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: email@example.com 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.