ACT property managers will soon be able to report tenants for damaging the property they’re renting.
ACT Attorney-General Simon Corbell told the The Canberra Times that the new laws, which come into effect in February, will curtail secret rental blacklists from circulating among real estate agents and help deliver a more open system allowing people to obtain reviews if they were added.
The report said 400,000 Australian renters are currently on national blacklists for crimes ranging from pouring concrete down toilets to stealing entire kitchens from properties.
The Canberra Times said real estate agents in the ACT do run checks on tenants, but laws currently prevent information about ACT residents being entered on to those lists.
The newspaper said the new laws will allow property managers and agents to list tenants on national databases such as TICA and the National Tenancy Database, if they have caused damage to a rented property that is greater than their bond, or if the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal has terminated their agreement.
TICA managing director Phillip Nounis told The Canberra Times that tenants' names were taken off the national list every three years, but there were repeat offenders.
"If you can imagine it, it has happened," he told the newspaper.
"We have seen instances where people have cut holes in the floors of Queenslander-style houses so they could lift food up and down between levels rather than have to walk up and down.
"We had a person who was building their own house so they took the new kitchen out of the rental property and installed it in the house they were building and then replaced the rental one with an old kitchen."