Penalty Infringement Notices

Some offences under the RTRA Act can incur a Penalty Infringement Notice (PIN) instead of prosecution through the Magistrates Court. 

  • The RTA may issue a PIN for a serious offence that is not suitable for prosecution. 
  • A PIN can be issued for one or multiple offences, relating to one or multiple tenancies. 
  • PINs can be issued against an individual or a corporation, and the amounts differ for each. 

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 (ie: take it to trial). 
  • Unpaid fines are referred to SPER (State Penalty and Enforcement Registry) for debt recovery.  

Offences relating to the Act

The RTA investigates alleged offences that attract a penalty under the Act. The RTA does not investigate breaches that do not attract a penalty (e.g. claims of money owed or disputes about property maintenance).

Some of the offences the RTA can investigate are:

  • failure to lodge a bond with the RTA within 10 days (maximum 40 penalty units)
  • failure to provide a written tenancy agreement (maximum 20 penalty units)
  • failure to provide an Information Statement (Form 17a or Form 17b) at the beginning of a tenancy (maximum 10 penalty units)
  • entry by a property manager/owner without proper notice or consent (maximum 20 penalty units)
  • imposing special terms in tenancy agreements that contravene the Act (maximum 50 penalty units)
  • failure to provide a forwarding address if asked to do so in writing at the end of a tenancy (maximum 20 penalty units)
  • ending a tenancy in an unauthorised way (e.g. forcefully evicting a tenant) (maximum 40 penalty units)

For all offence provisions download the Act.

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.

The current penalty value for an individual is $137.85. The penalty unit amount is greater for corporations.

More information

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 RTRA 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. 

Case Study 

Example of an offence: 

The offence of conducting an open house without written permission carries a Penalty Infringement Notice fine for a corporation of $1378.50 

Options to take once you have received a Penalty Infringement Notice are: 

  • 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 (ie: take it to trial). 
  • Unpaid fines are referred to SPER (State Penalty and Enforcement Registry) for debt recovery. 

If the matter is contested in court and found guilty, the maximum penalty the Magistrate may award is $13,785 being 10 times the original fine. A criminal conviction may be recorded. The RTA may also apply for you to pay its court costs.  

For more information about your rights and responsibilities, contact the RTA

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