NSW NBN Co $300 fee - tenant or landlord responsible?

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Krish1992

Active Member
19 September 2018
5
0
31
Sydney
Hi everyone,
I recently moved to a brand new unit on 01/10/2020. When I tried to setup internet, I was told by the internet service provider that I need to pay a $300 "New Development Fee" apart from a one-off activation fee and monthly charges. They claim that this is for internet infrastructure that is already provided at the unit by NBN Co and this fee is collected by them on behalf of NBN Co. They said this is because I'm the first tenant in the property and the next tenants after me won't have to pay it again. Therefore, It would be a fixed cost for the property and the landlord is responsible for this . It wouldn't be fair to me if I pay for it and after I move out the next tenants can enjoy internet without this requirement.

I spoke with the NSW fair trading, and they are certain that this fee is landlord's responsibility. Only exception is if they already mentioned "intrenet facility is not available at the property" which unfortunately they did in the condition report. I told the same to the NSW fair trading representative, then the NSW fair trading representative asked "Did the landlord/real estate agent at any point mentioned verbally if the internet facility is available at the property?". I said Yes, because when I first came to inspect the property, I asked if there is internet facility is available and the agent showing the property and he said "Yes" ( I don't have a recording as I haven't thought it'd become an issue). So, the fair trading agent told me this would be in violation of section 26(1) of Residential Tenancies Act 2010 if I was led to believe the internet facility is available at the property and asked me to mention this information to the real estate agent and I did. Then the agent replied to me saying the landlord will pay/reimburse the cost. So, I happily signed up for the internet and told the real estate agent I would send the invoice as soon as I received it. Then he replied to me it was a "typo" in the previous e-mail and the landlord will not pay/reimburse me for it. I will contact the NSW fair trading tomorrow to seek further advice.

Meanwhile, my questions are:
1. Who is actually responsible for this fee?
2. Can the real estate agent so conveniently say that it was just a typo after I signed up for internet levaing me liable for the invoice? Is it okay legally?
3. What happens if the NSW fair trading is unable to resolve this? What can I do next?

I'm sorry if the information above isn't clear. Feel free to post any questions if any clarification is required.

Thanks