A Reservation Fee (also known as an option fee / deposit) is an amount of money (no more than one week’s rent) received from the tenant to reserve the premises, while you process the application for tenancy.
QLD Landlords can only accept a deposit if a copy of the proposed agreement and any bylaws have been given to the tenant.
If you decide not to go ahead with the tenancy, on the agreed terms, or make no decision within 1 week (14 days VIC) of the fee being paid the amount received must be refunded in full the next working day (QLD within 3 days). Should the tenancy go ahead the reservation fee (deposit) is applied to the first week’s rent.
If the applicant withdraws, the landlord may retain the rent for the days the premises were reserved. This is provided the premises were not let or occupied during the period of reservation, no more than 1 reservation fee was being held at the same time and a Reservation Receipt and written acknowledgment were given to the prospective tenant when the reservation fee was received.
Key Deposits: A Landlord may ask a prospective tenant to pay a key deposit to enable them to enter and inspect the premise, you must give them a receipt and ensure the deposit is fully refunded upon return of the keys (No amount is stated). Naturally, use common sense and intuition when allowing prospective tenants to enter your property without you or a trusted person present.