Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 06 Hansard (Thursday, 23 June 2011) . . Page.. 2346 ..
There are new administrative requirements placed on lessors and agents by this bill. Lessors and agents would need to give tenancy applicants notice of any tenancy databases usually used by the lessor or agency. Lessors and agents would also need to advise a tenancy applicant if the lessor or agent finds personal information about the applicant in a tenancy database. This is to strengthen existing protections to tenants by increasing the likelihood of a person becoming aware of a listing in a tenancy database.
Although these changes will impose new requirements on lessors and real estate agents, it is not anticipated that these requirements will be difficult to comply with. By amending tenancy application forms to include details of the tenancy databases usually used by the agency, the requirement for an agent to notify a tenancy applicant about the usual tenancy databases used is complied with. This is provided that the tenancy application form is returned by the applicant within seven days, which is usually the case. The real estate agent or lessor would only then need to notify a tenancy applicant if a listing about the person is found in a tenancy database in the process of the real estate agent or lessor carrying out a check of the person’s rental history in the database.
No penalties have been introduced in the act for failing to comply with these requirements. However, the bill maintains the current provisions in part 6A which allow a tenant to make an application to the ACAT about a listing or a proposed listing of his or her personal information. An application may be made for a contravention of a provision in the new part, for the removal or amendment of personal information in a database, and for compensation for loss or damage caused by a listing.
I am confident that this bill strikes an appropriate balance between the rights of tenants and lessors. It recognises the relevance of tenancy databases as a legitimate risk minimisation tool for lessors and agents while ensuring that listings are only for the most serious breaches of the tenancy agreement, and that listings are accurate, complete and unambiguous. I commend the bill to the Assembly.
Debate (on motion by Mrs Dunne) adjourned to the next sitting.
Unit Titles (Management) Bill 2011
Mr Corbell, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.
Title read by Clerk.
MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development, Minister for Territory and Municipal Services and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (10.20): I move:
That this bill be agreed to in principle.