Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month – what happens if DFV occurs in a rental?
May is Domestic and Family Violence (DFV) Prevention Month in Queensland and the RTA has resources to support the sector around what to do if DFV occurs in a rental.
The Queensland Government introduced protections for renters experiencing DFV in October 2021 under the Housing Legislation Amendment Act 2021 (HLA Act). These protections allow tenants/residents experiencing DFV to end their tenancy quickly or remain in the property safely.
What can tenants do if they are experiencing DFV?
Tenants/residents experiencing DFV can end their interest in the tenancy and leave the property or take certain measures to ensure they can stay in the rental safely.
It’s important to note that a person who experiences DFV in a rental property has rights, even if they are not named on the tenancy agreement.
If the tenant/resident chooses to end their interest in the tenancy, they:
- can vacate immediately, but must provide seven days’ notice and pay rent until the end of this notice period
- must issue the property manager/owner with a Notice ending tenancy interest (domestic and family violence) (Form 20) or Notice ending residency interest (Form R20)
- must provide relevant evidence of DFV to the property manager/owner (examples of evidence can be found on page two of the Notice)
- can request their bond contribution be refunded (if they paid bond money)
- are not liable for reletting costs or any damage caused by DFV.
If the tenant chooses to stay in the property, they:
- can change the locks or access codes without the lessor’s consent to protect their safety, and
- provide the property manager/owner with a copy of the new keys or access codes, unless deemed unnecessary by property manager/owner or as ordered by the Tribunal.
If a resident in rooming accommodation requests a change of locks due to DFV, the provider/manager must action this for the safety of the resident. The provider/manager cannot give anyone else access to the room without the resident’s agreement or a justifiable reason.
What processes need to be followed if a tenant/resident is experiencing DFV?
The process will differ depending on whether the tenant/resident experiencing DFV wants to remain in the property or end their interest in the tenancy.
The RTA has a created a series of helpful flow charts to outline the different pathways that tenants/residents and property manager/owners can take in a DFV situation:
- flow chart for tenants
- flow chart for property manager/owners
- flow chart for residents
- flow chart for rooming accommodation managers/providers.
What other RTA resources are available in relation to DFV in rental properties?
Additional supporting resources to help customers understand the options and processes for people experiencing DFV in a rental property can be found:
- on the RTA’s domestic and family violence webpage
- in the recent Domestic and family violence provisions while renting webinar
- by listening to the Domestic and family violence protections episode of the Talking Tenancies podcast
- in the new resources and updated forms for domestic and family violence provisions news story.
Note: While the RTA makes every reasonable effort to ensure that information on this website is accurate at the time of publication, changes in circumstances after publication may impact on the accuracy of material. This disclaimer is in addition to and does not limit the application of the Residential Tenancies Authority website disclaimer.