Tenancy databases are registers run by privately owned companies. They record information about tenants who have had their tenancies ended for specific reasons.
The RTA does not operate or maintain information on tenancy databases.
Property managers/owners can use these registers during an application process to check the prospective tenant's rental history.
The property manager/owner must inform prospective tenants:
- of the tenancy databases they use, if they find a listing for a tenant
- what that listing is for, and
- how to have it amended or removed.
Reasons a tenant can be listed
A tenant can be listed on a database at the end of a tenancy if:
- the money owed by the tenant is more than the bond including:
- rent arrears (Notice to remedy breach (Form 11) must have been given)
- abandonment of property
- money owed after an agreement has been reached through RTA conciliation or a QCAT order that has not been paid
- no bond was paid, a tenant cannot be listed unless the amount owing is more than 1 week's rent
- the tenancy has been terminated by QCAT because of repeated breaches of a conciliation agreement by the tenant
- objectionable behaviour by the tenant
A tenant who has experienced domestic and family violence should not be listed if the breach is the result of the actions of a perpetrator of violence.
Changing or removing a listing
A tenancy database company and the person who makes a listing are both responsible for ensuring the quality of personal information on a database.
If a property manager/owner becomes aware that information they have listed is inaccurate, incomplete or ambiguous they must let the database operator know in writing within 7 days how to amend it. The same applies for removing out-of-date information. They must also keep records of these notifications for a year.
The database must amend or remove the information within 14 days of being notified.
All listings must be removed after 3 years.
The property manager/owner may also make a complaint to the Office of the Federal Privacy Commissioner.
Disputing a listing
A tenant can dispute a listing if they feel it is inaccurate, incomplete, ambiguous and out-of- date or does not meet the listing criteria set out in the Act. They must dispute this within 6 months of becoming aware of the listing.
Database companies include TICA, National Tenancy Database, Trading Reference Australia and RP Data.