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Qld rental application - privacy - huh?

Discussion in 'Property Management' started by wombat777, 17th Jul, 2015.

  1. wombat777

    wombat777 Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I received an e-mail late today from my PM with some basic details for a tenancy application in QLD.

    This is for sourcing the first tenant of my first IP.

    The PM has provided just a rundown of income ( no copies of pay slips ), rental history, etc.

    So I asked the PM to send me the application. They indicate they can't due to privacy.

    Is this correct? The lease agreement will be between me as the landlord, and the tenant - so it seems odd that I am not entitled to see the application.

    I will be calling the PM in the morning but just want clarification as to what info I should expect to see.

    ( nb - income / employment and history seems reasonable )
     
  2. Be Developer

    Be Developer Property Developer Business Member

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    Yup..most PM won't pass on details.

    Company policies and privacy act!
     
  3. Perp

    Perp Well-Known Member

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    I know that lots of PM sprout this line, but it seems absurd to me. The PM is the one who's only allowed to see that information because they're our agent; if only one or the other can see it, the landlord should be able to see it but not the PM!

    Legal perspective? @Terry_w? @thatbum?
     
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  4. Terry_w

    Terry_w Solicitor, Finance Broker, CTA Business Member

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    The PM is the agent - they are acting on behalf of the landlord. If they can see it so can the landlord.
     
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  5. wombat777

    wombat777 Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Thanks for confirming Terry.

    The odd thing is, this is a very large agency. They have 7 staff involved in Property Management / Leasing as well as other administrative staff. You would think they would know what information landlords have rights to access. Maybe they are being lazy.
     
  6. Perp

    Perp Well-Known Member

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    More likely, overly risk-averse. The penalties for privacy breaches can be huge. But it's such a widespread misunderstanding of privacy laws, I don't know why it hasn't been redressed.
     
  7. Nick Valsamis

    Nick Valsamis Well-Known Member

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    Could be because they don't want you to question their authority, but otherwise there is no reason you can't view the application. Then again lots of companies make their own processes too.

    Normally I email a report on the best applicants for review by the owner. This includes the tenants basic information and overview of their employment/income, rental history and bank statement assessment.

    With this detailed report there is no need to send the application because everything has already been summarised so the owner doesn't have to assess all the documents and information.
     
  8. wombat777

    wombat777 Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Thanks. You raise a good point though. Even we as owners need to be careful with the information we receive.
     
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  9. Perp

    Perp Well-Known Member

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    Sure, but even if incorporated, most of us landlords would be exempt from privacy laws. There's a size/activity level threshold before privacy laws apply. Most RE agents would be subject to it, most of us wouldn't.
     
  10. Nick Valsamis

    Nick Valsamis Well-Known Member

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    If they don't budge on your request, you could ask them to blank out the personal identifying information then send the application over.
     
  11. SeafordSunshine

    SeafordSunshine Well-Known Member

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    Dear Wombat,
    How can you make an informed decision without the full information? I would want a copy of their application, for my records. Make sure they know that you know this, and make sure that you are in charge of the decision making! Have the tenants got something to hide? Also make sure that if they don't want you to make an informed decision, your decision will be No.
    I hope this helps
    P.S. agree w. Perps , 'Misunderstanding of privacy laws'
     
  12. Terry_w

    Terry_w Solicitor, Finance Broker, CTA Business Member

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    What happens when they do a runner and you have to track them down - is the agent going to say oh we can't show you the form they filled in because of privacy reasons. How do you find details of nearest relative, employment etc.

    Ask the agent to cite specific legislation - there may be some, but I doubt it.
     
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  13. Perp

    Perp Well-Known Member

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    I think you're entitled to see it, but wow, I must be way too hands-off. I don't even usually know when my tenants change over, let alone getting involved at this level of detail. This feels a bit like "having a dog and barking yourself", as the saying goes. :)
     
  14. Chilliblue

    Chilliblue Well-Known Member

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    Just advise the agency in writing that any future potential tenant must agree have their information forwarded to the property owner.

    In this case, have the agency seek permission in order for you to assess their suitability.
     
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  15. Terry_w

    Terry_w Solicitor, Finance Broker, CTA Business Member

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    Great idea!
     
  16. Chilliblue

    Chilliblue Well-Known Member

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    It's something that my PM's are advised and I do for my commercial clients.

    Solves the Privacy Act issue issue.
     
  17. wombat777

    wombat777 Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Great suggestion @Chilliblue! Will give the agent these instructions for future applications.

    I spoke to the agent this morning and clarified rent the prospective tenant had paid at previous properties. This information was not provided in the initial summary from the agent. There was also a good reference from a previous agent.

    I've decided to approve the application. This at my original asking rent, which fits the rental appraisal given by the PM 3 months ago.

    Edit - will talk to a few others to get their experiences at the Western Sydney meetup next week.
     
  18. D.T.

    D.T. Adelaide Property Manager Business Member

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    I have seen legislation to that effect when I was doing SA qualification. I'll try to find it.
     
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  19. SeafordSunshine

    SeafordSunshine Well-Known Member

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    Dear Wombat,
    I just want to say that conversations like this are great, they help everybody make informed decisions about their investment journey, and information is power, whether or not you choose to be hands on, or not is up to you.
    I think that perhaps Perp has a long standing property manager who he trusts? Whereas Wombat you are at the beginning of your journey, and establishing relationships with new people, both of you are right, for their stages of investment journeys , good on you both! I wish you well!
     
    Last edited: 18th Jul, 2015
  20. Be Developer

    Be Developer Property Developer Business Member

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    @D.T.

    From memory legislation talks abt privacy but doesn't clearly indicate landlord/tenants disclosure.

    Most likely it will be company policy.