Tenancy databases

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:

Listings on tenancy databases

A person must not list a tenant on a tenancy database unless:

  1. The tenant was named as a tenant in a residential tenancy agreement.
  2. The agreement has ended.
  3. 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.

Tribunal orders

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:

  1. The database includes information that is incorrect or misleading.
  2. 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.