Beginning a Tenancy - Applying for a Rental Property

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A number of real estate agents require prospective tenants to complete a detailed application form before they will be considered for a tenancy. Often these forms require a lot of personal information including current and previous addresses, your occupation and employer’s details, bank details, drivers license number and car registration, passport number, referees and credit history.

The Act does not prevent a landlord or agent asking this information. You could certainly choose not to disclose requested information that you believe is not relevant to tenancy, for example your student number. However, if you do not provide the information that is requested there is potential that your application will be at a disadvantage. If an agent or landlord accepts your application they will offer you the premises. If you decide that you do not want to go ahead with the tenancy you should let the owner know immediately and not agree to, or sign a lease. If you decide that you are no longer interested in the property before the owner offers you the place, you should advise them that you wish to withdraw your application. If a landlord or agent does not accept your application they are not obliged to tell you why. However, it may be worthwhile to ask them if they can suggest anything that may make your application more successful in the future. If you think that you have been unfairly refused a tenancy, for example, on the basis of age, race, religion, parental status, sexual orientation, irrelevant criminal record, disability or gender of any of the applicants you should contact the Anti-Discrimination Commission (Phone 1300 305 062).