Finance advice

Should you request a holding deposit?

By Diane Bukowski

Diane Bukowski smallA holding deposit is an amount of money (usually the equivalent of one week's rent) that is paid by the applicant whilst their application is being assessed, or between the time they are approved and the time the lease is signed. Holding deposits are not compulsory, but can be a very useful tool giving some peace of mind to all parties during the leasing process.

BloggerDiane Bukowski, Managing Director, Eezirent Pty Ltd

From a landlord's perspective a holding deposit will give some compensation should the applicant not proceed with the lease. This is particularly helpful in a market with high vacancy rates and less competition between tenants. For applicants, the payment of a holding deposit will help them secure a lease without being 'gazumped'. This can be beneficial in a tight rental market with strong competition between tenants.

Eezirent recommends the use of a holding deposit if there is a delay of more than a couple of days between the time an applicant verbally accepts a property and the signing of the lease.

As always, there are slight differences between states; these are the basics rule for holding deposits

ACT - Not permissible.  The Act states that "A lessor must not require or accept a holding deposit."

NSW - The tenant's application must be approved. The deposit can be no more than 1 week's rent. A receipt must be issued. The holding deposit is applicable for 7 days (or  a longer period agreed by both parties).  The lessor cannot offer the property to any other applicant during this time and is obliged to proceed with the lease. The tenant will forfeit the deposit if they do not proceed with the lease.  The holding deposit must be applied as rent if the lease does proceed.

NT - There are no legislative guidelines relating to holding deposits.

Qld - A copy of the lease with any special terms and conditions as well as applicable by-laws must be given to the tenant before a holding deposit can be accepted. The ‘cooling off’ time period for the holding deposit is 48 hours unless agreed by the parties and must be recorded on the receipt.  No other application can be accepted during the holding period. The deposit is refunded in full if the tenant withdraws during the holding period, and must be refunded within 3 days. If the lease proceeds, the deposit is to be applied as bond, with any surplus funds to be applied as rent in advance.

SA - The lessor can require payment for an 'option' to lease the property.  The details of the option are to be agreed by both parties. If the option proceeds, the funds must be applied as rent.

Tas - A holding fee can be entered into if the tenant needs to hold the property for more than 7 days

Vic - The lessor can ask for a holding fee. It must be refunded when the agreement is signed. If no lease agreement is entered into after 14 days the fee must be refunded by the next business day.

WA - An 'option fee' can be asked for at the time the tenant lodges their application.  The fee must be refunded in full if the lessor does not approve the application. The fee can be applied as rent if the lease does proceed.

Key Deposits

A key deposit is a refundable charge paid by a prospective tenant that enables them to take the keys to a property and inspect it independently.  A receipt for the deposit must be issued and the funds refunded as soon as the keys are returned.

We at Eezirent strongly discourage the practice of key deposits and tenant doing independent inspections. They are simply too risky in terms of security and liability issues. What if the applicant damages the property? What if they injure themselves, or claim to injure themselves during the inspection? What if the keys are copied? If your property is with an agent that allows independent inspections then that agent is not protecting your interests.

Accompanying an applicant during the inspection provides an excellent opportunity to begin assessing their suitability as a tenant. It also gives the landlord the chance to 'sell' the merits of the property and to communicate their expectations as the lessor.


About Diane Bukowski
Diane Bukowski big

From school teacher to website entrepreneur, Diane Bukowski is the managing director of Eezirent – an online service delivering professional tools to self-managing landlords.  
After many years running an award winning real estate office, Diane took up the challenge offered by her business partner to set up a service that would level the playing field for self-managing landlords. The result is Eezirent which allows these investors to advertise their property on www.realestate.com.au, verify their applicants with the National Tenancy Database, and access the documentation and knowledge needed to efficiently manage a lease.
Diane’s blogs aim to provide practical advice to the self-managing landlord.

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Purchasing their first property 15 years ago with the intention of creating a property portfolio which would see them comfortably supported during their retirement, Max and Jeanette Schudeboom now have a portfolio of 13 properties.

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Max and Jeanette joins  host Phil Tarrant to discuss their property journey, compare the Australian market to Max’s home town of Holland, and share their plans to maintain the size of their portfolio.

The pair also unpack how they manage and finance their portfolio, discuss the process they go through when choosing where to invest, and share the tips learned from 15 years as property investors.

If you like this episode, show your support by rating us or leaving a review on iTunes (The Smart Property Investment Show) and by following Smart Property Investment on social media: FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

If you have any questions about what you heard today, any topics of interest you have in mind, or if you’d like to lend your voice to the show, email [email protected] for more insights!

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What 15 years in property investment teaches you
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Property investors are now able to identify and bid on auctions remotely using a new live-streaming functionality launched by Gavl.

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Called “Request an Auction”, the new functionality enables users to watch and bid on any Sydney or Melbourne auction remotely.

Through Gavl, prospective buyers are now able to register to bid on their preferred auction. The platform will obtain permission from the listing agent and confirm within 48 hours.

Vendors can also request to have their auctions broadcast to a larger buyer audience.

Co-founder Joel Smith said that auctions streamed on Gavl attract 47 per cent more viewers than traditional ones.

He said that Request an Auction will be valuable for remote buyers.

“Buyers are able to have Gavl attend any auction they nominate, so they will never have to miss out on an opportunity due to logistical complications in physically attending the auction.

“Vendors, too, have the opportunity to directly book an auction with us, so they can open up their event to buyers all around the world. With more potential buyers, they’re giving their property the chance to receive more bids and maximise their sales result.”

Mr Smith said that prior to the Request an Auction app, buyers were limited to what they could achieve through the Gavl technology.

Gavl is a live-streaming and bidding platform for real estate auctions.

Mr Smith said that it has streamed more than 6,000 auctions, which have achieved 3.5 million views from 50 countries.

Gavl’s Request an Auction function is currently being offered in Melbourne and Sydney only.

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Boost for investors as app sets up off-site bidding
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  ["title"]=>
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Having to split her time between Hong Kong and her original base of Sydney has not slowed Julia Tita’s goal of building a high-performance Australian property portfolio. Instead the resulting alterations to her strategy have positively impacted her investing success.

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Having recently purchased her 6th property, Julia joins host Tim Neary to discuss her journey, share her ups and downs over the years, and reveal her thoughts on why some properties are better than others.

Julia also explains why she no longer makes a move without the help of a buyer’s agent, why working with a strong team of specialists is extremely important and discloses her long-term property ambitions.

If you like this episode, show your support by rating us or leaving a review on iTunes (The Smart Property Investment Show) and by following Smart Property Investment on social media: FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

If you have any questions about what you heard today, any topics of interest you have in mind, or if you’d like to lend your voice to the show, email [email protected] for more insights!

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Eagleby
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Paddington
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Glen Iris
Bondi

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How a move to Hong Kong impacted Julia’s Australian property goals

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