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This page contains advice on deciding where to live after separating from your partner if you can’t stay with family or friends.
Short Term Accommodation Options
Women’s refuges provide safe, temporary accommodation and associated support services to women and children in crisis. These organisations can assist you in finding a place at a refuge:
PH: 08 6496 0001 or 1800 124 684
A free assessment and referral service that assists people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness to access accommodation and support options, in Western Australia. The service is open to people in Perth and regional WA, including people experiencing domestic violence.
If you can’t get through to an assessment and referral officer by phone, you can leave a phone message or use the Online Registration Form.
Hours: 9am – 7pm, Monday to Sunday, 9am- 5pm Saturday
You may decide that you or your former partner will keep your former shared home. In this instance, be sure to:
- remove either your name or your former partner’s name from the lease, if your Landlord doesn’t agree to remove the name, visit Yourtoolkit.com/3E, ‘Protection for residential tenants’ for information on your rights.
- Speak to your utility service provider about shared utilities and phone bills.
- if you move out of a home that you jointly own, this will not affect your rights when it comes to financial settlement
- lodge a caveat (a notice that certain actions may not be taken without informing the person who gave the notice) and seek legal advice if you believe your former partner is going to sell a property in which you have a financial interest
Longer Term Accommodation
Private rental can be expensive, but it means having more choices about where you live:
- to find properties available for rent, visit realestate.com.au, Domain or REIWA
- you may be eligible for an interest-free loan from the Department of Housing to help with paying bond and two weeks’ rent in advance to secure a private rental – For more information, see the WA housing authority
- you may be eligible for rent assistance from Centrelink – For more information, see Services Australia or visit Prepare 1F for a list of available Centrelink payments
Social Housing includes public housing provided by the WA Government as well as community housing provided by not–for–profit organisations. Waiting times for social housing can be lengthy. Applicants are income tested and assessed according to their level of housing need, with those in greatest need offered housing first.
For more information, see The Department of Communities rental assistance.
The National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS) is a government-funded initiative to provide affordable housing to low-income earners. NRAS properties are provided by approved tenancy managers, including community housing organisations and private real estate agents. For more information, including eligibility and advice on applying, see Department of Communities NRAS.
In 2019 a change to Australian laws provided increased protection for victims of family and domestic violence about their rental property. Tenants affected by FDV can:
- GO – leave a tenancy agreement without going to court and with as little as seven (7) days’ notice (you can leave immediately but will need to pay rent until the end of the 7-day notice period)
- STAY – apply at court to have a perpetrator’s name removed from a lease
- make a rental home safer through lock changes or security upgrades
- ask the court to make the perpetrator of FDV liable for damages to the property or unpaid rent
- ask the court to assist with organising a security bond
- seek removal from, or avoid being listed on, a tenancy blacklist database if the listing was because of FDV
For more information, see Safe Tenancy.
Helpful tips and resources
- ask government agencies, utility companies, banks or other finance providers, law firms, doctors and schools to keep the details of your new address private
- consider getting a PO Box for important mail – For more information on mail safety, see Rebuild 3C
- Choose a well-lit, populated area to live – For more information on safety at home, see Rebuild 3A
Consumer Protection – Real estate
PH: 1300 304 054
Provides information about regulated laws for people renting, buying, or selling a home, including fair contract terms in line with federal, state and territory laws.
Circle Green Community Legal
PH: 08 9221 0088 (metropolitan) or 1800 621 888 (country free call)
State-wide legal services in workplace law, residential tenancy law, migration law and family and domestic violence.
Hours: 9am to 4pm Monday to Friday
If you need translating and interpreting services, call 131 450 and ask to speak to Tenancy WA.
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