Using tenancy databases to help with finding quality tenants
There is a range of tools and resources available to landlords to help you find quality tenants. Databases such as TICA can be a helpful resource to check and determine if prospective tenants have any "black marks" against their names.
This article provides an overview of tenancy databases and how they can help you ensure you have quality tenants.
When can people be listed on a tenancy database?
Renters can only be listed on a tenancy database for specific breaches to their tenancy agreement. These breaches include intentionally damaging property, jeopardising a neighbour's safety, not paying rent, failing to comply with a court order, using the rented property for illegal purposes, or subletting the property without approval from the property manager or landlord.
Assessing rental applications is the first step
Usually, the first step in assessing a prospective tenant is reviewing the rental application. You'll likely check if their income can cover the monthly rental amount and their references from previous landlords and property managers. And if you have a few great applications, it can feel overwhelming knowing which tenant to approve. Accessing a tenancy database is a good way to complete a final layer of due diligence on the applications you receive.
Next, complete a search on a tenancy database
You can pay a membership to access a database where you can search and review prospective tenants. You may uncover that some potential tenants have had problems with their previous rental properties in this process. These problems may include late rental payments or not receiving a full bond refund due to property damage.
You may not have access to all information
It's important to note that with recent changes to rental legislation in some Australian states, you may not have access to some information. For example, in Victoria, a renter's previous property manager isn't legally required to disclose whether the tenant received their bond back in full at the end of a tenancy. Further, a tenant not receiving their bond back in full isn't always a bad sign. A tenant and their property manager may agree for part of the bond to cover the final rental payment in the rental agreement.
Checking if a prospective tenant is listed on a tenancy database can be a helpful due diligence step in reviewing rental applications. Remember, it's just one step in the application process and ensuring you have a quality property will attract high-quality prospective tenants in the first place.
Remember, this article does not constitute financial or legal advice. Please consult your professional financial and legal advisors before making any decisions for yourself.