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If the Court makes an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO), there may be consequences for both you and the defendant that you should be aware of.
If an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) is made against the defendant, this may affect:
If you are not an Australian citizen or permanent resident, you may need to change your visa to reflect that you are no longer living with the defendant.For more information, see
Immigration and Apprehended Violence Orders.
If you and the defendant are co-tenants of a rental property, an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) may affect your tenancy.
An exclusion order prohibits the defendant from living at or coming to your rental property. If an exclusion order has been made against the defendant, it will be under the heading ‘Orders about where you cannot go’. The exclusion order must identify your address.
If a Provisional, Interim or Final Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO) is made against the defendant that includes an exclusion order, you can immediately change the locks to the property. You don’t need your landlords consent and you don’t have to give the defendant a copy of the new keys.
If a Final ADVO is made against the defendant with an exclusion order, the defendant’s name will be automatically removed from the lease, and the lease will be transferred into your name.
If the lease was in the defendants name only, you can ask the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) to transfer the lease into your name.
For more information, see Domestic violence on the Tenants’ Union of NSW website.
If the defendant has left some of their belongings at your rental property, they might apply for a Property Recovery Order so that they can collect their belongings. They must do this before your case is finished.
If a Property Recovery Order is made, you must allow the defendant to collect their belongings per the order.
For more information see, Recovering Personal Property.
If you want to leave your rental property, you can end your tenancy by serving your landlord and co-tenants a Domestic Violence Termination Notice.
The termination notice must include:
You can include as supporting evidence:
If you are going to include a certificate of conviction or a declaration by a doctor, it must be for a domestic violence situation that happened during your tenancy.
For a sample Domestic Violence Termination Notice, see Ending tenancy due to domestic violence on the Tenants Union of NSW website.
For information about serving your termination notice, see Serving notice on the Fair Trading NSW website.
You cannot be listed on a ‘bad tenant’ database if you end your tenancy by giving a Domestic Violence Termination Notice.
For more information, see Tenancy laws for victims of domestic violence have started on the Fair Trading NSW website.
Property damage caused by the defendant
You are not liable for damage to your rental property caused by the defendant during a domestic violence offence.
If the title to your home is in your name only, you can stop the defendant from coming to the property and change the locks.
If the defendant has left some of their belongings at your home, they might apply for a Property Recovery Order so that they can collect their belongings. If a Property Recovery Order is made, you must allow the defendant to collect their belongings per the order.
If the title to your home is in your name and the defendant’s name, the defendant can continue to live in the property unless:
If the title to your home is in the defendant’s name, the defendant can continue to live there unless:
The defendant can stop you from coming to the home if one of these orders has not been made.
If you left some of your belongings in the home, you may be able to apply for a Property Recovery Order. You must do this before your case is finished.
For more information, see Recovering Personal Property.
If an ADVO has been made for your protection, you may want to take leave or change your working arrangements.
You are entitled to five days unpaid family and domestic violence leave every year, even if you are a part-time or casual employee.
You can take this leave one day at a time or all at once.
For more information, see Family & domestic violence leave on the Fair Work Ombudsman website.
If you want to continue working, you can ask your employer to change your working arrangements, for example your hours of work or place of work.
You can do this if you are:
Your employer doesn’t have to agree to change your work arrangements.
If a Final Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) is made against the defendant, there may be consequences for their:
If a Final AVO is made against the defendant, it will be recorded on their criminal history but won't be recorded on their criminal record, and won't appear in a criminal record check.
However, if the defendant breaches the AVO and is charged with that offence, the offence will be recorded on their criminal record.
The defendant's criminal history will be given to the Court when they are making a bail application, or they are being sentenced for an offence.
A record of the AVO will be kept on a police database.
If an AVO is made against the defendant, this may affect their Family Law matter.
For more information, see Apprehended Violence Orders and Family Law.
If the police enter the defendant’s home to investigate an alleged domestic violence offence, they must ask the defendant whether they own any firearms. If the defendant says yes, the police must seize their firearms. The police can also take any other weapons or dangerous things they find.
If the defendant tells the police there are no firearms at their home, but the police believe on reasonable grounds that there are, the police can apply to the Court for a search warrant to search the defendants home and seize any firearms that they find.
The police must suspend the defendant’s firearms licence if they have reasonable cause to believe that the defendant committed or threatened to commit, or was charged with, a domestic violence offence.
If an Interim or Final AVO is made against the defendant, their firearms licence will be automatically suspended.
The defendant must immediately surrender their firearms and licence to the police if their licence is suspended or revoked. If they don’t, the police can seize their firearms and they may be charged with an offence. If the AVO has an order that prohibits the defendant from possessing a firearm, they may be charged with breaching their AVO, which is a criminal offence.
If an Interim AVO is made, the police will hold onto the defendant’s firearms until the AVO application is finished.
If the AVO application is withdrawn or dismissed, the defendant’s firearms licence will no longer be suspended. They may be able to get their firearms back from the police.
If a Final AVO is made, the defendant’s firearms will be disposed of or destroyed.
If an AVO is made for a specified period of time, the defendant may be able to apply for a new firearms licence 10 years after the date the Final AVO ends. They will need to show that they are a 'fit and proper person' to have a firearms licence.
The defendant can apply to get their licence before the 10-year period expires if the Court revoked the AVO. For more information, see Varying (changing) or revoking (cancelling) an Apprehended Violence Order.
If the AVO is made for an indefinite period of time, the defendant won't be able to apply for a new firearms licence unless the AVO is varied or revoked.
An AVO may affect a defendant if they have, or want to apply for, a security licence. If the licence is a Class 1F or P1F (a licence which allows the licence holder to carry a firearm), they may not be able to work under that licence, because their firearms licence has been suspended or cancelled.A security licence may also be cancelled, or an application for a security licence rejected, if an AVO is made against the defendant and if the Commissioner of Police believes the defendant is not a 'fit and proper person' to hold a security licence.If a defendant breaches an AVO and is found guilty of that breach, their security licence may be cancelled, or an application for a security licence rejected, particularly if the breach involves assault, stalking or intimidation.
By law, employers need to do a pre-employment check on some volunteers and people applying for jobs which involve children. This is called a Working With Children Check. A person who has been convicted of certain offences is restricted from child-related employment.If the defendant is applying for a job that involves children and there is a Final AVO against them (where the AVO application was made by the police or another public official), the defendant's record will be considered by the employer. The record may affect the defendant's application for a job as they may be considered ineligible for child-related employment or volunteer work.