A renter’s guide to payment compliance

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Navigating rental payments is a fundamental aspect of renting in Victoria. Understanding your obligations can help maintain a positive relationship with your rental provider and ensure a smooth tenancy experience. This article outlines key aspects of rent payments and rent in advance for renters.

11 March 2019

Understanding Rent Payments 

Frequency and Methods of Payment: Rent is typically paid weekly, fortnightly, or monthly. The method of payment should be agreed upon at the start of the tenancy and can include direct bank transfer, cheque, or other agreed methods.  

Receipts and Records: For cash payments, renters should always obtain a receipt. Even for non-cash payments, keeping a record is advisable. These records can be crucial in the event of any disputes about payment. 

Rent in Advance 

Advance Payments: Renters are often required to pay rent in advance. This is usually equivalent to one month's rent but can vary based on the rental agreement. Paying rent in advance does not mean paying extra; it's simply paying for the upcoming rental period. 

Limits on Advance Payments: In Victoria, if your weekly rent is less than $900, the maximum rent in advance you can be asked to pay is one month. However, if the weekly rent is $900 or more, there is no limit to the amount of rent in advance that can be requested. 

Late Payments and Arrears 

Handling Late Payments: If you find yourself unable to pay rent on time, it’s crucial to communicate with your rental provider or agent immediately. Discussing the situation early can often lead to an understanding or an arrangement to avoid falling into arrears. 

Legal Process for Arrears: If rent is not paid and arrears accumulate, the rental provider may issue a Notice to Vacate. However, this is typically a last resort, and open communication can prevent such situations. 

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Increases in Rent 

Regulations on Rent Increases: In Victoria, rent can be increased only once every 12 months, and the renter must be given at least 60 days' written notice. The notice should include the amount of the new rent and the date from which it is payable. 

As a renter, understanding your responsibilities regarding rent payments is crucial. Always ensure that payment methods, receipts, and records are clear and agreed upon. Stay informed about your rights, especially concerning rent in advance and rent increases. Open communication with your rental provider can help navigate any financial challenges and maintain a stable rental arrangement.  

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If you have any queries regarding property management or leasing, please contact the Marshall White Property Management Team who will be happy to assist. Call us on (03) 9822 8711.

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