Rules for listing NSW tenants in databases: Fair Trading

Rules for listing NSW tenants in databases: Fair Trading
Rules for listing NSW tenants in databases: Fair Trading

While real estate agents can utilise tenancy databases for the rental properties they manage, they must follow legislative requirements, NSW commissioner for Fair Trading Rod Stowe said.

“Tenancy databases are an informational resource. They can help lessors make informed decisions when assessing tenancy applications,” Stowe said.

Tenancy databases are run by private companies and collect information about persons deemed as problem tenants by real estate agents, landlords and residential park operators.

Stowe said the guidelines for who, when and why a tenant can be listed on a database are outlined in the Residential Tenancies Act 2010.

A tenant can only be listed in a tenancy database if:

their residential tenancy agreement has been terminated by order of the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal; 

they owed an amount exceeding the rental bond for a breach of the tenancy agreement which is still outstanding at the time of the listing.

“The Residential Tenancies Act brings fairness and transparency to the use of tenancy databases,” Stowe said.

“Sadly, unfair listings are not unheard of. While the legislation recognises the right of landlords to take steps in protecting their property, being listed on a tenancy database can have serious consequences for the person listed.”

Before a listing can be made, the tenant must be given at least 14 days notice to review the information and be able to object to the proposed listing.

If a prospective tenant is found on a database by an agent, the agent must write to the tenant within seven days of accessing the database. Outdated listings or listings older than three years are to be removed from a database.

A tenant can contest proposed or existing listings in the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal if the matter is not solved with their agent or landlord.

Tags: 
Tenants Database

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