Residential Tenancies Act 2010 No 42
Current version for 4 July 2014 to date (accessed 22 December 2014 at 05:41)

24   Holding fees

(1)  A person must not require or receive from a tenant a holding fee unless:
(a)  the tenant’s application for tenancy of the residential premises has been approved by the landlord, and
(b)  the fee does not exceed 1 week’s rent of the residential premises (based on the rent under the proposed residential tenancy agreement).
Note. A tenant is defined in this Act as including a prospective tenant.
(2)  A person who receives a holding fee must give the tenant a written receipt setting out the following:
(a)  the amount paid and the date on which it was paid,
(b)  the address of the residential premises,
(c)  the names of the landlord and the tenant.
(3)  If a tenant has paid a holding fee, the landlord must not enter into a residential tenancy agreement for the residential premises with any other person within 7 days of payment of the fee (or within such further period as may be agreed with the tenant) unless the tenant notifies the landlord that the tenant no longer wishes to enter into the residential tenancy agreement.
(4)  A holding fee may be retained by the landlord only if the tenant enters into the residential tenancy agreement or refuses to enter into the residential tenancy agreement.
(5)  Despite subsection (4), a holding fee must not be retained by the landlord if the tenant refuses to enter into the residential tenancy agreement because of a misrepresentation or failure to disclose a material fact by the landlord or landlord’s agent.
(6)  If a residential tenancy agreement is entered into after payment of a holding fee, the fee must be paid towards rent.

Maximum penalty: 20 penalty units.

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