Infringements - real estate

The Real Estate and Business Agents Act 1978 (The REBA Act) and Residential Tenancies Act 1987 (the RTA Act) imposes serious obligations on the real estate industry and the way it operates. Failing to meet those obligations can result in the Department issuing an infringement notice (also referred to as a modified penalty), prosecuting offending licence or registration holders before a Court, or initiating disciplinary action in the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT).

Only a Court can issue the penalties listed in each Act, but where the Department believes there is sufficient basis for a belief that an offence was committed it may issue an Infringement Notice. The current maximum penalty for an Infringement Notice can be as high as $4,000.

The SAT has the power to suspend or cancel an agent’s licence or a sales representatives’ registration in some circumstances where the conduct contravenes the law and prejudices, or may prejudice, any rights or interests of a party to a transaction.

Agents should read the following lists of infringements in context with the full provisions of the Act and Regulations.

The following tables outlines offences for which an infringement notice may be given under each Act.

Infringement notices for residential tenancy matters may also be issued to lessors, tenants and database operators.

REBA Act offences and penalties

Prescribed offences and modified penalties
Offences under Real Estate and Business Agents Act 1987

Modified penalty

s. 35 Failing to notify Commissioner of ceasing or commencing business $400
s. 36(1) Failing to have registered office in the State $200
s. 37(1) Failing to register a branch office $200
s. 37(2) Failing to have qualified manager at branch office $200
s. 37(3) Branch manager acting for more than one licensee or as an agent on own account $400
s. 40(1)(a) Carrying on business under a name not endorsed on triennial certificate $200
s. 40(1)(b) Failing to include surname and initials of licensee on all business correspondence $200
s. 40(3) Failing to notify Commissioner of alteration of business name $200
s. 41(1)(a) Failing to display official details at registered office $400
s. 41(1)(b) Failing to display official details at branch office $400
s. 41(2)(a) Failing to display official details on all correspondence and documents from registered office $400
s. 41(2)(b) Failing to display official details on all correspondence and documents from branch office $400
s. 51(1) Failing to notify Commissioner of commencing or ceasing employment, or to act, as a sales representative $400
s. 70(1) Failing to cause audit of trust account $600
s. 70(3) Failing to deliver audit report to the Commissioner $600
s. 70(8) Failing to deliver a termination audit report $600
s. 86 Failing to lodge a statutory declaration in relation to the audit of trust accounts $200

 

Prescribed offences and modified penalties
Offence under Real Estate and Business Agents (General) Regulations 1979

Modified penalty

r. 8 Failing to notify Commissioner of change in particulars $20

 

RTA Act offences and penalties

Prescribed offences and modified penalties
Offences under Residential Tenancies Act 1987
Residential Tenancies Regulations 1989 Schedule 5

Modified penalty

s. 22(5) Unlawfully demanding or receiving fee or reward for representing or assisting party to proceedings $1,000
s. 27A Failing to use prescribed form of written residential tenancy agreement $1,000
s. 27B Failing to give prescribed information to tenant $1,000
s. 27C(1)(a) Failing to prepare property condition report within 7 days $1,000
s. 27C(1)(b) Failing to provide 2 copies of property condition report within 7 days $1,000
s. 27C(4)(a) Failing to inspect premises within 14 days $1,000
s. 27C(4)(b) Failing to prepare final property condition report within 14 days $1,000
s. 27C(4)(c) Failing to provide copy of property condition report within 14 days $1,000
s. 27(1) Requiring or receiving unauthorised amount for or in relation to a residential tenancy agreement $1,000
s. 28(1) Requiring more than 2 weeks rent during first 2 weeks of tenancy $1,000
s. 28(2) Requiring more than 2 weeks rent in advance $1,000
s. 29(1)(a) Requiring or receiving more than one security bond $1,000
s. 29(1)(b) Requiring or receiving security bond of more than 4 weeks rent plus pet bond (if applicable) $1,000
s. 29(4)(a) Failing to give receipt for security bond $2,000
s. 29(4)(b) Failing to pay security bond to bond administrator $2,000
s. 29(8)(a) Failing to ensure tenant does not sign bond disposal form before residential tenancy agreement terminates $1,000
s. 29(8)(b) Failing to ensure tenant does not sign bond disposal form without amount of security bond stipulated $1,000
s. 32 Requiring or receiving rent in excess of court ordered amount $1,000
s. 33(1) Failing to give receipt for rent $1,000
s. 34(1) Failing to keep records of rent received $1,000
s. 51(2) Failing to notify tenant of lessor’s name and property manager’s name and details $1,000
s. 54(1)(a) Failing to give tenant copy of residential tenancy agreement $1,000
s. 54(1)(b) Failing to give tenant copy of executed residential tenancy agreement $1,000
s. 57(2A) Executing residential tenancy agreement providing for accelerated rent or liquidated damages $1,000
s. 59F(2) Property manager altering, removing or adding lock without consent $2,000
s. 63(3) Giving false or misleading notice of termination $1,000
s. 79(3) Failing to give notice that abandoned goods have been stored $1,000
s. 80A(6) Failing to give reclaimed document to person $1,000
s. 80 Entering leased premises to recover possession without court order $4,000
s. 82C(2) Failing to give written notice of usual use of residential tenancy database $1,000
s. 82D(2) Failing to give written notice of personal information in residential tenancy database $1,000
s. 82E(1) Listing personal information in residential tenancy database contrary to section 82E(1) $1,000
s. 82F(1) Listing personal information in residential tenancy database contrary to section 82F(1) $1,000
s. 82G(3) Failing to keep copy of written notice under section 82G(2) for one year $1,000
s. 82I(1) Lessor or lessor’s agent failing to give copy of personal information within 14 days of request $1,000
s. 96(2) Failing to pay bond, or part of bond, when required $1,000

 

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