Please note: this page provides information to help you if you have had ‘REA Transactions’ debits made from your account.

The Tenants’ Union ACT does not, and cannot, make direct debits from anyone’s bank accounts.

The Tenants’ Union has received reports that tenants are having money deducted from their bank accounts up to 12 years after they’ve stopped renting at a property. The debits show up as ‘REA Transactions’ and are usually $8.91 or $9.60 per quarter.  They seem to target tenants who paid rent through a company that is separate to their estate agency, such as RE Connect or other rent card company.

If you think you may have been affected you can:

  • Write to your bank to cancel the direct debits (if your bank won’t stop the charges, see this Factsheet from the Consumer Credit Legal Centre NSW).
  • Contact your real estate agent to find out what company you paid rent through, what the company’s contact details are, and what reference number you had, if any.
  • Contact the company to stop the charges and ask for a refund of all fees you paid – many tenants have had fees refunded.
  • Contact your local Tenants’ service if you need further assistance (view Other Sites if you are not in the ACT).

If you rent in Canberra and want more information, go to Rental Advice and read our  FAQ ‘My agent says I must pay rent through a third party‘.

If you paid rent with a RE Connect oneCard, contact them by phone: 1300 302 060, fax: (02) 9211 0508 or email: enquiries@reconnect.com.au to cancel your account, stop the fees, and ask for fees you’ve paid to be reimbursed.

If you paid rent via DEFT and you know your DEFT reference number, enter it at www.deft.com.au to cancel any ongoing payments that cause dishonour fees.  If you don’t know your DEFT reference number, contact your real estate agent.  Your real estate agent records your DEFT reference number and must provide it to you.

When you sign your lease, if you are given no choice but to pay rent through another company, this is called third line forcing, which is against the law, and you can complain to the ACCC.  If you are trying to negotiate a different payment method, you can explain to your real estate agent that we have received several complaints about these charges and that it illustrates yet another risk that tenants face when they pay rent through a third party.

Reviewed: 4/12/13

IMPORTANT NOTE:

Tenants’ Union ACT publishes this website as a free service to the public.

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 note that the information on this site is only relevant to renters in the ACT Please also note when the page was last updated, as the law may have changed.