Frequently Asked Questions

Agents

No.

While it is preferable for applicants to inspect the property before accepting it, it’s not required.

Survivors fleeing domestic and family violence usually can’t inspect properties as their partner will often be controlling what they can do and what time they have for themselves – often none.

On their application form or online application just ask the applicant to fill in that they’re happy to take the property without viewing it. This will save them precious time and resources.

As a Property Manager also consider providing DFV survivors safe ways to look at properties, perhaps through a safe space in your office where they can view available properties on your computer more securely.

It’s a sad fact that survivors of DFV can still be in danger of further violence even when they leave a violent home.

As a property owner or manager, you have an obligation to allow them to feel safe and secure in their new rental property so firstly you need to ensure you’ve made the property as secure as required by law. But there are also many things the tenant is permitted to do as a DFV survivor. Here are some examples that they can do (at their own cost), provided they inform the property manager:

  • Change the locks at your property, as long as you provide a set of keys to your property manager
  • Install external security cameras and other security devices
  • Install improved external lighting, including sensor lights
  • Cut back bushes and other vegetation around the house to allow a clear view of visitors

Your tenant may seek financial assistance for safety upgrades which us available from organisations like Centre Against Domestic Abuse.

In QLD tenants can end their lease due to DFV with only 7 days’ notice if they have provided evidence. This may include a report from their doctor, caseworker, or police.

The Residential Tenancies Authority has a Pro-forma DFV REPORT that your tenant can use and give the person signing it for them as an authorised professional.

The DFV survivor is not obligated to leave this report or even copies of it or any documentation with the property manager or owner; however, the property manager must be able to sight it as verification.

To see what the rules are in your state and the forms a tenant will need to complete to leave a tenancy due to DFV click HERE.

If a tenant needs to flee a property due to DFV, and there’s a co-tenant named on the lease, the co-tenant is still bound by the lease and must continue to abide by the lease conditions including making the full rent payments.

If the DFV survivor leaving the tenancy is due to get her part of the bond back, the co-tenant staying on in the property must make up the difference within 30 days.

This is applicable whether the co-tenant is the perpetrator or not.

It is important to understand that all parties must work together to ensure that while the DFV survivor is assisted to break free from the cycle of violence, your financial loss is also mitigated.

At the end of the day, it is better for the property owner if a DFV survivor is allowed to end her lease and move on, because it allows the owner to start afresh and find replacement tenants instead of expecting rent payments from a tenant who has limited means and is in a crisis situation.

If a tenancy ends due to DFV, we follow the same process as any other vacate. The tenant hands in her keys on the new lease end date, we inspect the property and discuss the bond refund with both parties.

If the survivor is a co-tenant, read the answer to: What happened if there are two or more tenants named on the lease?

This is a very delicate matter and every caution must be taken if you suspect someone is being subjected to DFV.

The best course of action is to find the opportunity to approach the victim herself and ask open-ended questions like “Are you ok?” or “You seem agitated, can I help you with something?”.

Chances are that the victim won’t confide in you the first few times you ask. But you have planted the seed to let her know that you are there to help – a safe place to go when it’s time for her to tell someone.

You can also provide resources such as numbers to call for assistance. Many DFV survivors are not aware of the huge support network of organisations that have been set up to assist them flee DVF and start new lives.

For more information and links to DFV services where a survivor can get more help click HERE.

Owners

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

QLD tenancy laws state allow a DFV survivor wishes to leave a rental property, provided there’s sufficient evidence, with only 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 to seek protection and alternative housing without the financial burden of a continuing lease.

If the DFV survivor 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 a 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 survivor 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.

It’s a sad fact that survivors of DFV can still be in danger of further violence even when they leave a violent home.

As a property owner or manager, you have an obligation to allow them to feel safe and secure in their new rental property so firstly you need to ensure you’ve made the property as secure as required by law. But there are also many things the tenant is permitted to do as a DFV survivor. Here are some examples that they can do (at their own cost), provided they inform the property manager:

  • Change the locks at your property, as long as you provide a set of keys to your property manager
  • Install external security cameras and other security devices
  • Install improved external lighting, including sensor lights
  • Cut back bushes and other vegetation around the house to allow a clear view of visitors

Your tenant may seek financial assistance for safety upgrades which us available from organisations like Centre Against Domestic Abuse.

In QLD tenants can end their lease due to DFV with only 7 days’ notice if they have provided evidence. This may include a report from their doctor, caseworker, or police.

The Residential Tenancies Authority has a Pro-forma DFV REPORT that your tenant can use and give the person signing it for them as an authorised professional.

The DFV survivor is not obligated to leave this report or even copies of it or any documentation with the property manager or owner; however, the property manager must be able to sight it as verification.

To see what the rules are in your state and the forms a tenant will need to complete to leave a tenancy due to DFV click HERE.

If a tenant needs to flee a property due to DFV, and there’s a co-tenant named on the lease, the co-tenant is still bound by the lease and must continue to abide by the lease conditions including making the full rent payments.

If the DFV survivor leaving the tenancy is due to get her part of the bond back, the co-tenant staying on in the property must make up the difference within 30 days.

This is applicable whether the co-tenant is the perpetrator or not.

It is important to understand that all parties must work together to ensure that while the DFV survivor is assisted to break free from the cycle of violence, your financial loss is also mitigated.

At the end of the day, it is better for the property owner if a DFV survivor is allowed to end her lease and move on, because it allows the owner to start afresh and find replacement tenants instead of expecting rent payments from a tenant who has limited means and is in a crisis situation.

If a tenancy ends due to DFV, we follow the same process as any other vacate. The tenant hands in her keys on the new lease end date, we inspect the property and discuss the bond refund with both parties.

If the survivor is a co-tenant, read the answer to: What happened if there are two or more tenants named on the lease?

This is a very delicate matter and every caution must be taken if you suspect someone is being subjected to DFV.

The best course of action is to find the opportunity to approach the victim herself and ask open-ended questions like “Are you ok?” or “You seem agitated, can I help you with something?”.

Chances are that the victim won’t confide in you the first few times you ask. But you have planted the seed to let her know that you are there to help – a safe place to go when it’s time for her to tell someone.

You can also provide resources such as numbers to call for assistance. Many DFV survivors are not aware of the huge support network of organisations that have been set up to assist them flee DVF and start new lives.

For more information and links to DFV services where a survivor can get more help click HERE.