Some breaches of the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 (the Act) can incur a monetary fine known as a Penalty Infringement Notice (PIN).
The RTA may issues a PIN for:
- a breach of the Act that is not suitable for prosecution
- one or multiple breaches of the Act, relating to one or multiple tenancies
- against an individual or a corporation.
When a PIN has been issued, you can elect to either:
- pay the fine in full or arrange to pay by instalments (payment details are located on the back of the PIN)
- contest the PIN in the Magistrates Court (i.e.: take it to trial).
Note: Any unpaid fines are referred to SPER (State Penalty and Enforcement Registry) for debt recovery.
Breaches of the Act
The RTA’s Compliance and Enforcement team undertakes investigations into alleged breaches that have penalty units attached to them under the Act. The RTA cannot undertake an investigation for breaches that do not attract a penalty under the Act (e.g. claims of money owed or disputes about property maintenance).
Fines are based on a system of penalty units. The maximum fine is calculated by multiplying the value of 1 penalty unit by the number of penalty units set for that offence under the Act.
The current penalty value for an individual is $154.80. The penalty unit amounts are greater for corporations than individuals.
For more information on matters that can and cannot be investigated, as well as penalties, refer to:
Contesting a Penalty Infringement Notice (PIN)
Any individual or corporation has the right to contest matters in the Magistrates Court, but it is important to understand the potential consequences. Remember:
- you are electing to take the matter to court, where a Magistrate will decide if you are innocent or guilty of the offence
- offences under the Act are criminal matters and the rules of evidence apply. Strict rules of procedure apply (see for example the Justices Act, the Criminal Code, the Penalties and Sentences Act and the Evidence Act)
- during a trial, the prosecution will call witnesses to lead evidence. If you wish to provide evidence to the court, you will need to lead that evidence from witnesses and those witnesses may be cross-examined by the prosecution
- you are responsible for paying the costs of your own lawyer and any other costs involved with going to court. If found guilty the RTA may apply to the court to have you pay its court costs
- if you are found guilty, the court may decide to record a criminal conviction.