Urban Land & Housing Group – Landlord Tips – Tenancy Databases
Tenancy databases – also referred to as ‘blacklists’ or ‘bad tenant databases’ – contain information about the renting history of certain tenants. Estate agents normally subscribe to such a service which allows them to access a database to search for and screen prospective tenants, and to list problem tenants.
Notifying prospective tenants about databases
When prospective tenants apply to rent a property, they must be advised by the agent if they subscribe to a tenancy database, and provide the contact details of the database operator.
These details must be in writing and should be included with the residential tenancy application.
If the details of a prospective tenant on a database, they must be advised of the following: • The name of the database and the person who listed the information
• That their information is held in the database
• How they can check, change or remove the listing.
The agent would do this in writing within seven days of notifying the prospective tenant.
Listing tenants on a database
Tenants can only be listed if they were named on the tenancy agreement, the agreement has ended, the tenant breached the agreement and because of the breach, either: • They owe an amount more than the bond and the Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal (CTTT – NSW) or the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT – VIC) has made an order that they pay that amount; or
• CTTT (NSW) or VCAT (VIC) has made a possession order.
Tenants can only be listed for the following breaches of the tenancy agreement: • Maliciously damaging a rental property
• Endangering neighbours’ safety
• Not paying rent
• Failing to comply with an order made by the relative tribunal body
• Using a rental property for illegal purposes
• Sub-letting a rental property without the consent of the landlord or estate agent.
Before listing a tenant on a database, your agent must notify them in writing and provide them with fourteen days to object.
Updating or removing listings
Agents must notify the database operator within seven days of becoming aware of inaccurate listings, so they can be removed. The database operator must automatically delete all listings after three years.