Getting added to a tenancy database is a big deal in Australia. It could make or break your chances of renting for years to come.
With the rental market getting more cutthroat, being blacklisted could seriously harm your chances. In this article, we’ll look at how to check if you’re on the list, how to appeal it, and how to get your name off it for good.
How to Know If You’ve Been Listed:
Don’t get blindsided by a tenancy database listing. Your landlord or property manager is required to give you written notice before adding you.
And when you apply for a rental, they have to inform you if they use a database and let you know if a listing comes up.
Noncompliant landlords and managers can face hefty fines in some states.
New South Wales (NSW)
In NSW, strict rules dictate when you can appear on a tenancy database. No listing for rent arrears, termination notices, or domestic violence.
If you break your lease and owe more than your bond, or get evicted by the tribunal, you may end up on a database for three years.
You could land yourself on a tenancy database in VIC by trashing your rental, threatening your neighbours, skipping rent, breaking VCAT orders, using your place for illegal activities, sub-letting without permission or violating your lease terms.
If you have experienced family or personal violence that has caused you to breach your rental agreement, made an application to end the agreement due to family violence, received an invalid notice to vacate due to family violence, or objected to information in a rental database related to a violent act or circumstance you experienced, you may not be listed in the database. To support your objection, be sure to provide evidence.
Listings must be removed from databases after three years.
In Queensland, you will only be added to a tenancy database under these circumstances: if the amount owed surpasses the rental bond, for objectionable behaviour, or repeated breaches after the tenancy has ended.
If your breach of a tenancy agreement occurred due to violence from a perpetrator, QCAT has the authority to order that you not be listed on a tenancy database. Additionally, database operators are required to delete listings after 3 years.
Western Australia (WA)
In Western Australia, your name can only be added to a tenancy database if you have violated your tenancy agreement, resulting in a court order to terminate the agreement or if you owe the owner more money than your security bond when the tenancy has ended.
Your details cannot be added to a residential tenancy database in relation to any rental arrears during the emergency period (being 30 March 2020 to 28 March 2021) due to financial hardship caused by the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
South Australia (SA)
In South Australia, your personal information can only be disclosed if you have breached the rental agreement and owe the landlord an amount greater than your bond, or if the Tribunal has issued an order to terminate your agreement.
To be listed on the TAS database, there must be a violation of your lease resulting in a debt greater than your bond or court-ordered termination of your tenancy. The information stored can only pertain to the breach and is kept for a maximum of three years. Landlords or agents must disclose any tenancy databases used when you apply to rent a property, including whether it contains information about you, who entered the information, and how to modify or remove it.
Northern Territory (NT)
According to the rules in the NT, a listing can only be created if you are listed on the tenancy agreement and there was a violation of the agreement that resulted in an outstanding amount greater than your security deposit. Alternatively, if the Northern Territory Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) has issued an order to terminate your tenancy, a listing can also be made.
If your landlord plans to add your details to a tenancy database, they must inform you in writing at least 28 days in advance. They should also give you a free copy of your personal information to review and object to the entry if necessary. However, your landlord is not obligated to inform you of a listing if the information is already available publicly or if they have made reasonable efforts to locate you but were unsuccessful. Each entry on the database can only be kept for a maximum of three years.
Australian Capital Territory (ACT)
In ACT, there are specific regulations regarding the circumstances under which you can be added to a tenancy database. If you were a tenant, the lease has terminated, you violated the lease agreement, and as a result, you owe an amount exceeding the bond, or if the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal (ACAT) has issued a termination order, then you may be placed in the tenancy database.
Appealing a Tenancy Database Listing:
Tenancy database listings of more than three years must be removed in most cases. If you discover that you’re on a rental blacklist and believe it to be unfair or inaccurate, here’s how you can appeal:
a. Gather evidence: Rent receipts, agreements, communication records – anything that proves your case.
b. Lodge a complaint: Contact the database operator in writing, attach your evidence, and ask that they investigate and remove the listing if it’s unjust.
c. Seek legal advice: Get a tenancy lawyer or talk to your local authority for guidance on your rights and next steps.
Removing Your Name from a Tenancy Database:
Got listed unfairly? Resolved the problem or enough time has passed? Here’s what you can do to get your name off a tenancy database.
a. Keep your rental record spotless! Pay on time, follow your lease agreement, and treat the property with care. A solid rental history can outweigh any past mishaps.
b. Just wait it out: Tenancy database listings expire after three years. Once that time’s up, the listing will disappear from your record.
c. Expired listing or resolved dispute? Contact the operator in writing, provide evidence, and request removal. Easy peasy.
Don’t let rental blacklists hold you back. Be proactive, assertive, and know your rights. Stay persistent and communicate clearly to improve your rental history and get the place you want.
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.
Rent.com.au is Australia's largest company dedicated to renters and is owned and operated by ASX-listed Rent.com.au Limited (RNT:ASX). For over 15 years, Rent.com.au has exclusively focused on making renters' lives easier by making it easier to find a property, secure it, move in and pay rent.