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.

Victoria (VIC)

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. 

See the latest information for NSW here.

Queensland (QLD)

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.

See the latest information for QLD here.

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.

See the latest information for WA here.

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.

Tasmania (TAS)

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.

See the latest information for TAS here.

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.

See the latest information for the NT here.

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

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.

36 COMMENTS

    • Hi Emma, give us a ring on 1300 736 810 and one of our Customer Service team will be able to help run you through RentBond – it will help to finance the cost of your bond 🙂 Lauren

  1. Hey I was just wondering what will happen, so basically I broke a lease & owed them money an now that I want to pay it they said I’m already blacklisted so I’ve made a payment plan to pay it off but curious as to if I’ll be able to rent again? Does that wipe my blacklisting clear because I paid the debt?

    • Hi Angel, thanks for your comment!
      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. If you have any specific questions on your listing, get in touch with the database you’re listed on. They’ll be able to give you some relevant direction 🙂 Hope this helps.

  2. I’ve been blacklisted and as a single parent it’s hard to find a home.
    Can I rent another house while paying off the debt that got me blacklisted?

    • Hi Ross,
      Good question. Whether or not your application for a rental property is accepted is up to the individual real estate agent or private landlord. However, if you can show that you’re in the process of paying an outstanding debt out from the listing, that should go a long way with your next application to show you’re focused on fixing that issue.

  3. hi i have been put on tica but now i have just fond out the real estate has cloes down and i dont no what well happen if i be takeing of tica or not i have been trying all day to find out what well happ

    • Hi Calvin, thanks for your message. In this instance, you need to contact TICA to find out more about the listing and what happens if your agency has closed. Here’s a link to the Contact page for TICA with the phone number for tenant enquiries: https://www.tica.com.au/contact.php. TICA’s hours of operation are between 9am and 5:30pm Monday to Friday AEDT.

  4. Hi , I was put onto tica in 2014 , without being notified I wanted to leave the property while other house mates stayed on , the managing property agent lived on site , told them my situation they told me to sign a form to remove my name , I did that and years later found out they had black listed me and hadn’t taken my name off the lease as told .. they have recently been fired for multiple mistakes made , I’m not sure how I’m meant to clear my name and prove I had signed forms .. and I’m having trouble finding a house , and I’m running out of options .. thanks

  5. Hi I’ve been blacklisted but have paid my outstanding amount so have nothing left to pay but still blacklisted I’m having trouble in obtaining a lease because obviously all real estates look on TICA I’m a single mum of two boys and would just like help to get off the list the real estate who put me on there said I’d be on there for at 5-7 years I’m finicially stable but I’m homeless and struggling to find a place

    • Hey Monique, thanks for reaching out. We understand your dilemma – that’s a tough one. Generally, if you pay the amount owed within 3 months of the due date, you should be eligible to have your name removed from the tenancy database. Payments that were made outside this period will see the listing changed to ‘inaccurate,’ but your name may remain listed for up to 3 years. The best thing to do is contact the database you were listed on to find out the situation with your record. When you next send a rental application to a property manager / landlord, you can include a note explaining that they while they may find your name listed, you did take steps to remedy the action and have since paid the outstanding amount. This should put you in good stead next time around. Good luck!

  6. Hi there my daughter has been black listed .
    Every property she has applied for . She has been rejected. No explanation from the real estate agent. Could we please have a phone number for TICA and the RTA PLEASE could you please reply by sending me an email at
    [email protected] .
    Thank you . Hope to hear from you soon.
    Francesca

    • Hi Francesca,

      If your daughter’s application for a rental property is rejected and she isn’t told why you can send a written request to the landlord (or agent) asking which tenancy databases they checked and if they found any listings with information about you. They must tell you if they find a listing about you. And if a landlord wants to blacklist her, they should give you a copy of the information to be listed. We recommend that you don’t contact database companies directly except as a last resort. If you need to, however, the details are as follows:

      TICA: tica.com.au and tenantblacklist.com.au

      Tenant Information Centre of Australia (TICA)
      TICA has a 1900 number for tenant enquiries that charges $5.45 per minute (higher from mobile and pay phones) – you can find it here. http://tica.com.au/contact-us.php
      Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA)
      1300 366 311, Monday – Friday: 8.30am-5pm

    • Hi Luke, cheers for your question! If you have been listed on a tenancy database in the past, that listing will stay on the tenancy database for a maximum of 3 years, but it would be removed sooner if it was ‘out-of-date’ or paid off. You have the right to know if you are listed on a tenant database and landlords have a duty to tell you. If your application for a rental property is rejected and you aren’t told why you can send a written request to the landlord (or agent) asking which tenancy databases they checked and if they found any listings with information about you. They must tell you if they find a listing about you. And if a landlord wants to blacklist you, they should give you a copy of the information to be listed. Hope this helps!

    • Hi Selina,
      Thanks for your question. Three years is the maximum length of time personal information can be held on a tenancy database. After three years the listing must be removed. Database operators can be fined for failing to remove a listing that is more than three years old. If your listing is not automatically removed after three years you can write to the listing agent, lessor or database operator to advise the listing is out of date and must be removed. If the listing is not removed you can apply to the Tribunal for an order.

      If you write to the listing agent or lessor they have seven days to remove the listing, or give written notice to the database operator to remove the listing. If a database operator is given written notice they must remove the listing within 14 days.

  7. Hi I’ve been placed on tica have payed my outstanding amount and I’m wondering when I’ll be off the list as I’m a single mum of two kids and I’m currently having a hard time finding a place as I’m on the list and most real estate can’t house a tenant on the tica list due to their policies even though I have paid the outstanding amount ? Please help

  8. Hi, I was wondering when the black list starts. Is it the day you left to property or the 1st day you started renting from the real estate? I’m confused on when it starts. I am listed on TICA and not sure when my 3 years is up.

    • Hi Bill,

      As we understand it, only a person who is named as a tenant on a Residential Tenancy Agreement that has finished can be listed. The agreement MUST be finished before you can be listed. You could seek clarification from your agent on this or get in touch with TICA direct for clarification as it applies to you in your state/territory.

  9. Hi there, I was blacklisted nearly 2 months ago by my previous agent. I paid more than my share of rent but my ex partner and other housemate are the ones that actually owe the outstanding amount.

    Is there a way I can appeal this as I have evidence from my bank statements showing I paid more than my share directly to their BPAY account.

    I obviously lost my share of my bond because of this too and know I’ll never see that money again but would love to just have my name cleared so I can rent again as it is not my fault this happened and I haven’t been able to rent since so it’s left me homeless.

  10. Hi,
    I’ve been listen on TICA and it’s coming up to the 3 years (about 8 weeks away) if I contact them what it the chance of having this removed early. Obviously if there is no chance I don’t want to waste a $5 a min call on it. I am listed on there from a VCAT order due to a conflicting issue with the agent. I contacted the agent and they have said they won’t help me have it removed early.

    Thanks John

  11. Hello, hoping you will see my question. My family and I are in a private rental and due to some recent temporary financial difficulties got behind in our rental payments. A VCAT order for a payment plan (requested by me) saw the arrears and the next payment included in the plan and fully paid within 5 weeks of the VCAT hearing. The next two months were paid slightly late, but within 10 days of the due date. Apart from the recent problem, we are long term renters and have never had any problem like this. We rented our previous property for 8 years before it was sold by the owner. We are now looking for a new rental property and I’m trying to determine the right approach. Are we better to be honest about this situation include that it was a temporary problem and now behind us and that the repayment of the arrears occurred on schedule. I noted your advice above that it is worthwhile to note that while they might find our names listed, we remedied the situation through the VCAT payment plan, that there is currently no rental arrears. I would prefer to be honest about this rather than just missing a property because they found our names listed on a database

  12. Hi i think i might be on a ticka i have four kids im.trying to get back from.welfare i am looking for a houses n i keep getting nocks backs please help

    • Hi Sara, if it’s any consolation you should know if you have been listed on a tenancy database – a previous landlord or agent is required to inform you if you are to be listed. If in doubt, always ask the question of the agent about why your application was unsuccessful and they may be able to provide you with some insight. Hope this helps!

  13. Hi I’ve just broken a lease and left a property owing money, I’ve tried contacting the agent, but keep getting told she’ll ring me back, but she doesn’t, I don’t know if she put me on tics or not, I left 8 weeks before my lease was up, but told them to take my bond as four weeks rent and send me an invoice so I can pay the rest. But I haven’t heard from the property manager I don’t know what to do now, I’m homeless with two special needs grand kids I’m raising, that why I had to break the lease, it was either leave or pay rent but have no electricity or food . Kids had to come first, I’m now couch hoping( staying) between friends homes

    • Hi Shantelle,
      The record on a tenancy database can remain there for up to three years. If your partner is able to rectify the issue behind the listing (i.e. making any outstanding payments), the name will remain on the database for up to three years but the status will be changed so it doesn’t have the same effect on future applications. Hope this helps!

  14. Hey guys. My ex roommate who removed herself from the lease has scratched our floorboards pretty bad. I ha e tried to fix it and are literally unable to do so. I know I’ll loose my bond. If the repairs are more than my bond and I owe more can I come to an agreement with the landlord and real estate before they list me? I’m all on my own and petrified I won’t be able to rent for 3 years after this and I have no home to go back to. Please help I’m so stressed. I’m willing to pay for it I just can’t be listed

    • Hi Lauren,

      I feel for you – that situation isn’t easy, especially when it’s damage that you haven’t caused yourself.

      Couple of things, I’d suggest you contact the tenancy authority in your state for some more specific advice to your situation (and the legislation where you live). You can find contact details here: https://www.rent.com.au/blog/tenancy-support-state

      It would need to be excessive property damage for the agent to consider listing you. Generally speaking, it would need to be damage that happened outside the range of normal day to day living, or if the damage was caused maliciously. If your former roomie has caused the scratch by genuine error, it’s probably a good move to be responsive and report it to the agent.

      If you’re still on speaking terms with your roommate and they’re willing to admit fault and cover any extra repair costs that are necessary, the issue shouldn’t need to progress any further. End of the day, don’t stress just yet and have a chat to the tenancy body for some advice on where to from here. Hope this helps 🙂 Lauren @ RENT

  15. I’ve been blacklisted but I have paid my debt after the date I was supposed to pay it by. It has also been 3 years since I’ve lived in that unit.. would I still be blacklisted or not. Is there a number I can call to find that out?

  16. I’d like to know if I’ve been blacklisted. I have no outstanding debts, the rent was always paid on time, and there was no property damage. However, I wasn’t getting along with the real estate agent [Company Name removed]. There were some deficiencies leading to negligence, and I’ve had some run-ins with a particular employee of the agent in the past. This employee decided to get me evicted/vacated for standing up for my rights. What a joke to do that to your long-time tenant.

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