Third-party platforms || Rules about fees. Are they caped?

William made this Right to Information request to Queensland Residential Tenancies Authority

Waiting for an internal review by Queensland Residential Tenancies Authority of their handling of this request.

From: William

Delivered

Dear Queensland Residential Tenancies Authority,

I would like to know if the RTA is aware of the fees applied by third-party platforms used by real estate agencies to collect rent and if any actions is in progress to control it? It is a new trend and it seems that fees vary from a platform to another (Simplerent, etc).

If nothing is done to cap and control these fees, it can lead to a regular indirect increase of the rent for the tenant. Real Estate agencies such as Ray White or LJ Hooker force you to use these platforms as the other options they give you to pay are even more expensive (AUS Post, Credit Card fees etc). They do not offer a free direct debit anymore.

Also, did you put in place a legal agreement to make sure that these fees are not shared between the platforms and real estate agencies? As a tenant, how are we sure that these fees are not an extra profit made by Real Estate Agencies?

My question is simple: how a real estate agent can guarantee the cost of the rent over the lease period if they use a third-party platform to collect rent, do not control their fees and do not offer other free way to pay? How a tenant can be sure that tomorrow fees will not jump to 3,4 or 5%? How are we protected by the RTA against that?

I think I am pointing a major issue here as nothing is regulated and tenants are forced to sign agreements with these platforms if they want to rent the property.

In addition to that, I would like to highlight that Ray White (and probably others) is forcing you to pay 3/4 days in advance (=before pay date) to make sure they have the money on time because they are using third-party platforms and not their trust account anymore. It will be nice to remind Real Estate Agencies it is illegal (Section 86 of the Act refers to Payment of rent by electronic transaction)> See an example here: https://raywhiteipswich.com.au/property-...

Yours faithfully,

William

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From: William

Delivered

Dear Queensland Residential Tenancies Authority,

I haven't heard from your services about this email. Could you please communicate me an approximative date of answer?

Yours faithfully,

William

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From: William

Delivered

Dear Queensland Residential Tenancies Authority,

I am still waiting for an answer from your services. I would like to know why response to my request has been so slow ? Wihtout an answer within 48 hours I will ask for an internal review to make sure to get an answer.

Yours faithfully,

William

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