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Residential Tenancy Act 1997 (No. 82 of 1997)
Requested:  18 Sep 2014
Consolidated as at:  11 Jan 2005

Division 3 - Security deposits and holding fees

25. Security deposits

      (1) [Section 25 Subsection (1) amended by No. 49 of 2003, s. 11, Applied:25 Aug 2004] Except in the case of boarding premises, an owner may require a prospective tenant to pay an amount as security for the performance of obligations under a residential tenancy agreement.

      (2) On receipt of the security deposit from the tenant, the owner must give to the tenant a written notice stating –

(a) the name of the tenant; and

(b) the amount deposited by the tenant as a security deposit; and

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

(d) the date on which the notice is given; and

(e) the name and address of the owner.

Penalty:

Fine not exceeding 10 penalty units.

      (3) An owner must not –

(a) require or receive more than one security deposit in relation to one residential tenancy agreement; or

(b) require an amount as security deposit that exceeds 4 weeks' rent payable under the residential tenancy agreement.

Penalty:

Fine not exceeding 50 penalty units.

26. Condition report

      (1) If an owner requires a prospective tenant to pay an amount as a security deposit in respect of any residential premises, the owner is to give the tenant 2 copies of a report stating the condition of the premises on or before the day on which the tenant occupies the premises.

      (2) A condition report is to –

(a) specify the general state of repair and condition of the premises to which it relates; and

(b) be signed by the owner.

      (3) On receipt of the copies of the condition report the tenant is to –

(a) sign one of the copies of the report endorsed with a statement that the tenant agrees or disagrees with the report as a whole or any part of it; and

(b) return that signed and endorsed copy to the owner within 2 days.

      (4) A condition report that is given under this section is evidence of the state of repair and condition of the residential premises to which it relates.

27. Return of security deposit, &c.

[Section 27 Substituted by No. 67 of 2003, s. 9, Applied:05 Mar 2004]

      (1) On termination of a residential tenancy agreement, the owner is to –

(a) return the security deposit to the tenant within 3 working days of the termination of the residential tenancy agreement together with the prescribed amount of interest (if any such amount is prescribed) less any amount due to the owner arising from the non-performance of the residential tenancy agreement by the tenant; or

(b) give to the tenant a notice stating the reasons why the security deposit has been retained and –

(i) a statement of the loss incurred by the owner; or

(ii) an estimate of the date on which it is expected that the loss will be determined.

      (2) If the tenant is given a notice under subsection (1), the owner is to provide the tenant with a statement to the effect that, if the tenant is dissatisfied with the matters contained in the notice, the tenant may apply to the Commissioner for resolution of the matter, and is to provide the tenant with the address of the Commissioner.

      (3) In this section,

working day means a weekday that is not a statutory holiday, within the meaning of the Statutory Holidays Act 2000, in the area in which the residential premises to which the residential tenancy agreement relates are situated.

28. Disputes

      (1) If the tenant disputes the amount returned by the owner under section 27, the tenant may apply to the Commissioner to determine the dispute.

      (2) An application to determine the dispute is to be –

(a) [Section 28 Subsection (2) amended by No. 67 of 2003, s. 10, Applied:05 Mar 2004] in writing and lodged with the Commissioner within 60 days after the termination of the residential tenancy agreement; and

(b) accompanied by any information to support the dispute; and

(c) accompanied by the prescribed fee.

      (3) The Commissioner, by notice in writing, is to require the owner to lodge with the Commissioner within 7 days of receipt of the notice –

(a) the balance of any security deposit not paid to the tenant; and

(b) a copy of the condition report.

      (4) The owner must comply with the notice.

Penalty:

Fine not exceeding 50 penalty units.

      (5) The owner may lodge with the Commissioner, on payment of a prescribed fee and within 7 days of receipt of the notice, information to support the owner's decision to retain all or part of the security deposit.

29. Determination of dispute

      (1) [Section 29 Subsection (1) amended by No. 67 of 2003, s. 11, Applied:05 Mar 2004] The Commissioner is to determine a dispute by giving notice to the parties of the Commissioner's decision to disburse the security deposit together with the prescribed amount of interest (if any such amount is prescribed) in the manner specified in the notice.

      (2) The Commissioner is not to make a determination until at least 7 days have elapsed since receipt by the owner of a notice referred to in section 28(3).

      (3) [Section 29 Subsection (3) inserted by No. 67 of 2003, s. 11, Applied:05 Mar 2004] The Commissioner may refuse to determine a dispute if the application is made after the period referred to in section 28(2)(a).

      (4) [Section 29 Subsection (4) inserted by No. 67 of 2003, s. 11, Applied:05 Mar 2004] The Commissioner may refund –

(a) to the owner the fee paid under section 28(5) if of the opinion that the application by the tenant is vexatious; or

(b) to the tenant the fee paid under section 28(2)(c) if of the opinion that any action of the owner in relation to the subject matter of the dispute is vexatious.

      (5) [Section 29 Subsection (5) inserted by No. 67 of 2003, s. 11, Applied:05 Mar 2004] If after the expiration of 7 days from the date on which the determination is made no appeal has been lodged under section 30(1), the Commissioner is to disburse the security deposit together with the prescribed amount of interest (if any such amount is prescribed) in the manner specified in the notice referred to in subsection (1).

30. Appeal against determination

      (1) [Section 30 Subsection (1) amended by No. 53 of 2003, Sched. 1, Applied:25 Sep 2003] A person may appeal to the Court against the determination of the Commissioner under section 29.

      (2) An appeal is to be instituted within 7 days after the determination is made.

      (3) [Section 30 Subsection (3) amended by No. 53 of 2003, Sched. 1, Applied:25 Sep 2003] The Court is to hold a new hearing in deciding the appeal.

      (4) [Section 30 Subsection (4) amended by No. 53 of 2003, Sched. 1, Applied:25 Sep 2003] In deciding the appeal, the Court may –

(a) confirm the determination of the Commissioner; or

(b) vary or quash the determination and order the security deposit to be disbursed in accordance with the order.

31. Holding agreement and fees

      (1) The owner of residential premises that are unoccupied and a prospective tenant may enter into an agreement to hold the premises for the future occupancy of the prospective tenant for a specified period exceeding 7 days.

      (2) The holding agreement may impose a fee payable by the prospective tenant as a condition of the holding agreement.



CURRENT VIEW: 25 Aug 2004 - 30 Mar 2005
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