Tenant databases and ‘blacklists’

For the 6 months from 15th April, there is a prohibition on listing a tenant on a tenancy database (‘blacklisting’) – if the proposed listing is for rent arrears that are the result of being financially impacted by coronavirus.

Although you can't be blacklisted for an arrears debt during this time, you should continue to pay as much rent as you can afford. The landlord will still likely be seeking to recover any unpaid rent (arrears that have accrued) at the end of your tenancy. See COVID-19 Guide: Rent, rent reduction and rent negotiation for info on preparing for negotiation.

When your tenancy ends, try to come to an agreement about the amount you'll repay, and the timeframe in which to repay the debt (including the amount and date/s payable). Make sure that your agreement is in writing. Take into account your bond that is still held with the Rental Bond Board, complete the outgoing condition report with the landlord/agent, and come to an agreement about the release of the bond. This could go some way to reduce the arrears debt owed. You might find this template agreement drafted by the Tenants' Union legal team helpful (remember to add in all relevant details).

If you're not an 'impacted tenant' (see COVID-19 Guide: Am I an 'impacted tenant'?), then you are not covered by these protections. If you are evicted owing more than the bond is worth, or by a Tribunal order, you may be listed on a tenant database for up to 3 years. This can have a serious impact on your ability to find a home in the future. However, you may still be able to apply to the Tribunal to have the listing removed if you can demonstrate it is unjust in the circumstances.

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