Tenancy database changes better protect domestic violence victims

Published Thursday, 19 May, 2016 at 01:00 PM

Minister for Housing and Public Works
The Honourable Mick de Brenni

Domestic violence victims will now be better protected thanks to amendments to the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008.

Housing and Public Works Minister Mick de Brenni said the changes specifically related to tenancy databases and were another level of support for people fleeing dangerous domestic violence situations.

“The changes mean that the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) can order that personal information of victims is not listed on tenancy databases, where the breach of the tenancy agreement is due to the actions of their partner,” Mr de Brenni said.

Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, Shannon Fentiman said the change will make sure that vulnerable people are not further marginalised by not being able to rent a property.

“It is horrific to think that not only are women being physically or emotionally abused by partners but that damage to their homes, which they have had no part in, can mean that they can’t secure a new home for themselves and their children,” Ms Fentiman said.

“We know that women have been left homeless because of these database listings, and we know that there have been cases where women have stayed with an abusive partner for fear of not being able to find somewhere to live.

“This change is simple, but it will be mean a lot to vulnerable people who need our support,” Ms Fentiman said.

The announcement of the change coincides with May being Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month.

Minister de Brenni said this move is part of a wider suite of changes to make tenancy databases fairer.

“The changes also place more obligations on lessors and agents who manage databases, requiring them to be more secure with people’s private information.

‘Lessors and agents will now need to notify prospective tenants within seven days if they are listed on any tenancy databases.

“Additionally, if someone has a reasonably small rent arrears, the new laws mean they won’t have to be listed on a database.

“This is about making access to housing fairer for some of our most vulnerable people,” Minister de Brenni said.

“The changes will start from 1 July 2016, and there will be a transition period of six months to allow database operators to update their data and remove any old and irrelevant listings.”


[ENDS] 19 June 2016
Media contact:
  Minister Fentiman’s office 0400 774 303; Minister de Brenni’s office 0447 164 197