Holding fee dispute

Note: tenancy law changed on 23rd March 2020. All our factsheets are up to date, but sample letters are still under review.

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.

Cut 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]