$60 Dishonour Fee Charged by Real Estate Agent

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Active Member
28 August 2014
Hi experts,

My real estate agent charged me a $60 dishonour fee for a failed direct debit on my ongoing rental payments.

The $60 dishonour fee term is in the tenancy agreement (which I've signed), but the amount is excessive by all measures. My bank (citibank) only mentions a dishonour fee of $10-15 so there's no way it actually costs my real estate agent $60 for a failed direct debit.

Do I have any recourse? I've already raised it with my agent but he shut it down by pointing to the contract.



Well-Known Member
7 October 2020
Just because it is in a contract doesn't mean it is enforceable. Of course, arguing about $60 isn't always the best 'bang for your buck'.

The first thing I'd be asking is who processed the direct debit - was it the real estate agent or a third party? If a third party, what did they charge the agent? - factor that in. Then, what did the agent actually do in response to the direct debit? If they can support that what they did was reasonable and can support a charge of $60, then you might be out of luck. If they did nothing but 'point to the contract' then it could be considered that the charge is a 'penalty' - which is not enforceable.