Victims of violence can now end their leases early30 June 2020
FREDERICTON (GNB) – Legislative changes that remove one of the financial barriers that prevents some victims of violence from leaving an abusive situation are now in effect.
Amendments to the Residential Tenancies Act allow victims of domestic violence, intimate partner violence, sexual violence or stalking to end their lease early.
Those with fixed term or year-to-year leases are able to give one month’s notice rather than the current three months. Fixed term leases have specified notice periods. For a tenant to qualify for early termination of a lease, they will be required to provide the landlord with one of the following:
- an emergency intervention order;
- an order of the court; or
- a Third Party Declaration provided by a system contact with the victim (e.g. peace officers; victims services co-ordinators; domestic violence outreach workers, crisis intervener or support worker, or indigenous chief or elder).
The change is one of a series of legislative changes aimed at better supporting those experiencing domestic violence, intimate partner violence, sexual violence or stalking. Other legislative changes in recent years are:
- the Insurance Act no longer penalizes victims for damages caused by an abusive partner.
- the Occupational Health and Safety Act now requires employers to assess the risk of violence in the workplace.
- the Employment Standards Act now allows victims of domestic violence, intimate partner violence or sexual violence to apply for leave from work.
- the new Intimate Partner Violence Intervention Act allows victims to apply for an emergency intervention order.