Darwin Community Legal Service

The Introduction of laws improving protections for tenants against the misuse of Residential Tenancy Databases, or ‘blacklists’, made further progress this week. Northern Territory tenants are a step closer to at least having basic protections in relation to the practice of blacklisting.

 

The Committee reviewing the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill 2018 recommended Parliament pass the Bill as a matter of priority.

Under the proposed laws tenants would be able to correct inaccurate and out-of-date listings and can apply to the Tribunal to have that listing removed.

 

We also call on the Government to adopt recommendations to improve protections including for victims of domestic violence who may be unjustly listed on a database, ensuring a tenant can challenge a listing, and preventing a landlord listing someone on a database for a substantiated breach more than 3 years after the tenancy agreement ended.

 

In a further key announcement, the Committee has recognised our concerns raised about the Residential Tenancies Act warrant further consideration and have recommended a separate comprehensive review of the Act to ensure the rights of both tenants and landlords are protected.

 

Priorities would include an independent bond board to be implemented in the Northern Territory, improving protections for those that may be experiencing domestic and family violence to exit leases safely and without financial penalty, and provisions to ensure fairer, safer and more secure long-term tenancies.

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