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Victims of domestic violence can terminate tenancies

Changes to the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 (RTA) came into force on 11 August 2021 allowing a tenant to terminate their fixed term or periodic tenancy if they are the victim of a domestic violence incident.

Domestic violence under the RTA has the same definition contained in section 3 of the Domestic Violence Act 1995 and includes physical, sexual and psychological abuse.

If your tenant is a victim of domestic violence, they may exit from their tenancy agreement by giving you (the landlord) two days’ notice. Your tenant needs to provide you with evidence of the domestic violence. It is important that when you receive notice from a tenant in this situation that you treat this with confidentiality and sensitivity, and meet your obligations under the Privacy Act 2020.

If your tenant is part of a group tenancy situation, they must notify the other tenants within two days after the date the tenancy expires. The remaining tenants are entitled to a two-week rent reduction that is calculated using the formula in section 56B of the RTA. We can help you navigate the process if your tenant gives you notice to terminate the tenancy after a domestic violence incident.