Fees – do I have to pay?

No.  Under the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA), the landlord or agent can only charge you rent and bond (section 15).

Requiring a tenant to pay a fee is a breach of the the Act.

It sets out that they cannot require or even accept payment for:

  • agreeing to enter into, extend or renew a tenancy agreement; or
  • agreeing to transfer rights; or
  • consenting to a tenant entering into an agreement with a sub-tenant; or
  • vacating a property;
  • giving a key to a property; or
  • informing a tenant about the availability of a property.

This means that you don’t have to pay any re-inspection fees, late-payment fees or tenant changeover fees.

Can I be required to pay a holding deposit?

A holding deposit is a sum of money paid to a landlord or letting agent to reserve a rental property before the signing of a tenancy agreement

Section 18 (RTA) expressly prohibits requiring or even accepting a holding deposit.

If you have paid such a fee it goes on to say that any agreement to pay a deposit is void and any amount that may have been paid as a deposit is recoverable as a debt.

What about paying bond and rent in advance?

Under Section 7 (RTA) a residential tenancy agreement starts as soon as the landlord or agent receive rent from you, this is even if you do not yet have a signed agreement.     If you pay this make sure the receipt says it is for rent and bond.

What cost might I have to pay outside rent and bond?

Compensation:  If you breach a term of your tenancy agreement and this causes the landlord a loss, you can be ordered to pay compensation.  However, you don’t have to pay this unless/until the Tribunal agrees that you are in breach and has worked out the amount of the loss.

Break lease Fee:  If you signed an agreement that includes a break lease fee you may be liable to pay it, if not, you may still be liable to pay some compensation.   For information on compensation for breaking the lease, see Tenancy Factsheet: Ending a Tenancy and Breaking a Lease.

Rent cards:  If you are being charged fees to use a rent card to pay your rent, see our FAQ on rent cards here and an FAQ other rent payment options here.

Reviewed: 6/2/2019



Tenants’ Union ACT publishes this website as a free service to the public. Please note that the information on this site is only relevant to renters in the ACT. This website provides information about the law designed to help users understand their legal rights and obligations. However legal information is not the same as legal advice (the application of law to an individual's specific circumstances). Although we make all efforts to ensure our information is accurate and useful, we recommend you consult the Tenants Advice Service for advice specific to your circumstances. You are also free to consult an independent solicitor for a second opinion. Please note that this website is NOT intended to be used as a substitute for specific legal advice or opinions and the transmission of this information is NOT intended to create a solicitor-client relationship between the Tenants’ Union ACT and members of the public. Tenants’ Union ACT makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, currency, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use.  Please also note when the page was last updated, as the law may have changed.