Family and Domestic Violence Policy

Purpose

To outline Alliance Housing’s approach to responding to issues of Family and Domestic Violence.

Scope

This policy applies to all housing programs delivered by Alliance Housing.

Intent

Alliance Housing takes its role in preventing, reporting or assisting victims of family and domestic violence very seriously. We will treat all reports of family and domestic violence seriously and our primary focus will be to protect the safety and security of victims.

Policy

Our response to family and domestic violence will depend on the circumstances of each case.

Supporting Victims

Where there is evidence of family and domestic violence we will:

• Support the victim;

• Explain to the tenant, co-tenant and any household members their rights when dealing with family domestic violence situations. This may include information on how the tenant/co-tenant can end a tenancy without penalty if they are in a domestic violence situation;

• Work with other agencies or authorities to help the victim;

• Refer the victim to relevant support programs and services;

• Ensure the property is safe and secure for the tenant;

• Report family and domestic violence matters to relevant authorities.

We will also work with the victim to ensure that we manage their tenancy arrangements consistent with the Family and Domestic Violence provisions of the Residential Tenancies Act (https://www.commerce.wa.gov.au/consumer-protection/safe-tenancy-wa).

If your tenancy is being affected by domestic and/or family violence, please speak to your Tenancy Officer. We can refer you to other agencies that can offer help and support.

Women’s Domestic Violence Helpline (free call) 1800 007 339

Men’s Domestic Violence Helpline (free call) 1800 000 599

Kids Help Line (up to 24 yrs old) (free call) 1800 551 800

Additional Security

Tenants have the right to modify, add or alter the prescribed security fixtures at the premises without our prior approval if they reasonably believe such actions are necessary to prevent family and domestic violence being carried out against them. Tenants who are experiencing or at risk of experiencing family violence may request our approval to install additional security fixtures at the property. We will not unreasonably withhold our approval.

Any alterations should be completed in a professional manner by a qualified contractor and will be at the tenant’s cost. At the end of the tenancy, we may require any additional security fixtures to be removed at the tenant’s cost. We will discuss this with the tenant at the time of vacation and they will be given the opportunity to have the necessary works completed.

Tenants Unable to Reside in Their Rental Property

When a joint tenancy exists and it is demonstrated that a co-tenant cannot occupy the premises because of family violence, rental payments may be recalculated. Where the tenant is unable to occupy the property due to family violence, we may consider waiving or reducing the rental charges for an agreed period.

Vacating Due to Family Violence

Tenants who demonstrate family violence will have the required notice period reduced to 7 days if they wish to end the tenancy.

Joint Tenancy

Where a joint tenancy is subject to family violence, Alliance Housing will respect the rights and responsibilities of both co-tenants. Noting the Family and Domestic Violence provisions of the Residential Tenancies Act, we will seek to work with both co-tenants to achieve an amicable resolution to the tenancy.

Legislation and Compliance

This policy operates consistent with the Residential Tenancies Act.

Implementation, Review and Amendments

This policy is applicable from the date of Board Approval. Alliance Housing will review this policy on a regular basis to ensure it remains up to date.

Document/Version Number: AH-FDVP/1

Amended By: Elysian Consultants

Amendment Narrative: New Policy

Board Approval Date: 19/02/2021

Status: Approved