Rental payments

Your residential tenancy agreement sets out the terms for how much rent you need to pay, how often and for how long.

Before you start your tenancy

When you sign your tenancy agreement a landlord or agent can only ask for:

How to pay your rent

You need to pay your rent on or before the day set out in your agreement. Payments might be required weekly, monthly or fortnightly

The landlord or agent must provide you with a least one way to pay the rent that is reasonably available and where you will not receive any additional charges (this does not include bank fees for managing your own bank account)

If you are not paying rent through an agent where a rental ledger will be available, the landlord must give you receipts. Landlords should also keep rent records and you can ask for a copy of these at any time. It’s a good idea to keep receipts or your own rent record.

Paying 2 weeks in advance

Your landlord or agent can request that you pay rent up to 2 weeks in advance. This does not mean that you need to be 2 weeks ahead every day of the week.

A landlord or agent cannot ask you to pay more than 2 weeks in advanced rent, and cannot ask for you next rent payment until all rent has been used up.

For example:

Your tenancy agreement begins on 1 November. You pay 4 weeks rent as bond and 2 weeks rent in advance. The 2 weeks rent in advance pays for the 1–14 November. You do not have to pay rent again until 15 November. On that date, you will need to pay another 2 weeks rent in advance for the 15–28 November.

Never stop paying your rent

You and any other person named on your residential tenancy agreement are legally responsible to pay the rent.

If the landlord or agent are not actioning your requests for repairs or if you are not happy with something in your tenancy it is very important that you don’t just stop paying rent, as arrears may put your tenancy or future applications for properties in jeopardy.

More information about what can happen if you do not pay your rent can be found on our Non-payment of rent page

If you are having difficulties in resolving a problem with your landlord or agent you can use Fair Trading’s free tenancy and real estate complaint service.

Find out more about this free service on the residential tenancy and real estate complaints page or call our 13 32 20 hotline with your tenancy question.

When to pay for utilities

If your tenancy is separately metered you can expect to pay electricity, gas, telephone, internet and water usage (unless your residential tenancy agreement includes certain utilities).

A landlord must pay for any utilities shared by separate tenancies (if one meter reads the supply of electricity for two or more houses, or if the landlord’s renting out each room in a house on separate tenancy agreements). If a landlord does not want to cover utilities, then they must install separate meters for each tenancy to show how much electricity, gas or water each tenancy uses.

You can find more information on our paying water usage charges page

Rental payments cannot be used for anything else

Any rental payment that you make cannot be used by the landlord or agent to cover the cost of anything other than rent.

For example

  1. If you have an outstanding water usage amount payable the landlord or agent cannot use your rent to pay the overdue amount
  2. If the landlord or agent issues a work order for a plumber to service a blocked drain and the landlord believes you are responsible, your rent cannot be used to pay the call out fee or any associated charges

If there is dispute about repair costs, you can use Fair Trading's free tenancy and real estate complaint service. Our experienced staff can work with you and your landlord or agent to negotiate an agreement.

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