There is enough regulation around residential tenancies in Queensland to give both lessors and tenants confidence that any tenancy agreement entered into will protect the rights of both parties. In cases where there has been a breach of a tenancy agreement, one of the possible outcomes for the tenant is that their details will be listed on a tenancy database and this can have long-term consequences for their ability to rent another property. Tenancy databases have in the past been the target of some media reports that give the impression that a listing can be the end of the world for a person, but that is not the case.
By understanding the purpose of such databases, and the processes in place around their use, both lessor and tenants can feel easier about their existence. They are a useful tool used by many property management Brisbane agencies to look after the interests of rental property owners. The key is to make sure they are also being used fairly when dealing with information held in the databases by former tenants.
One of the first things to understand is that tenancy databases are electronic registers owned and managed by private companies that store information about a person’s history as a tenant. Lessors and agents can use these registers to check a prospective tenant’s rental history during the application process.
The next important consideration is that only tenants named on a tenancy agreement can be listed on a tenancy database, and then only after the tenancy agreement has ended. A tenant may find themselves listed only if there is money owing that exceeds the amount of the rental bond, if the agreement was legally terminated for objectionable behavior or for repeated breaches of the tenancy agreement where the Tribunal has terminated the tenancy for those breaches.
The tenant must be given notice in writing of the impending listing, and also be given a reasonable timeframe in which to consider the information that will be entered. A tenant who doesn’t agree with the proposed content of a listing can firstly discuss the issue with the listing person and reach some agreement and secondly if that is unsuccessful, lodge a dispute resolution request with the RTA. Their Dispute Resolution Service can help in negotiating an agreement. Alternatively, the tenant can apply to the Tribunal direct to order the listing person, property manager Brisbane or tenancy database operator either not to list, or to make appropriate changes to the listing.
Ignoring a Tribunal order can find a listing person or agency in a Magistrates Court so there is protection in the legislation for a tenant who follows the correct process to have their listing fairly dealt with. It should also be noted that only commercially operated registers are subject to tenancy database laws. Privately operated in-house databases are excluded.
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