Penalties - renting

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Consumer Affairs Victoria can issue infringement notices to rental providers (landlords), rooming house operators, park operators and their agents if we identify breaches of some sections of the Residential Tenancies Act 1997.

An infringement notice allows someone to pay a fine for these offences without admitting guilt, rather than going to court.

The fine is less than the maximum penalty a court can impose.

For full details of your legal obligations, refer to the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 .

The value of a penalty unit is $181.74 for financial year 2021–22. This amount usually changes at the start of each financial year. The Department of Treasury and Finance has more information about the value of a penalty unit for each financial year.

Section of the Residential Tenancies Act

Obligation

Penalty for breaching obligation

s.26(2)

A rental agreement must be in the prescribed form

25 penalty units

s.26A A rental provider must not include prohibited terms in a residential rental agreement for a fixed term of more than 5 years
25 penalty units
s.27B A rental provider must not include prohibited terms in a residential rental agreement
25 penalty units

s.29(1)

A rental provider must not give a renter a proposed residential rental agreement to sign unless they have given a copy to the renter

25 penalty units

s.29(2)

A renter must be given a signed copy of an agreement or any written terms within 14 days

25 penalty units

s.30(1)

A person must not refuse to let premises because the renter intends to live there with a child

25 penalty units

s.31(1)

A person must not demand or accept a bond of more than one month's rent if the weekly rent is $900 or less

60 penalty units

s.34

A person must not demand or accept a second bond for a subsequent rental agreement

60 penalty units

s.35(1)

The rental provider must give the renter 2 signed copies of a condition report before the renter moves in

25 penalty units

s.37(1)

A person must not demand or require a renter to obtain a guarantee for performance of renter's duties if the renter pays a bond

60 penalty units

s.40(1)

A rental provider must not require a renter to pay rent more than one month in advance, unless the weekly rent is more than $900

60 penalty units

s.41

A rental provider must not require a renter to pay rent more than 2 weeks in advance if rent is payable each week

60 penalty units

s.43(1)

A rental provider must give a renter a receipt for rent immediately if it is paid in person.  If the renter does not pay in person and requests a receipt, the rental provider must give them the receipt within 5 business days.

25 penalty units

s.43(2)

Where rent is not paid in person and the renter does not request a receipt, the rental provider must retain records of all payments for 12 months

25 penalty units

s.43(2A)

Where a renter requests a copy of a rent receipt within 12 months, the rental provider must provide a copy within 5 business days

25 penalty units

s.49

A person must not take or dispose of a renter’s goods because they owe rent

60 penalty units

s.50

A person who receives a payment such as a deposit from a renter as a sign of good faith in respect of a proposed rental agreement must refund the payment

60 penalty units

s.51(1)

A person cannot charge a fee for making, continuing or renewing a rental agreement

60 penalty units

s.51(2)

A person cannot demand or receive a fee from the renter for inspection of premises

60 penalty units

s.51(3)

A person cannot charge a renter for using a rent payment card or direct debit to pay rent

60 penalty units

s.56(1)

A rental provider must not seek overpayment for a utility charge

60 penalty units

s.66(1)

A rental provider must give the renter a copy of rights and duties in prescribed form

60 penalty units

s.66(2)

A rental provider must provide their full name, address and (where there is no agent) emergency telephone number to the renter in writing

60 penalty units

s.66(3)

If an agent acts for a rental provider, the rental provider must provide the renter in writing with the agent’s name and address, whether the agent can authorise urgent repairs, and if so the agent's phone number for urgent repairs

60 penalty units

s.66(4)

The rental provider must notify the renter in writing of any changes in certain information previously provided within 7 days after the change

60 penalty units

s.84(1)

A rental provider must not demand or receive a fee for giving consent to the assignment or sub-letting of premises

60 penalty units

s.91A

A rental provider or agent must not, without reasonable excuse, enter rented premises except in accordance with the Act.

60 penalty units

s.91P(1)
A rental provider or agent must not compel the renter to vacate other than according to the Act
150 penalty units for person, 750 for body corporate
s.91P(2)
A rental provider or agent must not obtain or try to obtain possession of the premises by entering them, unless there are reasonable grounds to believe that the renter has abandoned the premises. 150 penalty units for person, 750 for body corporate
s91ZZH
Where the rental provider gives a tenant a notice to vacate due to demolition, change in use to business purposes, occupation by the rental provider's family or sale of the premises; the premises may not be let until 6 months have passed 150 penalty units for person, 750 for body corporate

s.92C(1)

A rooming house operator must give a proposed resident a notice of their rights before they move in

25 penalty units

s.94B(1)

A rooming house operator must not increase the number of people who can occupy a room without the required notice and consent

150 penalty units

s.96

A rooming house operator must not demand or accept a bond that exceeds 28 days rent (where the resident has fixed term rooming house agreement)

60 penalty units

s.97(1)

If a resident pays a bond, the rooming house operator must, provide 2 signed copies of the condition report to the resident before they move in

25 penalty units

s.99

A rooming house operator must not require rent to be paid more than 14 days in advance

60 penalty units

s.100(1)

A rooming house operator must give the resident a receipt for rent immediately if it is paid in person. If the resident does not pay in person and requests a receipt, the rooming house operator must give them a receipt within 5 business days

60 penalty units

s.100(2)

Where rent is not paid in person and the resident does not request a receipt, the rooming house operator must retain records of all payments for 12 months

25 penalty units

s.100(2A)

Where a resident requests a copy of a rent receipt within 12 months, the rooming house operator must provide a copy within 5 business days

25 penalty units

s.107

A person must not take or dispose of a resident’s goods because they owe rent

60 penalty units

s.124

The rooming house operator must prominently display, in each resident’s room, a written statement of the resident’s rights and obligations (in the approved form) and a copy of the house rules

25 penalty units

s.125(1)

The rooming house operator must provide in writing their full name, address and (where there is no agent) emergency telephone number

150 penalty units

s.125(2)

If an agent acts for a rooming house operator, that owner must provide the resident in writing with the agent’s name and address, whether the agent can authorise urgent repairs, and if so the agent's phone number for urgent repairs

150 penalty units

s.125(3)

A rooming house operator must notify the resident in writing of any changes in certain information previously provided, within 7 days after the change

150 penalty units

s.127(1)

The rooming house operator must give a resident at least 7 days written notice of any proposed change to house rules

25 penalty units

s.142A

A rooming house operator or agent must not, without reasonable cause, enter a resident's room except in accordance with the Act

60 penalty units

s.142B

A rooming house operator must not provide a room, facility/service or access to a common area that does not comply with the prescribed privacy, safety, security and amenity standards

150 penalty units for a person, 750 penalty units for a body corporate

s.142BA A rooming house operator must keep records of gas and electrical safety checks conducted at the rooming house
150 penalty units for a person, 750 penalty units for a body corporate

s.142D

If the owner of a building, or that owner's agent has reason to believe the building is being used as an unregistered rooming house, they must notify the relevant council

60 penalty units

s.142R(1)
A person must not compel someone to vacate their rooming house room or attempt to take possession of a room other than according to the Act
150 penalty units for a person, 750 penalty units for a body corporate

s.142R(2)
Except in accordance with the Act, a person must not do certain specified things for the purposes of causing a resident to abandon a room
150 penalty units for a person, 750 penalty units for a body corporate
s.142X(1)(a) A resident who has a fixed-term rooming house agreement who vacates a room without giving notice must pay rent for the lesser of 14 days after vacating, or until another resident takes up occupancy of the room.
25 penalty units
s.142(1)(b) A resident who vacates a room without giving notice must pay rent for the lesser of 2 days after vacating, or until another resident takes up occupancy of the room. 
25 penalty units
s.142ZL(1) Where the rooming house operator gives a resident a Notice to Vacate due to repairs, reconstruction or demolition, the room may not be rented until 6 months have passed.  150 penalty units for a person, 750 penalty units for a body corporate

s.146(3)

A caravan park owner must not require a person to pay a bond where they have not entered into a written agreement

60 penalty points

s.147

A caravan park owner must not demand or accept a bond that exceeds 28 days of rent

60 penalty points

s.148(1)

The caravan park owner must give the resident 2 signed copies of a condition report before they move in

25 penalty units

s.150(1)

A caravan park owner must not require rent payable more than 28 days in advance

60 penalty units

s.150(2)

A caravan park owner must not require a hiring charge more than 28 days in advance

60 penalty units

s.151(1)

A caravan park owner must give a resident a  written receipt for rent or hiring charge immediately if it is paid in person. If the resident does not pay in person and requests a receipt, the owner must give them a receipt within 5 business days.

25 penalty units

s.151(2)

When rent or hiring charges are not paid in person and the resident does not request a receipt, the caravan park owner must keep records of payments for 12 months

25 penalty units

s.151(2A)

Where a resident requests a copy within 12 months the owner must provide a copy within 5 business days 

25 penalty units

s.160

A person must not take or dispose of a resident’s goods because they owe rent or hiring charges

60 penalty units

s.166(1)

A caravan park owner must not seek overpayment for utility charges

60 penalty units

s.182

On the day that a resident moves in, the caravan park owner must give them a written statement of their rights and duties, and a copy of the caravan park rules

60 penalty units

s.183(1)

On the day that a resident enters into occupation of a caravan park, the caravan park owner must give the resident a written statement setting out additional rent, hiring charges, fees and scale of commissions

60 penalty units

s.183(2)

A rental provider or agent must not obtain or try to obtain possession of the premises by entering them, unless there are reasonable grounds to believe that the renter has abandoned the premises.

25 penalty units

s.184(1)

The caravan park owner must provide in writing their full name, address and (where there is no agent) emergency telephone number

25 penalty units

s.184(2)

If an agent acts for a caravan park owner, that owner must provide the resident in writing with the agent’s name and address, whether the agent can authorise urgent repairs, and if so the agent's phone number for urgent repairs

25 penalty units

s.184(3)

The caravan park owner must notify the resident in writing of any changes to contact details within 7 days of the change

25penalty units

s.186(1)

The caravan park owner must notify the resident of any changes to the caravan park rules within 7 days of the change

25 penalty units

s.198(1)

A caravan park owner must not enter into an agreement to sell a caravan on behalf of a resident unless they have provided a scale of commission for the sale.

25 penalty units

s.198(2)

A caravan park owner must not obstruct or hinder the sale of a caravan owned by a resident.

150 penalty units for a person, 750 penalty units for a body corporate

s.206A

A caravan park operator, caravan owner or owner's agent must not, without reasonable excuse, enter a resident's site or caravan except in accordance with the Act.

25 penalty units

s.206AF Except in accordance with the Act, a person must not force a resident to vacate, take possession of, restrict access to, interfere with the peace of, or restrict services or facilities to a site.
150 penalty units for a person, 750 penalty units for a body corporate
s.206AM(1) A resident who vacates a site without giving notice must pay rent for the lesser of 7 days after vacating, or until another resident takes up occupancy of the site.
25 penalty units
s.206AM(2) A resident who vacates a caravan without giving notice must pay the hiring charge for the lesser of 7 days after vacating, or until another resident takes up occupancy of the caravan.
25 penalty units
s.206AZC(1) Where the caravan park owner gives a resident a Notice to Vacate due to sale of caravan or change of park use, the site may not be rented until 6 months have passed.
150 penalty units for a person, 750 penalty units for a body corporate
s.206AZC(2) Where the caravan park owner gives a resident a Notice to Vacate due to sale of caravan or occupation by caravan owner, the caravan may not be rented until 6 months have passed.
150 penalty units for a person, 750 penalty units for a body corporate

s.206E(2)

A site owner must not enter into a site agreement with a site tenant that is not in writing

150 penalty units

s.206I(1)

A site owner must give prospective site tenants a copy of the site agreement and at least 20 days to consider it before giving them a copy to sign.

60 penalty units

s.206N

A person must not demand or accept a second bond for a subsequent site agreement.

60 penalty units

s.2060(1)

The site owner must give the site tenant 2 signed copies of a condition report before they move in.

25 penalty units

s.206Q

A person must not require a site tenant to obtain a guarantee for performance of the site tenant's duties if the site tenant pays a bond.

60 penalty units

s.206T

A site owner must not require a site tenant to pay rent more than one month in advance.

60 penalty units

s.206U(1)

A site owner must give a site tenant a written receipt for rent immediately if it is paid in person. If the site tenant does not pay in person and requests a receipt, the site owner must give them a receipt within 5 business days.

25 penalty units

s.206U(2)

Where rent is not paid in person and the site tenant does not request a receipt, the site owner must retain records of all payments for 12 months.

25 penalty units

s.206U(3)

Where a site tenant requests a copy of a rent receipt within 12 months, the site owner must provide a copy within 5 business days.

25 penalty units

s.206ZC

A person must not take or dispose of a site tenant's goods because they owe rent.

60 penalty units

s.206ZH

Site owner must not seek overpayment for utility charges.

60 penalty units

s.206ZR(1)

Site owner must give site tenant a copy of rights and duties in prescribed form.

60 penalty units

s.206ZR(2)

Site owner must give site tenant a copy of rights and duties in prescribed form.

20 penalty units

s.206ZS(1)

Site owner must give site tenant Part 4A site plans.

25 penalty units

s.206ZX(1)

Site owner must provide in writing their full name, address and (where there is no agent), emergency telephone number.

25 penalty units

s.206ZX(2)

If an agent acts for a site owner, that site owner must provide the site tenant in writing with the agent's name and address, whether the agent can authorise urgent repairs, and if so, the agent's phone number for urgent repairs.

10 penalty units

s.206ZX(3)

The site owner must notify the site tenant in writing of any changes to contact details within 7 days of the change.

25 penalty units

s.206ZZ(1)

A site owner must give a site tenant at least seven days written notice of any proposed change in the Part 4A park rules.

60 penalty units

s.206ZZ(2)

A site owner must consult with site tenants in respect of a proposed change to the Part 4A park rules

20 penalty units

s.206ZZC(1)

A site owner must not unreasonably interfere with a site tenant's right to participate in a site tenants' committee.

60 penalty units

s.206ZZG(1)

A site owner must not demand to receive a fee for consent to assignment or sub-letting the site.

60 penalty units

s.206ZZG(2)

A site owner must not refuse to consent to assignment or sub-letting on the ground that the site tenant has refused to pay a fee for consent.

20 penalty units

s.206ZZH(2)

A site owner must not require a site tenant to enter into an agreement whereby the site owner sells a Part 4A dwelling on behalf of the site tenant.

100 penalty units

s.206ZZH(3)

A site owner selling a Part 4A dwelling on behalf of a site tenant must not charge a commission unless it has been disclosed as required.

60 penalty units

s.206ZZH(4)

A site owner must not obstruct or hinder the sale of a Part 4A dwelling by a site tenant.

150 penalty units for a person, 750 penalty units for a body corporate

s.206ZZP

A site owner or agent must not, without reasonable excuse, enter a site tenant's site or dwelling except in accordance with the Act

25 penalty units

s.207J(1)

A person must not require, compel or attempt to compel a site tenant to vacate except in accordance with the Act.

150 penalty units for a person, 750 penalty units for a body corporate

s.207J(2)

Except in accordance with the Act, a person must not exclude a site tenant from, or restrict or attempt to restrict access to, a Part 4A dwelling, site or park.

150 penalty units for a person, 750 penalty units for a body corporate

s.207J(3)

Except in accordance with the Act, a person must not interfere with the peace, comfort or privacy of a site tenant for the purposes of causing the site tenant to abandon the Part 4A site.

150 penalty units for a person, 750 penalty units for a body corporate

s.207(4)

Except in accordance with the Act, a person must not do certain specified things for the purposes of causing a site tenant to abandon a Part 4A site.

150 penalty units for a person, 750 penalty units for a body corporate

s.358(1)

A person removed from a rooming house under warrant must not re-enter and take possession of a room.

60 penalty units

s.358(2)

A person removed from a site or caravan park under warrant must not re-enter and take possession of a site or caravan.

60 penalty units

s.358(3)

A person removed from a Part 4A site under warrant must not re-enter and take possession of the site.

20 penalty units

s.368A

A manager of managed premises must not give a notice to leave or purported notice to leave without reasonable grounds.

150 penalty units

s.369

A person given notice to leave a managed property must not remain on the premises after receiving a copy of the notice.

60 penalty units

s.372

A resident whose rental agreement has been suspended must not re-enter the premises during that suspension.

60 penalty units

s.373

Where a notice to Leave has been issued the manager must also give the principal registrar written notice by no later than the end of the next business day.

60 penalty units

s.377(1)

Where a rental agreement is suspended, a rental provider of rented premises in a managed high-density building must not allow a party to lease or occupy the premises during that suspension.

150 penalty units for a person, 750 penalty units for a body corporate

s.377(2)

Where a residency right is suspended, a rooming house owner must not allow a party to occupy the premises during that suspension.

150 penalty units for a person, 750 penalty units for a body corporate

s.377(3)

Where a residency right is suspended, a caravan park owner must not allow a party to occupy the premises during that suspension.

150 penalty units for a person, 750 penalty units for a body corporate

s.377(3A)

Where a site agreement is suspended, a site owner must not allow a party to occupy the Part 4A site during that suspension.

150 penalty units for a person, 750 penalty units for a body corporate

s.382(2)

Where a person wishes to reclaim personal documents and pays associated costs, the owner of the premises must not refuse to give the documents to that person.

150 penalty units for a person, 750 penalty units for a body corporate

s.405(1)

A rental provider must, at the time a bond is paid, complete and sign a bond lodgement form and give the form to the renter to sign.

25 penalty units

s.405(4)

The rental provider must give the renter a copy of the bond lodgement form.

25 penalty units

s.406

The rental provider must, within 10 days after a bond is received, lodge that bond with the Residential Tenancies Bond Authority (RTBA).

60 penalty units

s.411 A rental provider must not request or obtain a renter's signature on a bond claim form if the application form does not specify the amount of bond to be refunded and how it will be divided.
60 penalty units

s.424(1)

If a rental provider assigns or transfers their rights under an agreement, they must notify the RTBA of the assignment or transfer of a bond.

60 penalty units

s.424(3)

Where the rental provider transfers their rights they must provide the renter with a copy of a notice with the information prescribed in Regulation 22.

60 penalty units

s.425(1)

If a renter assigns or transfers their rights under an agreement, they must notify the RTBA of the assignment or transfer of a bond.

60 penalty units

s.428

The renter must pay rent and not use their bond as rent

60 penalty units

s.439C(2)

If a rental provider usually uses residential tenancy databases for deciding an application, the rental provider must give an applicant written notice of certain information.

60 penalty units

s.439D(2)

If a rental provider uses a residential tenancy database for checking personal information about an applicant and the applicant is in the database, the rental provider must give the applicant certain information about the listing.

60 penalty units

s.439F(1)

A rental provider or database operator must not list personal information about a person in a residential tenancy database unless the rental provider or operator has given the person a free copy of the information, or taken reasonable steps to disclose the information to the person. 

60 penalty units

s.439F(2)

A rental provider or database operator must not list personal information about a person in a residential tenancy database unless the person has been given at least 14 days to make submissions in response.

60 penalty units

s.439F(3)

A rental provider or database operator must not list personal information about a person in a residential tenancy database unless the rental provider or database operator has considered any submissions the person has made in response.

60 penalty units

s.439G(2)

A rental provider must, within 7 days, give written notice to a database operator if the rental provider becomes aware that information in a residential tenancy database is inaccurate, incomplete, ambiguous or out of date.

150 penalty units for a person, 750 penalty units for a body corporate

s.439G(3)

If a rental provider gives a database operator written notice that information in a residential tenancy database is inaccurate, incomplete, ambiguous or out of date, the rental provider must keep a copy of the notice for one year.

25 penalty units

s.439H(2)

If a rental provider gives a database operator notice that information in a residential tenancy database must be amended or removed, the database operator must do so within 14 days.

150 penalty units for a person, 750 penalty units for a body corporate

s.439I(1)

A rental provider who lists personal information about a person in a residential tenancy database must give a copy of the information to the person if asked by them.

60 penalty units

s.439I(2)

A database operator must, if asked by a person whose personal information is in the operator's residential tenancy database, give a copy of the information to the person.

60 penalty units

s.439K(1)

A database operator must not keep personal information about a particular person in the operator's residential tenancy database for longer than 3 years (or earlier if required under the national privacy principles). 

150 penalty units for a person, 750 penalty units for a body corporate

s.480(1)

A person must comply with a VCAT determination made under the Act.

20 penalty units and 5 penalty units for each day the non-compliance continues (up to max 60 penalty units)

s.501

A person must not make false representations as to provisions of the Act, a rental agreement or site agreement term, or matter affecting rights or duties under the Act or a rental agreement or site agreement.

150 penalty units for a person, 750 penalty units for a body corporate

s.502

A person must not persuade or attempt to persuade a person not to exercise rights or take proceedings under the Act.

150 penalty units for a person, 750 penalty units for a body corporate

s.503

A person must not aid, abet, counsel or procure the commission of an offence against the Act.

150 penalty units for a person, 750 penalty units for a body corporate

s.504

A person must not knowingly give false or misleading information under the Act.

150 penalty units for a person, 750 penalty units for a body corporate

s.505

A person must not demand or accept from a renter, resident or site tenant, penalties for non-compliance, other than rent or other amounts provided for under the Act.

150 penalty units for a person, 750 penalty units for a body corporate

s.505A

An owner/operator of residential premises must not make false representations with respect to formal affiliation with a school or education/training institution.

300 penalty units

s.505B

An owner/operator of residential premises that are affiliated with a school or education/training institution must display notice about affiliation.

25 penalty units