What is a tenancy database?
A tenancy database is a list where landlords/agents record personal information about tenants who have had problems with their tenancies.
Examples of tenancy databases are:
- Tenancy Information Centre Australasia (TICA)
- National Tenancy Database
- Trading Reference Australia.
Listings on tenancy databases
A person must not list a tenant on a tenancy database unless:
- The tenant was named as a tenant in a residential tenancy agreement.
- The agreement has ended.
- There is a reason to register the tenant on the tenancy database:
- unpaid rent
- an amount owing under a conciliation agreement or tribunal order
- an amount owing after abandonment
- objectionable behaviour
- repeated breaches.
4. The tenant has been given notice of the proposed listing and information into the database, and provided a reasonable opportunity to review the information to be entered.
A tenant can apply to the tribunal for removal of a tenant’s name from a database, or the correction of details listed in the database. The tribunal may make the order only if it is satisfied:
- The database includes information that is incorrect or misleading.
- The listing in unjust, having regard to:
- the reasons for the listing
- the tenant’s involvement in the circumstances giving rise to the reason for listing
- the adverse consequences to the tenant because of the listing
- any other matter.
Because the application to remove a tenant from a listing involves the exercise of discretion, the tribunal will not make a consent order unless the material filed with the consent order is enough for the tribunal to be satisfied that the listing is incorrect or unjust.
Therefore, any application to remove a person’s name from a database must also include supporting documents such as a copy of the lease (tenancy agreement), reasons for the initial listing and a copy of the tenancy database report.
When can a tenant apply?
A tenant may apply to the tribunal when:
- they receive a notice that they will be added to the database
- when they have been added to the database.
If the database operator does not provide a notice and the details are incorrect or unjust, a tenant may apply to the tribunal to make orders. The tenant must apply within six months of becoming aware of the database listing.