This document covers things to think about when deciding where to live after separating from your partner.
Things to think about to do with the home where you were living with your partner.TOP
- You may be able to, or decide to, stay where you were living before you separated. If this is a rental property make sure that you remove your ex-partner's name from the lease;
- If you move out of a rental property, make sure that you remove your name from the lease, or you could be liable for unpaid rent or any damage caused by your ex-partner;
- If you move out of home and your utilities and phone bills are in joint names or your name, speak to your service provider to have the information updated, or risk being liable for your ex-partner's bills;
- If you move out of a home that you jointly own, it will not affect your rights when it comes to financial settlement;
- If you believe your ex-partner is going to sell a property in which you have a financial interest, you may need to lodge a caveat and should seek legal advice.
Short Term Accommodation OptionsTOP
In the shorter term, many women who have left home after domestic violence are able to stay with family or friends. If this isn’t an option, there are a number of women’s refuges. Women’s refuges provide safe, temporary accommodation and associated support services to women and children in a crisis and needing to escape family and domestic violence. The following organisations get a list of refuge vacancies each morning and afternoon and you can call them for the latest vacancy information and to obtain assistance in getting into a refuge:
- Women's DV Helpline (24 hours)
08 9223 1188 – Metro
1800 007 339 – Free call
- Crisis Care (24 hours)
08 9223 1111 – Metro
1800 199 008 – Free call
Other short term options
Entrypoint is a free assessment and referral service assisting people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in WA to access accommodation and support options. They offer this service to people in both Perth and regional WA, including people experiencing domestic violence. You can contact Entrypoint by phone (Mon – Fri 9am – 7pm, Sat 9am – 5pm) on 08 6496 0001 or 1800 124 684. If you are unable to get through to an assessment and referral officer straight away by phone, you can leave a phone message or use the Online Registration Form.
Longer Term Accommodation OptionsTOP
Private rental can be expensive but you have more choice about where you live.
- To find properties available for rent visit the realestate.com.au , Domain or REIWA websites to search for properties within your price range and preferred location.
- You may be eligible for an interest free loan from the Dept. of Housing for bond and 2 weeks rent in advance to help you access private rental. More information can be found at the WA housing authority website.
- You may be eligible for rent assistance from Centrelink – more information can be found at the Services Australia website. The website also provides information on other Centrelink payments you may be eligible to receive, including Crisis Payments.
- You can get advice in relation to renting a house at the Circle Green Community Legal website. Specific information about laws to assist and support Western Australian renters affected by family and domestic violence are in place. Details can be found at 3i. Tenancy Information and Laws.
Social Housing includes public housing provided by the WA Government as well as community housing provided by not – for – profit community organisations. Social housing is not an immediate option, as waiting times can be lengthy. Applicants are income tested and assessed according to their level of housing need, with those in greatest need offered housing first. Find out more at the Department of Communities rental assistance website.
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 which include community housing organizations as well as private real estate agents. For more information including eligibility and how to apply for properties on the scheme visit Department of Communities NRAS website.
- Ask government agencies, utilities companies, banks or other finance providers, law firms, doctors, schools, etc. to keep the details of your new address private.
- Consider getting a PO Box for important mail. For more information about mail safety, see: 3h. Mail Safety.
- Choose a well-lit, populated area to live. For more ideas about accommodation security, see: 3e. Staying Safe at Home.
[Article Updated: 29/5/21]