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As a tenant, one of the most important documents you will sign is the tenancy agreement. This document outlines the terms and conditions of the lease, including the rent amount, deposit, duration, and any other relevant details. However, what many tenants may not realize is that a tenancy agreement is not legally binding unless it is stamped.

Stamping refers to the process of paying a fee, or stamp duty, to the government to validate a legal document. For tenancy agreements, the stamp duty is typically a small percentage of the yearly rent, or a fixed amount depending on the state or territory. In some cases, the landlord may shoulder the cost of stamping, but this is not always the case.

The cost of stamping a tenancy agreement may vary depending on the state or territory. In New South Wales, for example, the stamp duty is calculated based on the yearly rent. For a yearly rent of up to $29,999, the stamp duty is $1.50 per $100 or part thereof. For a yearly rent of $30,000 or more, the stamp duty is $4.50 per $100 or part thereof.

In Victoria, the stamp duty for a tenancy agreement is a fixed amount of $2.20. However, if the tenant is a company or a trustee, the stamp duty is calculated based on the annual rent and is capped at $1,962.

In Queensland, the stamp duty is also a fixed amount of $1.20. However, if the annual rent is $1,000 or less, the stamp duty is waived.

It is important to note that stamping a tenancy agreement is not just a formality. It is a legal requirement that protects both the landlord and the tenant. If a dispute arises and the tenancy agreement is not stamped, it may not hold up in court.

In conclusion, stamping a tenancy agreement is a necessary step in the renting process. The cost may vary depending on the state or territory, but it is a small price to pay for legal protection and peace of mind for both the landlord and tenant. As a tenant, make sure to confirm with your landlord who will shoulder the cost of stamping and ensure that the tenancy agreement is properly stamped before signing.