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Renting & Letting Advice
CBS updates
19 January 2017

The operator of a national residential tenancies database has removed a series of outdated entries relating to South Australian tenants, after acknowledging the material may have breached the State’s residential tenancy laws.

TICA Default Tenancy Control Pty Ltd maintains a national residential tenancies database that can be accessed by residential property managers and contains information relating to an individual’s time as a tenant.

Under South Australia’s Residential Tenancies Act 1995, database operators are not allowed to keep personal information relating to a specific individual for longer than three years, or less than three years if otherwise required under national privacy principles.

After a complaint from a tenant whose information was stored on the database for more than six years, TICA reviewed its database – advising South Australia’s consumer watchdog, Consumer and Business Services, that it has since removed all outdated entries relating to South Australian tenants.

The company has also entered into a written assurance with CBS that it will now remove any entries as soon as the three-year period has expired, even if the entry was created before the relevant legislation came into effect in March 2014.

“Residential tenancies databases can be a useful way for property managers and landlords to conduct a background check before deciding whether to rent a property to an individual,” Acting Commissioner for Consumer Affairs George Kamencak said.

“But we have strict laws in place to ensure tenants aren’t unduly impacted by any historic actions, which is why we require any information to be deleted after three years.

“I’d encourage any organisation that maintains a database of this nature to review its records to ensure they aren’t breaching South Australian laws.”

A written Assurance is a formal undertaking that may be used in certain circumstances, in place of enforcement actions such as prosecution or disciplinary action. A business that fails to comply with an Assurance may be liable for prosecution.