Intervention orders (formerly called restraining orders) are put in place in order to restrict the behaviour or actions of a particular person. They're usually granted to protect people from domestic or family abuse.

Intervention orders may be first issued as interim orders by either a court or a police officer. They will be heard by a magistrate, who will either:

  • confirm the order
  • vary or substitute the interim order
  • revoke the interim order.

Once a magistrate has confirmed an order, it doesn't have an end date. To end a confirmed intervention order, it must be revoked by the court.

An interim intervention order can be made by the police or the court. A Magistrates Court can issue intervention orders or vary, confirm or revoke orders to restrict the behaviour and actions of a particular person.

The person restricted by an intervention order is referred to as the defendant. Anyone protected by the intervention order is referred to as a protected person.

The defendant can be stopped from accessing a particular property even if they:

  • have been living at the property
  • own or part own the property
  • are renting the property and have signed the lease agreement.

This can happen whether an order is an interim order or a confirmed order.

Protected persons remaining at home

It may be a condition of the intervention order that the defendant is prevented from being at a particular property, even if they are the tenant or owner of the property.

A protected person can change the locks on the rented property at their own expense, but they must give a copy of the key to the landlord.

Tenancy orders

A tenancy order can be applied to a rental property by the court if it confirms an intervention order. A tenancy order changes the tenancy from the defendant's name to that of another person, generally the protected person, but it can be another person, even where that other person was not named in the original lease agreement. That person is then responsible for meeting all the lease agreement obligations as the tenant .

Key advisory and housing organisations can provide information about your particular circumstances:

Police urge all victims of domestic violence to phone 000 in an emergency or 131 444 for police attendance.

For help and support phone the Domestic Violence Crisis Service on 1300 782 200 and Crisis Care on 131 611.

If the lease is changed to another person's name

If a tenancy order transfers a lease agreement into a protected person's name, the bond paid at the start of the tenancy is kept until the lease agreement ends unless the court and parties agree to different arrangements.

The defendant can't claim the bond until the protected person moves out of the property, even if they paid the bond in full themselves.

At the end of the tenancy, landlords still have rights to claim all or part of the bond.

The terms of the initial agreement remain unchanged and that person is responsible for meeting all the lease agreement obligations as the tenant.

The defendant is responsible for any debts or damages that occurred before an order is made. The protected person is responsible for any debts or damages once they take over the tenancy agreement and they must, therefore, repay the defendant for any deductions from the bond as a result at the end of the tenancy.

A landlord's obligations

A landlord who knows that an intervention order has been made that restricts the defendant from accessing the rented property must not:

  • give the defendant a key to the property
  • help the defendant in any way to access the property.

Landlords must continue to uphold the lease agreement when it is transferred to another person's name under a tenancy order. They must continue to meet their obligations as the landlord.

Related information

On this site

Other websites


Intervention Orders (Prevention of Abuse) Act 2009

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Page last updated 27 November 2023

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SA Housing Authority
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