Domestic violence and renting

Following extensive advocacy by Women’s Legal Service NSW, Domestic Violence services, the Tenants Union of NSW, survivors and many other community organisations, changes to NSW renting laws that provide greater protections for domestic violence victims-survivors commence on 28 February 2019.

The changes include:

  1. Being able to end your tenancy early and without penalty if you or your dependent child are in circumstances of domestic violence.
  2. A ban on being blacklisted when you end your tenancy through a domestic violence termination notice.
  3. Holding the perpetrator of the violence responsible for damage to rental property if it was caused during a domestic violence offence.

In order to end your tenancy in circumstances of domestic violence,  you will be required to provide a Domestic Violence Termination Notice to your landlord with one of the following forms of evidence attached:

  • a certificate of conviction;
  • a provisional, interim or final domestic violence order (DVO), also known as an apprehended violence order (AVO), including one from another Australian state or in New Zealand; or
  • a family law injunction; or
  • a declaration by a medical practitioner.

A sample Domestic Violence Termination Notice is available on Tenants Union of NSW website

The declaration by a medical practitioner is available on NSW Fair Trading website

For further information on who is a medical practitioner visit the Medical Board of Australia’s website.

You will also need to give a copy of the Domestic Violence Termination Notice to any other tenants you were living with (but you don’t need to attach evidence of domestic violence to this).

Women’s Legal Service NSW has prepared a factsheet and poster with further information.



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