Reader Question: 

“If I have had rental arrears issues in the past, is there any chance I will be able to rent again – or have I compromised my chances?” – Pere

Photo: Pexels/unsplash.

We asked Director of Metro Property Management, Leah Calnan for her advice on this question:

“Hi Pere, in relation to rent arrears, I would encourage you to be on the front foot and share the information at the time of submitting your tenancy application,” Leah said.

“There are often reasons and circumstances that lead to rent arrears and when the property manager understands the full reason it often help when it comes time to present the application to the owner.”

Leah suggested obtaining a copy of your payment ledger from the agent you are currently renting with.

“Another consideration in these situations is to ask for the rent due date to fall in line with your own wage payments,” she said.

“If you are paid on a fortnightly basis, perhaps request to make your rent payments on a fortnightly basis.  In my opinion by being proactive it shows both the property manager and owner that you want to do the right thing.”

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Leah Calnan
Leah Calnan

Leah Calnan was the President of the Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV) between 2020-2021. Before stepping into the president role, she was the Director at Metro Property Management in Surrey Hills, Victoria. She is the author of Simple and Successful Property Management. Leah has received multiple honours and awards, including REB Property Manager of the Year 2016 and 2014, and finalist in the REIV Property Manager of the Year 2013 and 2012.


    • Hi Kaz, your rental arrears aren’t typically visible to prospective property managers unless they reached a point where your name was listed on a tenancy database. 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that listing will stay on the tenancy database for a maximum of 3 years, but it would be removed sooner if it was ‘out-of-date’ or paid off.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.