Tenancy database 101

While the occasional late rent payment is unlikely to earn you a listing on a tenancy database, consistently late payments might.

Many Australian tenants worry about being placed on a national tenant database, which potential landlords and real estate agents can check anytime. These databases are operated by tenancy screening services such as the National Tenancy Database (NTD) and TICA.

As more and more people enter the rental market every year, having a troubled rental history listed on a tenancy database has the potential to set you back in the application process and make it difficult to rent in the future.

The good news is that things have to be pretty bad for a third party (i.e. your landlord/property manager) to lodge a complaint and effectively blacklist you.

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Your rent is consistently late

As a tenant, when you fail to pay the rent, the property owner loses income and must cover their payments on the home themselves. Paying your rent a day or two late isn’t likely to earn you a spot on the database, but if you’re regularly late with these payments – be wary. If you’re renting and have months of rent owning – you can safely assume you’re on your way to a listing.

Property damage

Any damage caused to your property through recklessness or neglect isn’t likely to sit well with your landlord or property manager. Now, you’re not responsible for fair wear and tear, but you will be held responsible for other damage you have caused. If you don’t rectify it, this could earn you a listing.

If you leave your bond to cover outstanding rent

As a tenant in Australia, you’re required to pay your rent in full and not rely on your rental bond to cover any outstanding amounts. This is a common mistake for first-time renters. Your bond will only be returned to you once your landlord has signed off on an acceptable final property condition report. The rule of thumb here is always read your tenancy agreement. The terms of your lease, including rental payments, will be clearly laid out here. If you’re not sure, don’t be afraid to ask your agent. If you can’t get a satisfactory answer, consider speaking to your state tenancy advice service.

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Have you been blacklisted?

The good news? A landlord or property manager must present a complaint in writing before lodging with a tenancy database.

If you apply for a rental property and your prospective landlord or property manager explains you’ve been blacklisted, be proactive and take steps to change the listing by paying the amount you owe.

If you can pay the amount owed within three months of the due date, you’ll be eligible to have your name removed from the tenancy database. Payments made outside this period will see the listing changed to ‘inaccurate’ but may remain listed for up to three years.

Check to see if you’re shown as a good tenant with RentCheck. RentCheck is a tenant report that will help verify your identity and show any reported breaches in your rental history on the NTD. Purchasing a RentCheck will check your record before you apply for a rental property.

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