Tenants hold landlords to ransom - hole plugged

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At TPN we have a consistent message; place quality tenants to limit the risk of non-payment, damage to property or worse a “squatting” tenant. To this end TPN collects tenant rental payment profile data and adverse / default listings.

I find it doubtful any landlord would willing or knowingly place a delinquent tenant without weighing up their options in terms of double or triple deposits, sureties, co-signatories or requiring a signed debit order.

Unfortunately, it has come to light that delinquent tenants are holding property managers and landlords to ransom; demanding that adverse information is removed from the credit bureaus or they refuse to vacate the property. This type of behaviour is not limited to tenants per se and has resulted in a credit industry-wide directive:

The Credit Bureau Association (CBA), of which TPN is a member, issued a policy directive which is now in force:

“It was resolved by the legal and compliance committee of the CBA that adverse consumer credit information supplied by non Credit Provider Association members shall be displayed for the maximum period from the date of event, as prescribed for the said categories of consumer credit information, in terms of regulation 17 of the General Regulations Issued in terms of the National Credit Act No.34 of 2005 (NCA); effective from 1 June 2011.”

National Credit Act
Regulation 17 (1)

Categories of Consumer Credit Information


Maximum period

Adverse classification of consumer behaviour

Subjective classifications of consumer behaviour [Examples: “late payer”, “absconded”, “damage to property”]

1 year

Adverse classification of enforcement action

Classification related to enforcement action taken by the credit provider [Examples: “handed over”, “bad debt written off”, evicted”]

2 year

National Credit Act
Section 70(2)(d)

A registered credit bureau must-
(d) retain any consumer credit information reported to it for the prescribed period, irrespective of whether that information reflects positively or negatively on the consumer;

TPN members are able to load Adverse Listings (defaults) against their customer’s (tenant’s) credit profiles on both the TPN and TransUnion databases. Prior to loading these default listings the TPN member is legally required to give the consumer 20 business days’ notice of intention to list.
Should the consumer settle the debt prior to the 1 or 2 year retention period; the TPN member must update the consumer’s default record to “Account settled in full”.
TPN and TransUnion will no longer accept a request to delete defaults unless the default details are factually inaccurate, duplicated or relate to fraud.

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