Holding fee dispute

You can use this sample letter when you have decided not to sign an agreement and move in, because:

  • the landlord has mislead you in some way about the property and
  • they have refused to refund the holding fee.

Copy and paste the template letter below or download a copy from the link above. Remember to substitute your details for the details contained in [square brackets].

[Your name and address]


[Landlord’s or agent’s name and address]

Dear …

Re: Holding fee for [residential address]

I write concerning the holding fee of $[amount] I paid to you on [date] for the above premises. On [date] I informed you that I would not be entering into the tenancy due to your failure to disclose [the proposal to sell the premises].

As of [date] I have not received back the holding fee. I note section 24(5) of the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 states that:

“a holding fee must not be retained by the landlord if the tenant refuses to enter the agreement because of a misrepresentation or failure to disclose a material fact by the landlord or the landlord’s agent.”

A breach of section 24 of the Act is an offence punishable by a fine of up to $2200.

Please send me a cheque for $[amount] within 14 days. If you do not, I will apply to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal for an order that you reimburse me for the holding fee. I hope we can resolve this matter without going to the Tribunal.

Yours sincerely

[T Tenant]