Northern Territory Government Newsroom

Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill Introduced to Parliament

The Territory Labor Government has introduced to Parliament critical amendments to the Residential Tenancies Act to bring the NT into line with national standards.

The Attorney-General Natasha Fyles said Territorians deserve a government they can trust – one that always put them first.

“We have listened to Territorians concerns around regulatory gaps in relation to residential tenancies and are making changes to modernise Territory laws,” she said.

“Residential tenancy databases are privately operated electronic directories containing information about an individual’s rental history and are used by landlords and real estate agents to consider rental applications.”

The changes create regulations guiding how agents, lessors and database operators can use, record and access personal information about tenants and prospective tenants listed, and also provide that landlords can be penalised for doing the wrong thing.

Database owners will also need to comply with the new regulation when listing or using a tenant’s personal information on a database.

Any disputes raised by tenants or landlords about the use of databases, and the information recorded, will heard by the independent Northern Territory Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

Minister Fyles said all other Australian jurisdictions have enacted comprehensive regulatory provisions on this issue.

“Most states have enacted national Model Provisions developed and agreed to by all Australian jurisdictions,” she said.

“Many local real estate agencies are already complying with the obligations, with key residential tenancy databases being based interstate and subject to relevant regulations.”

A staged introduction of changes is planned once the amendments pass Parliament.

It’s envisaged the legislation could be in place by July, with landlords, agents and database operators provided a further three months to review and modify, existing database entries to comply with the new framework.

All enquiries about the changes can be directed to the Commissioner of Tenancies at NT Consumer Affairs on consumer@nt.gov.au or call 1800 019 319.

Media Contact: Laetitia Lemke 0418 973 602