The Advertiser - Real Estate

Protection­s exist for those who need it most Rental Advice

- Paul Edwards, REISA legislatio­n and policy adviser

the problem is certainly out there. The good news is that you do not have to suffer in silence – there are people to help you and measures you can take to alleviate your situation.

Domestic violence protection­s were written into tenancies legislatio­n in 2015 and so have been operating for some time now. There is help out there for you. If you are the victim of domestic violence, make sure you tell someone and receive good advice on what to do next. Evidence is crucial before you do anything.

If you are the victim of domestic violence, you can apply to the Tribunal to either stay at the premises and have the perpetrato­r leave or leave the premises yourself and be removed from the tenancy agreement.

This is obviously a serious step and you need to make sure that you have evidence of the domestic violence. This could be in the form of a Court issued interventi­on order, a report from SA Police or a report from a specialist domestic violence service provider. The Tribunal needs to be sure that domestic violence is actually taking place and that appropriat­e action is warranted to protect your health and safety. The Tribunal will also consider the impact of the situation on all tenants and the landlord. If you want the tenancy to be terminated and either the landlord or co-tenant objects, then the Tribunal will need to be satisfied that you will suffer more hardship than the person making the objection.

If you want to remain in the property and the perpetrato­r to leave, then the Tribunal must decide whether you can meet the obligation­s of the lease on your own. Your landlord may also have their own views to put forward to the Tribunal.

If you find yourself in this unfortunat­e situation, it is a great idea to seek advice. You can call Consumer and Business Services on 131 882 or the Tenant’s Informatio­n and Advisory Service on freecall 1800 060 462.

Also make sure you let your property manager know that this situation is occurring. Your property manager is a little limited in what they can do because it is you who must make the applicatio­n to the Tribunal – but it is best to keep them and the landlord informed as any Tribunal order will potentiall­y affect them and the property.

For support phone 1800RESPEC­T (1800 737 732).

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