Tenancy database 101

An occasional late payment won’t earn you a listing on a tenancy database, but consistently late payments might. Here’s what you need to know about tenant blacklists in Australia.

National tenancy databases tend to strike fear into the best of tenants. Real estate agents and landlords can check these databases for your tenancy history.

These databases are operated by tenancy screening services such as the National Tenancy Database (NTD) and TICA in Australia.

Having proof of a good tenancy history is important, especially now! As more people enter the rental market each year, competition is expected. Having a mark against your history risks setting you back in and making it difficult to rent in the future.

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But here’s the good news. Things have to be pretty bad for your property manager or landlord to lodge a complaint and blacklist you. Here are three reasons you might be listed on a database:

Your rent’s coming in consistently late

Rent payments are what cover the mortgage for most property owners. When you fail to pay your rent, the property owner can lose income and cover the payments themselves. Paying your rent a day or two late isn’t likely to earn you a spot on the NTD if it’s every so often. But if you’re regularly late with your payments, be aware of what can happen. If you’re on a lease and have months of rent owing to the landlord, you’ll need to take action to avoid a listing.

You’ve caused property damage

As you know, you’re not responsible for fair wear and tear, but you will be held accountable for any damage you cause. If you caused the damage through recklessness or neglect, it won’t sit well with your landlord or PM. Failure to rectify the damage could earn you a listing.

You leave your bond to cover outstanding rent

As a tenant, you’re required to pay rent in full, and not rely on your bond money to cover outstanding amounts. This is a common mistake for many first-time renters. Your bond will be returned to you once your landlord’s signed off on your 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 laid out here. Don’t be afraid to ask your agent if you’re not sure. If you can’t get a satisfactory answer, consider speaking to your state tenancy advice service for support.

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Have you been listed on a tenancy database?

The good news? Before lodging with a tenancy database, a landlord or property manager must write a complaint. If you’re told you’ve been blacklisted, be proactive. Take steps to change the listing by paying the outstanding amount you owe.

If you can pay what’s owed within three months of the due date, that’s great! You’ll be eligible to have your name removed from the database. Paying outside this period will see your listing changed to ‘inaccurate,’ but may stay for up to three years.

A RentCheck report from Rent.com.au is a great way to check if you’re shown as a good tenant. RentCheck uses the National Tenancy Database to verify your identity and show any reported breaches in your rental history. Add a RentCheck to your Renter Resume before you apply for a property.

Lauren Vardy

Lauren Vardy was the Content Marketing Manager at Rent.com.au between 2015 and 2023. Formerly a journalist at Fairfax Media and Rural Press, Lauren's expertise extends to various media groups in Australia and internationally, including the Esperance Express, Southeast Asia Globe, Colosoul Magazine, The Sunday Times, and more.


    • Hi Maria, you’d be best to seek advice from your state/territory’s Department of Commerce/Fair Trading on how to do this. Typically you must take reasonable steps to notify the tenant in writing about the details of your proposed listing, and then they’re given a set period to object before this information can be listed.