By Laura Valenti – Managing Director, Solutions Property Management Photo taken at the HwH launch on March 6th. From left: Laura Valenti, Simone O’Brien (DFV survivor), Sonia Colvin (founder of HwH), Faiza El-Higzi OAM (Women’s advocate and MC), Lisa Curry…
Solutions Property Management is committed to assisting DFV victims in rental properties receive the correct support both emotionally and legally through safe and secure housing.
Why is this a priority?
Two Australians die from DFV every week. In many cases, the deaths occur when the victim is trying to flee the violence and take shelter elsewhere.
In 2016, the Qld Government began a 10-year program to end DFV, working with various community groups. A large part of the strategy is increasing community awareness.
How can we help?
Property managers are in the unique position of visiting tenants’ homes and are often privy to incidents that occur behind closed doors. Changes in behaviour such as erratic rent payments or sudden lack of communication can indicate that something may be wrong.
This is the time when we, as community members, should take the step and ask the question ‘Are You OK?’.
Tenancy Law Review – Our Responsibilities
On a professional level, agents are tasked to assist DFV victims to change the conditions of their tenancies. In 2020, a review of tenancy laws has added to protections towards DFV victims which are outlined below:
- DFV victims are permitted to end leases early, or leave without penalty – with as little as seven days’ notice.
- Restrictions apply to agents/owners for pursuing DFV victims for rent debt or damage to premises caused by the DFV perpetrator.
- Agents and owners are bound by strict privacy and confidentiality rules.
- Agents are restricted from listing a DFV victim on tenancy databases.
- DFV victims are permitted to arrange certain safety modifications to a rental property without seeking permission from the owner/agent.
Many of these temporary provisions are up for review on April 3oth 2021, but it is our hope that they will become permanent legislation.
Ending DFV and other abuse is a community responsibility.
Let’s stand up and say ‘Not Now, Not Ever, Together.’