Frequently Asked Questions

Survivors

No.

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

Property Managers should understand that survivors fleeing domestic and family violence often 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 your application form or online application just fill in that you are happy to take the property without viewing it. This will save you precious time and resources.

Your Property Manager may also be able to help you find safe ways to look at properties, perhaps through a safe space in their office where you can view available properties on their computer for security. Always remember to use private modes whenever you’re searching for properties) or any DFV related information) from your own devices.

And always talk to your Property Manager, if you can safely, to explain your situation so they can do their best to help you.

For more tips and help on finding a safe rental home as quick and simple as possible CLICK HERE to read our post –  Moving into Safe Housing – the Vital First Step.

It is challenging for anyone without a rental history to apply for a rental property – but not impossible. In fact, many agents will consider someone for a property without rental history, as long as they match other criteria such as affordability and suitability for the property.

Our advice is to be totally open and honest with the agent about why you need to move. This will explain the urgency of your application and most agents should accommodate you by fast-tracking your application. Even if you are not approved, at least you won’t waste valuable time in waiting for an answer.

The prevalence of DFV is starting to come out of the shadows, and many agents and landlords are becoming aware of the need for survivors to find a safe and permanent place to live. You may be pleasantly surprised that there are agents out there who would love to assist you – you just need to ask.

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

Property owners have an obligation to allow you to feel safe and secure in your new rental property so firstly take to your property manager to ensure the owner has made the property as secure as required by law. But there are also many things you’re permitted to do as a DFV survivor. Here are some examples that you can do (at your own cost), provided you inform your property manger:

  • 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

We know money is often tight in your situation, so financial assistance for safety upgrades is available from Centre Against Domestic Abuse.

Tenancy legislation in QLD allows survivors of Domestic and Family Violence to leave a lease with only 7 day’s notice. All you’ll need is to provide evidence of DFV with a DFV Report.

If you’re the sole tenant on the lease, you can end your agreement with 7 days’ notice yourself, if you supply this report.

If you’re a co-tenant, you can also apply to leave the tenancy with 7 days’ notice showing the same evidence. In this case, the tenancy will continue with your co-tenant taking over the lease. You can also apply to have your portion of the Bond money refunded. This should be discussed with your property manager who can facilitate this process. If your co-tenant can no longer maintain the lease on their own, that is not your concern or responsibility.

This has dramatically simplified the normal process of having your name taken off a joint lease as previously everyone on the lease had to sign paperwork – something that’s impossible when there’s DFV in the home.

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

If you’re NOT named on the lease, in QLD you’re what’s called an ‘Approved Occupant’ and as such, you have no responsibility towards the lease agreement.

This means that you can leave at any time.

It’s still a good idea to contact your property manager anyway and advise them, in confidence, what has happened.  They can put notes in your file and ensure no personal information is inadvertently handed over to the leaseholder.

Firstly, you need to remember that your landlord – or even your agent – may not be aware of the current laws surrounding ending leases due to Domestic and Family Violence. That’s why it’s important to know your rights in the state you are in.

If the law states that you are able to exit your lease, make sure you provide the correct documentation and move forward with your plans. Whether the agent/landlord agrees or not, is not relevant. If they wish to dispute your request, they will need to lodge a dispute resolution with the appropriate body (In Queensland it will be the RTA). This will enable all parties to discuss the issue, and the agent/landlord will be advised on what their responsibilities are. In the most extreme case, the landlord/agent may choose to take the matter to tribunal.

The important thing for you to understand is that all the above can take place AFTER you leave the property. If you feel unsafe and choose to leave, get in touch with the relevant community support and do what is best for you and your family.  As long as you are aware of your responsibilities, and you keep records of your actions, your rights will be protected.

In QLD in order to end your lease due to DFV with only 7 days’ notice, you need to provide evidence. This may include a report from your doctor, caseworker, or police.

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

You’re not obligated to leave this report or even copies of it or any documentation with your property manager; however, they must be able to sight it as verification. This is important for your safety so make sure you keep all copies.

The more proof you can provide to your agent, the easier it will be for them to bring the matter to the property owner and get the process started.

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