The Residential Tenancies (Prohibiting Letting Fees) Amendment Act has been approved by Parliament & from 12 December 2018, tenants can’t be charged letting fees for residential homes.
Previously, property managers provided casual lets (where they help find a tenant but don’t manage the property) and charged a fee to cover the cost of showing the home, advertising, and vetting applicants.
Letting fees were normally the equivalent of one week’s rent (excl. GST), and paid at the beginning of a tenancy as an upfront cost. But the govt has deemed that this creates a financial barrier to renters.
Charging letting fees to tenants will be an unlawful act from 12 December, and anyone who does so could be liable for up to $1,000 in exemplary damages.
However, property managers are likely to pass the letting fee onto the landlord and charge the landlord for advertising or credit checks. But landlords won’t be able to recover this cost other than increasing rents.