Complaints to Fair Trading
Landlords and their agents must comply with certain of provisions in the Residential Tenancies Act 2010. They can be penalised for not complying, subject to investigation by NSW Fair Trading.
NSW Fair Trading may investigate non-compliance based on complaints from tenants. NSW Fair Trading’s approach to compliance is outlined on its website at NSW Fair Trading: Our compliance role.
Get advice from your local Tenants Advice and Advocacy Service before making a complaint to NSW Fair Trading. You may have other options, such as an application for orders in the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
Sample complaint letters to NSW Fair Trading
These sample letters were developed by Inner West Tenants Service.
- Download the appropriate sample complaint letter (Rich Text Format) from the list below.
- Amend the letter and send it to your local Fair Trading Centre (phone 133 220) along with a completed ‘General complaint form’ from NSW Fair Trading: Lodge a complaint.
You can also make complaints using the online complaints system, and use the material in these samples to help fill in the online form.
Start of tenancy
See Factsheet 02: Starting a tenancy.
- Landlord/agent required tenant to pay extra charges before or when entering into tenancy agreement
- Landlord/agent charged tenant a fee for preparation of tenancy agreement
- Landlord/agent failed to give tenant a copy of NSW Fair Trading ‘New tenant checklist’
Tenancy agreements – prohibited terms
See Factsheet 01: Residential Tenancies Act.
- Tenancy agreement says tenant must have carpet professionally cleaned
- Tenancy agreement says tenant must take out insurance
- Tenancy agreement says landlord is exempt from liability
- Tenancy agreement says tenant must pay a penalty for breaching the agreement
- Tenancy agreement says tenant will receive a benefit for not breaching the agreement
- Tenancy agreement includes terms that exclude, limit, or modify operation of residential tenancies law
See Factsheet 05: Rent arrears.
- Landlord/agent appropriated rent payment for a purpose other than rent
- Landlord/agent refused payment of unpaid rent after giving tenant a non-payment termination notice
- Landlord/agent required tenant to pay rent by post-dated cheque
- Landlord/agent does not allow tenant a cost-free means of paying rent
- Landlord/agent failed to give tenant a receipt for rent paid in person
- Landlord/agent failed to give tenant a receipt for rent paid by cheque
- Landlord/agent failed to notify Tribunal that tenant paid all rent owing
- Landlord/agent failed to notify Sheriff that tenant paid all rent owing
See Factsheet 04: Rent increases.
- Landlord/agent increased the rent without proper notice
- Landlord/agent increased the rent during fixed term of less than 2 years
- Landlord/agent increased the rent more than once in 12 months during fixed term of 2 years or more
Access, privacy and possession of premises
See Factsheet 08: Access and privacy and Factsheet 07: Locks and security.
- Landlord/agent interfered with tenant’s reasonable peace, comfort and privacy
- Landlord/agent entered the premises unlawfully
- Landlord/agent changed locks unlawfully
- Landlord/agent repossessed the premises unlawfully
See Factsheet 03: Bond.
- Landlord/agent required or received a bond of more than 4 weeks rent
- Landlord/agent failed to give tenant a receipt for bond payment
- Landlord/agent required or received a security for the tenancy other than a bond
- Landlord/agent failed to deposit the bond with NSW Fair Trading
- Landlord/agent failed to give tenant details of claim on the bond