New lease on life for vic­tims

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - NEWS -

TEN­ANTS who are vic­tims of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence will be able to break a lease on the spot un­der land­mark re­forms by the state govern­ment.

The changes, which passed through NSW Cabi­net last week and will be con­tained in an “im­mi­nent” draft bill, will also give doc­tors un­prece­dented pow­ers to help do­mes­tic vi­o­lence vic­tims.

Un­der the new laws, doc­tors will be able to break a lease by sign­ing a statu­tory dec­la­ra­tion say­ing that a ten­ant is in a vi­o­lent sit­u­a­tion and needs to get out. Cur­rently, vic­tims want­ing to break a lease are forced to go via po­lice and the courts to get a full AVO.

Min­is­ter for In­no­va­tion and Bet­ter Reg­u­la­tion Matt Kean said: “I am sure we will en­counter op­po­si­tion but I am not go­ing to apol­o­gise for stand­ing up for vic­tims of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence.”

Op­po­si­tion has come from Prop­erty Own­ers As­so­ci­a­tion of NSW pres­i­dent John Gil­movich. “Why is this mess left to the land­lord to deal with?” he said.

In 2017 the NSW Ten­ants Union re­ceived 473 rental in­quiries which re­lated to do­mes­tic vi­o­lence.

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