Compounding the Abuse: Family Violence, Damages and the Tenancy Tribunal
In cases where family violence has caused damage to a rented home, a tenant-victim is often found to be liable for that damage. This article considers the interpretation of the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 (RTA) that leads to that result and proposes an alternative interpretation for the family violence context that would achieve fairer outcomes without the need for legislative change. The drafting of the RTA allows space for an interpretation that both takes into account the context of family violence and the policy attempts to prevent family violence. Such a reading acknowledges that not everyone has the physical and social power to control who comes into their home and what they do once admitted. Interpreting the RTA to recognise the realities of family violence would ensure that tenancy law and practice supports the strategy of keeping victims of family violence safe.
Publisher: Thomson Reuters
Rights Statement: The published version is Bridgette Toy-Cronin, “Compounding the Abuse: Family Violence, Damages and the Tenancy Tribunal” (2020) 29(2) NZULR 201.
Keywords: Family violence; Access to justice; Residential tenancies
Research Type: Journal Article