How Renters Can Avoid Getting Blacklisted
Most renters understand that if they seriously damage their property or don’t pay the rent, it’s not going to end well for them. But did you know that if you fail to comply with the terms of your lease, you could be listed on a national database that potential landlords can check at any time?
That’s right: landlords have the power to ‘blacklist’ you, which can impact on your ability to be approved for rental properties in the future.
What does it mean if you are blacklisted?
If you are blacklisted it means your name has been placed on a database, which provides information and rental history to landlords. This list is reserved for serious breaches of a tenancy agreement, including but not limited to unpaid rent and malicious property damage. The tenant databases are run by private companies who collect information about renters and share it with landlords for a fee. Most real estate agents also subscribe to at least one of these databases.
The largest tenant and public record database is the National Tenancy Database (NTD). Used for both residential and commercial property, the NTD contains basic tenant information, such as public record and tenant history files. Landlords use the NTD to assess the reliability of a potential tenant when reviewing a rental application.
How long will I be blacklisted for?
Once blacklisted a tenant can remain on a database for three years before the information must be removed. However, you can dispute the reference at anytime if the information is inaccurate or there is a change of circumstances. For example, if someone is listed for not paying their rent the list must be altered to reflect the tenant has settled the debt once it is paid.
How can I find out if I’ve been blacklisted?
A property manager will check to see if you’re listed on a tenancy database before giving the green light to your tenancy application. If they find out that you’re blacklisted, they should let you know within seven days, and provide you with information on which agent listed you, as well as their reasons for doing so. You can then ask the agent who listed you to provide the information the database holds on you. They are obliged to provide this information free of charge, within 14 days. Alternatively, you can find out whether you’ve been blacklisted by contacting the databases directly. Most of the companies, however, charge a fee for providing this information.
How do I get off the database?
It is best for renters to avoid being blacklisted in the first place, however once on a database there are several steps to take to fix the situation. Firstly, you must rectify any of the issues such as paying outstanding debts. Once the issue has been fixed, you can write to the real estate agent or landlord asking them to remove the listing and they are required to contact the database, who will take action within 14 days. If no changes are made or you believe the initial listing is unlawful you can apply to your state tribunal to review the case. It is not recommended you contact the database company directly.
As a renter, what else should I know?
It’s not only landlords who lodge complaints with the NDT; utility providers can also blacklist problem customers. However, things have to be pretty extreme for a third party to lodge a complaint. The amount you owe a landlord – in rental payments or damages – must exceed the amount of your bond. If a landlord or utility provider intends to list you on one of the tenancy databases, they must advise you in writing, or at least make a reasonable attempt to advise you, before doing so. Once you’ve received a letter of intent, there are a few things you can do to stop your name being added to the database.
If a potential landlord tells you that you’ve been blacklisted, you can take steps to remove or change the listing by paying the amount you owe. If the amount you owe is paid within three months of the due date, you are eligible to have your name removed from the database. If you take longer than three months to pay what you owe, your listing can be changed to ‘inaccurate’ but it can’t be removed.”
Would you like to know if you are on the database for blacklisted tenants? Send me a message HERE, and I can do a quick search and let you know.
The above information has been sourced from Realestate.com.au. To read the full article CLICK HERE.