NSW Agent Refuses to Release Rental Records - Any Recourse?

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Zof

Member
23 January 2017
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I’ve been renting a property for 18 years. Recently, I requested the real estate agent to provide me with rental records for the whole period of my tenancy. The agent released a rental ledger for the last 6 years. The agent refused to release any rent records from the earlier time claiming that the Property, Stock and Business Agents Act 2002 requires him to keep records for 3 years only.

The NSW Office of Fair Trading agreed with the agent. The NCAT rejected the matter without making a decision (due to other issues).

The Residential Tenancies Act states: “A landlord or landlord’s agent must, within 7 days of a written request by the tenant, provide a written statement setting out the particulars of the rent record for a specified period.”

My point is that a landlord is not bound by the Stock and Business Agents Act 2002, therefore the landlord should keep and release all rent records. Furthermore, even if the rent records are managed by the agent, the same rules should apply to all tenants (managed by an agent, or the landlord itself).

Is there a way to get access to my rent records for the earlier period? I have never requested the rent records before.
 

Rod

Lawyer
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27 May 2014
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Is there a way to get access to my rent records for the earlier period?

No.

Small businesses are not obliged to keep records beyond 7 years.
 
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Zof

Member
23 January 2017
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0
1
The Residential Tenancies Act does not specify any time limit for releasing rent records. In my opinion this is the matter of establishing which rules have precedence in this situation: The Residential Tenancies Ac, the Property, Stock and Business Agents Act 2002, or the small business rules that you refer to.

How did you determine that the small business rules have precedence over the the Residential Tenancies Act?
 

Rod

Lawyer
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27 May 2014
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There is no conflict between the two statutes. In the absence of a time limit in the RTA, the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) kicks in and specifies record keeping for a minimum period of 7 years. So if the business keeps certain records for 7 years they have fulfiled their legal obligations.

I'm not confident, but suspect that the rent records you seek may not even be part of the 7 year minimum period in which case the limit is likely to be 6 years.

If the records are important to you, you should have maintained your own records.

Also the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 (NSW) s37(4) says if they have previously provided statements they are not obliged to resend the details.

If you are not happy you have the right to take your issue to NCAT for determination.