Sunday, September 17, 2006

Prices are high in Australia as well

What we all need for a strong real estate market is new blood all of the time. You need renters moving up to home ownership and this will make sure that there are lots of buyers and sellers in the market. Right now there is also high house prices in Australia so renters are having trouble buying there as well. Here is a story that I picked up from the

There is a new registry in Australia that allows homeowners to check on the reputation of renters and this article speaks to that issue.

TENANTS who default on their rent might never escape the renting cycle as their bad debts could stop them getting a mortgage, according to a property industry expert.

Landlord insurance provider Terri Scheer says many tenants are not aware that defaulting on their rent will be recorded on a national database. Every time they apply for credit or a home loan in the future, this information could be on their record, she says.

"Defaulting on rent doesn't just leave your landlord out of pocket, it can also have a significant impact on your ability to own your own home," Ms Scheer says.

"Being a model tenant is more than just having a good relationship with your landlord, it is also about building a good credit rating for the future."

Real estate property managers report to, and access, national databases so they can screen out proposed tenants who might have a history of not paying their rent. Ms Scheer, chief executive of Terri Scheer Insurance Brokers, also said that some chronic non-payers often seek out landlords who independently manage their properties. This was because the tenants assume the owner will not have access to a credit data base, which might otherwise cause the landlord to choose someone else.

Tenants Union Victoria spokesman David Imber said the residential tenancy databases were set up because state laws do not allow real estate agents to have access to credit data, so they set up their own system to keep track of non-paying tenants. However, Mr Imber said the tenancy databases often have incorrect information and in some cases include malicious reporting by agents.

Mr Imber said real estate agents or the database managers do not have to inform tenants when they send a report about them, for things such as not paying the rent on time, property damage or violence. However, under the privacy laws, if a tenant asks to see if there are any references to them on one of these databases, they must be shown the information - but only if they ask. Tenants also have the right to challenge any information and get it corrected through the privacy commissioner but this was often a long and difficult process, Mr Imber said.

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