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Renter databases, also called ‘blacklists’ or ‘bad renter databases’, contain the renting history of some renters. Because renters used to be called tenants, renter databases might still be called tenant databases.
People are added to these databases if they have breached their rental agreement in some way, such as by not paying rent or intentionally damaging the rental property. Being on a renter database can make it difficult to find rental properties in the future.
Your personal information must not be listed on the database if:
- you breached your rental agreement because of an act of family or personal violence against you,
- you have made an application to end your rental agreement due to family violence
- a notice to vacate that was issued to you was found to be invalid because of family violence or
- you have objected to the rental provider, their agent, or the database because the information relates to an act or a circumstance of family violence that you experienced and you have provided evidence to support your objection.
If you are objecting to having your information included in the database, you must submit a written statement to your rental provider, agent, or to the database operator stating that the information relates to an act or a circumstance of family violence or personal violence experienced by you, and include either:
- a certified copy of an extract of a relevant family violence intervention order, family violence safety notice or recognised non-local DVO or a personal safety intervention order; or
- any letter, report, written statement in relation to the alleged family or personal violence or other documentary materials from a person, organisation or entity below.
The persons who can make a statement on your behalf are:
- support workers
- health professionals
- religious groups
- crisis accommodation providers
- the Department of Health and Human Services (also called the Department of Fairness, Families and Housing or Child Protection)
- Victoria Police
- the Australian Federal Police
- Australian State or territory police
- employees of schools and universities
- family and friends
- your employer
- a lawyer.
If you find out that you have been listed, you can ask the rental provider to remove the listing. If that fails, you can apply to VCAT to have the listing removed.
You can read more about removing the listing at renter databases.
If you are in immediate danger, contact Victoria Police on 000.
There are other services available if someone is being violent towards you.
Applying to VCAT
For help applying to VCAT, you can:
If you’re experiencing family violence and need help with renting, contact us.
You can call us on 1300 55 81 81 (9 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday).
Calling us costs the same as a local call. Additional charges may apply if you are calling from overseas, on a mobile or payphone. You can also contact us through our online enquiry form.
Your information will stay confidential.
We may refer you to a community agency for help with a renting issue, through our Tenancy Assistance and Advocacy Program. We will ask you for permission first.
Information for rental providers and property managers
If you are a rental provider, rooming house operator or property manager, read:
Renting law reforms
Victoria made significant changes to renting laws in 2021.
One of the major changes to the laws is:
- current and former renters can now apply to VCAT for their name to be removed from a renter database or blacklist on the grounds that the listing is or would be unjust.
Some language also changed:
- landlords are now called rental providers
- tenants are now called renters
- leases are now called rental agreements.
You can read about these and other changes in a summary of the reforms or in detailed fact sheets and guides.
Sections of the Act
If you want to know what the law says about being on renter blacklists because of family violence, you can read these sections of the Residential Tenancies Act 1997:
- Section 439E – Listing can be made only for particular breaches by particular persons
- Section 439L – Application to Tribunal for removal or amendment of listing.