Friday, May 24, 2013

Checking tenants' information

On 1 November 2010, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner was integrated into the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner and a new website established at

Major changes to the Privacy Act 1988 will into effect in March 2014. Agencies, businesses and not-for-profits need to start preparing for these changes.

Many tenants ask the question - "A real estate agent has listed me on a residential tenancy database. Can I access the information the residential tenancy database holds about me?"
The answer is yes, but there are conditions on it and some are only accessible by agents and/or have a licence fee attached.

All residential tenancy database operators are covered by the Privacy Act. But, sometimes they do not have to give you access.

Giving access may mean allowing you to inspect your record or giving you a copy of it. You may also be charged a fee for access. A fee should not be excessive and you should not be charged simply for making a request for access. 

Some of the major residential tenancy database operators in Australia are:

Other sources such as Google, Facebook, LinkedIn will depend on whether there are privacy settings on their website but you would be in dangerous territory publishing anything defamatory.

The golden rule is to check, and then check again.

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