Domestic violence: urgent application to end tenancy

Jan 2017

Everyone has a right to feel safe in their own home and those who live in vulnerable situations in rental homes have protection under the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008.

RTA CEO Darren Barlow said the Act helped to protect people who live in a rental property with a person who is violent - regardless of whether they are a tenant named on the tenancy agreement or not.

“This includes a spouse, de facto, a dating partner, a family member or an informal carer,” he said.

Those who fear for their safety in a domestic situation can make an urgent application to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) to:

  • Be recognised as the tenant
  • Remove the name of the person that has committed an act of domestic violence from the agreement
  • Restrain the person who has committed violence from causing further damage or injury
  • Terminate the agreement.

In many cases, victims of domestic violence choose to flee the home to escape the violent person even if the court makes an order to keep the offender from the property.

It is important for those who experience violence in a rental situation to act to remove themselves from the tenancy agreement to avoid being held responsible for damage or rent arrears after they have left the home. If a tenant feels they can speak safely with the property manager/owner about the situation, this may result in a mutually agreed termination.

People wanting more information about tenancy legislation and domestic violence should go to the RTA website.