Paying your rent - your rights and obligations

19-Sep-2014

Rent must be paid in advance

In accordance with the Tenancy Agreement signed before commencing a lease, all tenants are required to pay their rent up to (but no more than) 2 weeks in advance. If you fail to pay your rent by the due date, you are in arrears, which is a breach of your signed Tenancy Agreement. If your landlord or property manager notifies you that you are behind in your rent, do not ignore it. Check your rent receipts or other records to see if a mistake has been made and contact your landlord or property manager immediately.

What happens if you are in arrears?

If possible, pay the arrears immediately. Otherwise, make an arrangement with the landlord or your property manager that will enable you to pay off the arrears over time and confirm the agreement in writing. Make notes of any conversations you have and keep copies of all letters. This may be helpful if you have to go to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (N.C.A.T.) at a later date.

If needed, seek help from a financial counseling service such as the Credit and Debt Hotline (free call 1800 808 488). Ask the service to write a letter confirming your financial situation and your ability to pay rent and arrears.

What happens if you fail to pay?

If you fail to pay your arrears and come to an agreement with your landlord/property manager to do so, you will be issued with a Non-payment Termination Notice in accordance with your Tenancy Agreement.

The Non-payment Termination Notice must be:

  • In writing
  • Signed by the landlord or property manager
  • The notice must be delivered to you in person or sent by fax or mail and set out:
The address of the premises
The date by which you must vacate the premises (you must be given at least 14 days notice)
The grounds for the issue of the notice – in this case it would be non-payment of rent
The fact that you are not required to vacate the premises if you – Pay all rent owing (including 2 weeks rent in advance) or enter into and fully comply with a repayment plan agreed with the landlord