NSW Refund of property holding fee after no RTA sign by estate agency/landlord in 7 days

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10 September 2017

Let's say there is a property for rent in NSW. I applied for it and my rental application was approved by the landlord. After that the estate agency (on behalf of the landlord) proposed me to pay a holding fee (equivalent of 1 week rent payment) by bank transfer to mark the property as leased and remove market advertisements. No other conditions were stipulated for the holding fee, which particularly implies 7 days of effective holding period by default. I payed the requested holding fee by bank transfer and the real estate agent removed the advertisement of the property from domain website. After that the estate agency informed me that the rental tenancy agreement (RTA) will be ready for signing in 3 weeks from now (on the day it becomes available). I'm willing to enter into RTA as soon as possible to prevent pulling out of signing RTA by landlord and make the move predictable and stress free, while the agent clearly advised that they will sign RTA on the commencement day or a day before (that is 3 weeks from now), and he told me that after a holding fee was already payed.

1) Am I eligible to get my holding fee refunded in full after 7 days since it was payed, given that the landlord or the estate agency or the agent are not ready to enter into RTA during that 7 days holding period ?

2) What would be a sufficient proof of real estate agency not willing to sign RTA? I have an email from real estate agent stating the tentative date of signing RTA, which is 2 weeks after holding period is over. Would it suffice?

Thank you in advance.