If you are planning to leave the person using violence, set out below is information about your rights as a tenant, finding emergency or refuge accommodation, and things you might want to consider if you own property with the person using violence. Before you leave, it is important that you develop a safety plan to help you to leave safely.
Emergency Housing and Refuge Accommodation
Use the DVassist online directory to find emergency housing and refuge accommodation, women’s and men’s shelters, or short stay or low-cost accommodation options. Alternatively, you might be able to ask trusted friends or family to stay with them for a while. To keep you and your children safe, do not let the person using violence know where you are.
New laws introduced in 2019 in Western Australia provide a range of options to people experiencing domestic violence on managing their tenancy agreement, including being able to terminate a tenancy agreement (lease) on domestic violence grounds. Remember, whatever path you choose, your safety is paramount and there are support agencies around to help you.
The information below has been directly sourced from WA Tenancy. We recommend you also seek independent legal advice.
Tenants affected by family and domestic violence in WA are now able to:
- GO – leave a tenancy agreement without going to court and with as little as seven (7) days’ notice (you can leave right away for safety but will need to pay rent until the end of the notice period)
- STAY – apply to court to have a perpetrator’s name removed from a lease
- SECURE – Make a rental home safer through lock changes or security upgrades
- RESOLVE – Sort out disputes about property damage, unpaid rent or bonds
- Seek removal from, or avoid being listed on, a tenancy database if the listing was because of family and domestic violence.
Visit our Terminating Your Lease section to learn more.
Depending on your financial circumstances, you may also be eligible for rental assistance or priority housing assistance.
If you and your partner own your home and/or other property and assets, you may want to obtain financial and/or legal advice to understand your rights and options – ideally you would obtain this advice before you leave but you can also do this after you leave. It is helpful to have copies of mortgage documents and certificates of title available.
Restraining Orders and Property
Regardless whether you are renting, own your property (with or without the person using violence), are homeless or in temporary accommodation, if you or your property is threatened, harassed, or intimidated and you are concerned that it will continue, then you can apply to have a Restraining Order taken out against the person concerned. A Restraining Order prevents the person from coming near you or your property. It is a criminal offence to disobey the conditions of the Restraining Order. You can apply for a Restraining Order online or via the court.