Tenant databases and ‘blacklists’
There is a continuing prohibition on listing ‘impacted tenants’ on a tenancy database, if:
- The breach of the residential tenancy agreement arose only from a failure to pay rent or charges, and
- At the time of the breach, the person was an ‘impacted tenant’.
Impacted tenants need to ensure that their landlord is aware that they are impacted tenants to prevent being listed on the tenancy database.
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 support for info on preparing for negotiation and COVID-19 Guide: Rent negotiations for info on the negotiation process.
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.