Residential tenancies update: Changes to Magistrates Court and Australia Post processes - Real estate bulletin issue 105 (February 2016)

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Licence holdersProperty industry

4 February 2016

The Department of Commerce wishes to notify agents and property managers of some recent changes by the Magistrates Court and Australia Post in relation to their services.

Increase in application filing fee with Magistrates Court

As from 1 January 2016, the application filing fee increased from $26.70 to $53.20 in relation to residential tenancies. This fee applies to both the Application for disposal of bond money (Form 6) and the Application for court order (Form 12).

These fees have not increased since the introduction of the Residential Tenancies Act 1987 (the RT Act) and the increase was necessary to assist with the operating costs of the Magistrates Court.

The application filing fee for financially disadvantaged persons has not increased. The application filing fee will undergo an annual review process.

Application forms and court information is available on the Magistrates Court’s website.

Australia Post’s delivery changes

Since the Department’s e-Bulletin issue 67, Australia Post has amended its delivery service and charges for mail within Australia.

As you would be aware, it now costs $1.00 to post a letter. The letter size and weight guidelines are available here.

Australia Post retains its four tiered system of service for mail delivery, with the relevant tiers for agents and property managers being the ‘regular’ and ‘priority’ services.

While the regular service remains the most cost effective, the time taken to deliver the letter can be between 2 to 6 days across Australia. Australia Post’s standard delivery timetable indicates that it can take up to 3 days to deliver a letter within the metropolitan area of Perth.

Depending upon the destination, delivery using the priority service is usually faster but it incurs an additional charge. Australia Post’s website can provide you with an estimation of the postage and delivery times.

The RT Act provides that notices may be served in person or by post. Where a notice is posted to a tenant, it is deemed to have been received at the time it would have been delivered “in the ordinary course of post”. It is therefore important to factor in the new expected delivery times when posting notices.

However, as referenced within e-Bulletin issue 92, certain notices and documents required to be given in writing under the RT Act can be provided electronically, subject to the provisions identified within the e-Bulletin.

Information on residential tenancies is available on the Department’s website or enquiries can be made by email or by calling 1300 30 40 54.

Consumer Protection
Last updated 05 Feb 2016

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