Domestic violence tenancy laws

Tenants who need to escape circumstances of domestic violence can end their tenancy immediately and without penalty.

Victims do not need to apply to NCAT

Victims of domestic violence do not need to apply to NCAT to end the tenancy. 

A tenant can give a domestic violence termination notice directly to their landlord or agent. The notice must have at least one form of evidence of domestic violence attached. 

The tenant will also need to give a copy of the domestic violence termination notice to any remaining co-tenants.

Contact NSW Fair Trading on 133 220 for advice on serving a domestic violence termination notice. 

Evidence of domestic violence

One type of accepted evidence is a signed declaration stating that the tenant, or their dependent child, is a victim of domestic violence.  

The declaration must be signed by one of the following:

  • Registered health practitioners (for example medical professionals, nurses, psychologists, paramedics and physiotherapists).
  • Social workers who are a member of the Australian Association of Social Workers.
  • NSW government employees working in child protection.
  • Employees of a non-government agency that provides services for victims of domestic violence/sexual assault or refuge/emergency accommodation.
  • Approved counsellors under the Victims Rights and Support Act 2013.

Landlords and remaining co-tenants

A landlord or any remaining co-tenants can apply to NCAT if they are given a domestic violence termination notice. 

For information about the rights of landlords or remaining co-tenants where a tenancy is terminated in circumstances of domestic violence please contact NSW Fair Trading.

Protections for victims of domestic violence

NCAT has developed a protocol to protect victims of domestic violence. The protocol ensures an application to NCAT about a domestic violence termination notice is:

  • assessed for urgency, and
  • listed for hearing in a way that safeguards participants and their privacy. 

Victims should contact NCAT before the hearing if they are concerned for their safety or the safety of their dependent children.  For more information please refer to the NCAT Domestic Violence Protocol (PDF , 126.4 KB).

For information about other protections for victims of domestic under the tenancy laws please contact NSW Fair Trading.

Useful resources

Last updated:

08 Sep 2022

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