenants, which cuts off their ability to find a new rental.

An estimated 41 per cent of people accessing homelessness services are victims of family domestic violence.

Professor Webb said other states must follow suit – but she highlighted that ending a lease was just the beginning for many victim-survivors.

“It is almost like a cruel hoax,” she said.

“Yes, then they can get out of the immediate violence, but there’s nothing there for them. Refuges are oversubscribed and it is difficult to get affordable housing.

Source: Tenancy laws are making it hard for domestic violence survivors to escape

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