The large number of renters in Australia often makes it hard to find the right rental nowadays. What makes it even harder is the possibility of ending up in one of the databases of blacklisted Australia tenants.
Real estate rental agents and landlords use these databases to screen the applications of prospective tenants. Their exercise, of course, can be expected as a matter of good business practice.
Landlords want to ensure that they get tenants who are reliable and will take good care of their property.
As part of your rental hunt to-do list, it’s thus advisable that you check your status on these databases. This knowing that your prospective landlord and agent will also be doing the same. It’s good to be prepared for any issue they may raise on your rental application.
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Rental history check fee
You should also budget an amount for your rental history check. Private companies run tenancy databases generally for profit. Hence, typically, you have to pay a fee to access their records.
Be aware too of your rights as a tenant under Australian laws in case you encounter any issue on blacklisted Australia renter databases. These laws protecting tenants are the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 and the Residential Tenancies Regulation 2019.
Several private companies are competing as databases for blacklisted Australia tenants. Their records are separate from credit-reporting agencies and concerned entirely with tenants’ performance.
These databases solicit paid subscriptions not only from real estate agents and landlords but also residential park operators.
These subscribers can access the databases as well as provide them with tenant information, particularly those with bad records with them.
TICA: Australia’s Largest Tenancy Database
TICA, short for Tenancy Information Centre of Australia, is the largest tenancy database in the country. Established in 1992, TICA boasts more than 7 million records on its database of blacklisted Australia tenants. Boasting 7,000 member-subscribers, it’s 100% Australian-owned and operated.
You will need about two weeks to find out if TICA has information about you as a tenant. TICA’s website advises that it will take up to five days to process an information request and a further eight days to send the results.
To access its dataset of blacklisted Australia renters you need to provide your full name, current address, birthdate, and driver’s licence number. You will also have to send TICA a certified copy of your driver’s licence or proof of age card, and a utilities bill to verify your current address.
Other TICA requirements include two stamped, self-addressed envelopes and payment of a $19.80 fee.
Widen tenancy database search
Tapping information from more than one operator of a database on blacklisted Australia tenants would be a good idea. This way, you cover a wider ground to learn if one holds information about you.
Many tenant applicants tap the National Tenancy Database (NTD) which is fully endorsed by Real Estate Institute of Western Australia. NTD has been operating for more than 30 years.
It’s powered by Equifax, a leading data analytics firm supplying credit information and analysis in Australia and New Zealand. With Equifax, NTD is geared at checking not only tenancy databases and verifying identity through passport or driver’s license. Its checks also include bankruptcy and court records.
Service mix on TRA portal
You can also use the resources of Trading Reference Australia or TRA to widen your access to blacklisted Australia tenant database. This company started in 1991 as Tenant Reference Australia operating only as a tool to help the real estate industry select tenants.
It expanded its services in 2001 to include banks, insurance and finance companies, and changed its name to Trading Reference Australia. TRA retained though the name Tenant Reference Australia for its real estate arm.
In 2010, TRA launched a free, time-saving online application form for tenants. This can be re-used with any real estate agent across Australia, thus streamlining the application process for both tenants and landlords.
You can tap the TRA database on blacklisted Australia renters pretty much the same way as using the TICA platform. You will print TRA’s Personal Disclosure form then sign and send it with information and documents similar to those TICA requires. Expect to receive a reply from TRA within 21 days.
Action steps if listed
If you learn that you’re listed in a tenancy database, here are the steps to follow:
- Find out and contact the party who listed you to discuss the nature of the database listing.
- If you don’t dispute the listing or its reason(s), negotiate with the landlord/agent on ways to resolve the issues (paying a debt, for instance).
- Get a written acknowledgement from the landlord/agent that the issues have been resolved.
- Ask for a printed Delisting Certificate; a landlord/agent also has to delist your name on their blacklist record.
If it’s a landlord/agent who found tenancy database information about you, they must inform you in writing within seven days of their discovery. They have to tell you the details on who listed you and how to contact the database operator source. They also have to inform you of the possible ways by which you can have the information amended or removed.
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