How to Avoid Getting Blacklisted on a Rental Database
The fear of ending up on the national database of tenants that future landlords use to screen tenant applications is a real concern for many renters.
With the rental market becoming increasingly competitive, the last thing a ‘would be tenant’ wants is to be rejected as a result of having a troubled rental history. Good news is it does take a lot for a landlord or property manager to lodge a formal complaint with the tenancy screening services, but just to be sure here are three ways to help keep your name and reputation clean.
1. Pay your rent on time, every time
When you sign the tenancy agreement, you agree to pay the rent at the agreed instalments, whether that be weekly, fortnightly or monthly. You are legally obliged to pay this rent. The property owner relies on this money to pay their management fees, investment mortgage, rates etc. Therefore, if you I don’t pay the rent, the landlord will have to find the shortfall themselves.
Whilst a few late payments here and there probably won’t mean your name has been added to a list, but if you are a consistent offender, or have months of rent owing, you may well find your name has been blacklisted.
The message here – it’s best to pay your full rent on time as agreed in the tenancy agreement. If you have issues paying contact your landlord or property manager immediately to discuss payment options.
2. Pay to repair any property damage you have caused
Landlords understand that their rental property will suffer from normal wear and tear, or in other words normal deterioration of a property from everyday use. Exposure to the elements, time and day to day living can cause fair wear and tear. Although real estate tenancy laws vary across each state and territory, the industry broadly accepts this definition.
Fair wear and tear – Landlords are responsible for and not covered by insurance
- Faded curtains or frayed cords
- Furniture indentations and traffic marks on the carpet
- Scuffed up wooden floors
- Faded, chipped or cracked paint
- Worn kitchen benchtop
- Loose hinges or handles on doors or windows and worn sliding tracks
- Cracks in the walls from movement
- Water stain on carpet from rain through leaking roof or bad plumbing
- Worn paint near light switch
However, damage caused to a property through negligent, irresponsible or intentional actions that cause damage to the premises is a different story and if you as the tenant don’t rectify this you could find yourself on a listing. Here is a look at what is considered damage to a property:
Deliberate Act - means an act carried out without permission but without malice, vindictiveness or spite and with the full knowledge that the action will alter the current state of the property.
Malicious Damage or vandalism - means a wrongful act motivated by malice, vindictiveness or spite with the intention of damaging the property
Accidental Damage - means sudden , unexpected or unforeseen loss to an insured property
Here is a look at some of the damage that tenants are liable for:
- Missing curtains or torn by the tenants pet
- Dog urine throughout the house
- Stains or burn marks on the carpet
- Badly scratched or gouged wooden floors
- Unapproved or poor quality paint job
- Burns or cuts in bench top
- Broken glass from one of the kids hitting a ball through the window
- Holes in walls left by tenants removing picture hooks or shelves they had installed
- Water stains or carpet caused by overflowing bath or indoor pot plants
- Paint damage resulting from removing decorations stuck with Blu-Tac or sticky tape
Make sure if you have caused damage to the rental property you pay to have the damage fixed. If you walk away without addressing and fixing the issue you may find your name is added to the rental database.
3. At the end of the tenancy ensure all expenses and paid
Some renters, often first time renters, believe they can use their bond money to pay their final few weeks of rent once they give notice. However, this is not the case. The rental bond you paid to the landlord or agent at the start of your tenancy is a form of financial protection in case there’s a breach of the lease agreement. At the end of the tenancy agreement, the property manager will inspect the property and assess its condition against the original condition report. In some cases, the property manager may make a claim against the bond.
As a tenant you’re required to pay your rent in full and not rely on your rental bond to cover any outstanding payments. Not paying your final rent as per the tenancy agreement, may result in your name being added to the rental database which is not a great way to leave your tenancy.
In a nutshell – Pay your rent on time, don’t damage the property, but if accidents happen pay for any damages to the property that you have caused and make sure all outstanding rents are paid before you move out of the property. Tick all these boxes and your name should stay well away from any national database of bad renters.