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Residential Tenancy Act 1997 (No. 82 of 1997)
Requested:  31 Oct 2014
Consolidated as at:  11 Jan 2005

Division 2 - Rent

17. Money other than rent

[Section 17 Substituted by No. 67 of 2003, s. 6, Applied:01 Feb 2004]

      (1) A person must not require or receive from a tenant or prospective tenant any money or other consideration for entering into, renewing, extending or continuing a residential tenancy agreement other than –

(a) rent in advance for the relevant payment period; and

(b) a security deposit; and

(c) a holding fee.

Penalty:

Fine not exceeding 50 penalty units.

      (2) Except as provided otherwise in the regulations made under this Act, a person must not require or receive from another person any money or other consideration for or in relation to any of the following:

(a) making an application to rent residential premises;

(b) providing keys for the inspection of residential premises;

(c) giving permission to examine or inspect residential premises;

(d) supplying details of residential premises available for rental;

(e) placing the name of that other person on any waiting list for vacant residential premises;

(f) any other prescribed activity.

Penalty:

Fine not exceeding 50 penalty units.

      (3) An owner must not require or receive from a tenant during the term of a residential tenancy agreement any money or other consideration other than –

(a) rent in advance for the relevant payment period; and

(b) a water consumption charge if the residential premises are equipped with a device that calculates the amount of water used at those premises; and

(c) reasonable compensation for damage to the residential premises arising from the actions of the tenant or any loss incurred by the owner arising from the actions of the tenant.

      (4) In this section,

water consumption charge means an amount levied on an owner by a council for water consumed by an occupant of residential premises that is calculated as a fee for each unit of water consumed.

18. Rent payable in advance

Rent is payable in advance for a payment period.

19. Payment period

      (1) The payment period must not be varied during the period of the residential tenancy agreement unless the owner and tenant agree.

      (2) [Section 19 Subsection (2) amended by No. 67 of 2003, s. 7, Applied:05 Mar 2004] [Section 19 Subsection (2) substituted by No. 49 of 2003, s. 9, Applied:25 Aug 2004] A payment period must not exceed –

(a) 2 weeks in the case of boarding premises; or

(b) 4 weeks in any other case.

20. Increase in rent

      (1) An owner, by written notice to the tenant, may increase the amount of the rent payable by the tenant in respect of residential premises if –

(a) the written residential tenancy agreement for those premises allows for an increase; or

(b) there is no written residential tenancy agreement for those premises.

      (2) A notice is to specify –

(a) the amount of the rent as increased; and

(b) the day from which the increase in the rent takes effect.

      (3) An increase in the rent may only take effect from a day that is –

(a) more than 60 days after the day on which the notice is given; or

(b) if the residential tenancy agreement commenced less than 60 days before the day on which the notice was given, more than 6 months after that commencement; or

(c) if rent has been previously increased, more than 6 months after the last increase; or

(d) [Section 20 Subsection (3) amended by No. 53 of 2003, Sched. 1, Applied:25 Sep 2003] if the Court makes an order under section 23(3), more than 6 months after the date of that order.

      (4) A notice operates to vary the residential tenancy agreement to the effect that the increased rent as specified in the notice is payable under the agreement from the day specified in the notice.

21. Receipt for rent paid

On receiving rent in cash or by cheque from a tenant, an owner is to give the tenant a receipt stating –

(a) the date on which it was received; and

(b) the name of the tenant; and

(c) the residential premises in respect of which the rent is paid; and

(d) [Section 21 Amended by No. 49 of 2003, s. 10, Applied:25 Aug 2004] the amount of rent paid; and

(e) [Section 21 Amended by No. 49 of 2003, s. 10, Applied:25 Aug 2004] the period to which the payment relates.

22. Postdated cheques

An owner is not to require a cheque or other negotiable instrument that is postdated in payment for rent.

23. Unreasonable increase

      (1) [Section 23 Subsection (1) amended by No. 53 of 2003, Sched. 1, Applied:25 Sep 2003] A tenant may apply to the Court for an order declaring that an increase in the rent payable under a residential tenancy agreement is unreasonable.

      (2) [Section 23 Subsection (2) amended by No. 53 of 2003, Sched. 1, Applied:25 Sep 2003] In determining whether an increase in the rent is unreasonable, the Court is to have regard to –

(a) the general level of rents for comparable residential premises in the locality or a similar locality; and

(b) any other relevant matter.

      (3) [Section 23 Subsection (3) amended by No. 53 of 2003, Sched. 1, Applied:25 Sep 2003] If satisfied that the increase in the rent is unreasonable, the Court may order that the increase in the rent be changed to an amount that does not exceed a specified amount.

      (4) An order remains in force until the day on which rent may be increased under section 20.

24. Distress for rent prohibited

[Section 24 Substituted by No. 67 of 2003, s. 8, Applied:05 Mar 2004]

      (1) A person must not levy or make distress for any amount due that is unpaid.

Penalty:

Fine not exceeding 50 penalty units.

      (2) In addition to any penalty imposed on a person for an offence under subsection (1), the person –

(a) is liable to pay any costs incurred by any other person as a result of that offence; and

(b) must return any goods seized to the owner of the goods or, if the goods cannot be returned, pay the owner the value of the goods.



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