Have you been listed on the National Tenancy Database (NTD)? Here’s what you need to know.
What is the NTD database?
National Tenancy Database or NTD is owned by Equifax. Like TICA, NTD is an Australian tenancy database that stores information about your tenancy history. The NTD is a resource used by real estate agents to screen potential tenants. These databases are privately owned, and the biggest three in Australia are NTD, TICA and Trading Reference Australia.
Most people aren’t listed on any tenancy database, but for those who are, the consequences can be rough. A listing on a database has the potential to lock you out of the rental market.
There are rules in place which an agent or lessor must follow when listing a tenant on a tenancy database. There are also steps in place that tenants can take to dispute a database listing.
These rules apply to external tenancy databases, but not to internal databases which are kept by a real estate agent.
Why have I been listed on a tenancy database?
In general terms, there are three reasons you could have been listed on a tenancy database.
- You owe money above the bond amount: If you left a tenancy and owe money for that tenancy above the rental bond amount. If you didn’t pay a rental bond, the amount must be greater than one weeks’ rent. You must also have received a Notice to Remedy Breach about the rent owing that you didn’t comply with; failed to pay money by the due date stated under a conciliation agreement or Tribunal order; or abandoned the premises.
- You were terminated for objectionable behaviour: If the Tribunal made an order to end your tenancy due to your objectionable behaviour.
- You were terminated for repeated breaches: If the Tribunal made an order to end your tenancy due to your repeated breaches.
What information is on a tenancy database listing?
If your name has appeared on a tenancy database like NTD, this could mean a real estate agent has alleged a default against your name.
This listing should include:
- Your name
- The listing date
- The contact details for the agent/lessor that made the listing
If a prospective agent checks a tenancy database to see if your name is listed, this may be recorded on an enquiries list. This is not the same as being listed on a tenancy database. An enquiries list is a record that someone has checked your rental history, and it will not typically affect your ability to rent.
There could be other information included in a tenant report that is publicly available through other data sources, such as:
- Court judgements, writs and summonses
- The Australian Financial Security Authority bankruptcy register
- Any information on your visa status (if available)
- ASIC directorship databases
Have I been listed on a tenancy database?
When you apply for a rental: The agent or lessor must let you know if you’re listed on a tenancy database. They have seven days to give you a written notice which includes information about:
- Who listed you
- The database you’re listed on
- How you can dispute the listing
When you leave a rental: When your tenancy ends, your lessor or agent must tell you if they intend to list you on a tenancy database. They must take reasonable steps to give you written notice of this proposed listing. You must also be given 14 days to object to the proposed listing. Note: If you move out, and don’t leave a forwarding address, you may not receive notice of the listing.
How long do you stay listed on NTD?
The maximum length of time that personal information can be held on a tenancy database like NTD is three years. After three years have passed, the listing must be removed. Database operators can be fined if they don’t remove a listing that’s more than three years old.
If you are aware of a listing that’s more than three years old and it hasn’t automatically been removed, you can write to the listing agent, lessor or NTD and 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.
An agent/lessor has seven days to remove the listing or give written notice to the database operator to have the listing removed. If you give the database operator written notice, they must remove the listing within 14 days.
How do I remove my name from NTD?
If you think you’ve been wrongly listed, or if the listing is ‘out of date’ or ‘inaccurate’, you can apply to have it removed or amended.
A listing should be removed if you repay your debts to the landlord within three months.
If it takes you longer to repay the amount owed, the listing may stay there, but it needs to be updated to reflect the repayments.
If you think the listing was unjust, you should first ask the landlord or agent to change or remove it.
Can’t resolve the issue with your agent? You can apply to your relevant state tribunal to have the listing changed or removed.
Is NTD Australia-wide?
National Tenancy Database (NTD) is Australia-wide and is powered by Equifax.
How do I contact National Tenancy Database?
Would you like a free copy of your personal National Tenancy Database (residential) report? NTD can provide you with a free copy of your report within 10 days via email once your ID credentials have been verified.
How do I show my good rental record?
Check to see if you’re shown as a good tenant with RentCheck. RentCheck is a tenant report which will help to verify your identity and show any reported breaches in your rental history on the National Tenancy Database. Purchasing a RentCheck will check your record before you apply for a rental property.