What about my two weeks in advance? This is the most frequently asked question we hear from tenants during any point of their tenancy.
When you make your first payment of rent at the beginning of a lease we request tenants to pay 6 weeks rent; 4 weeks is allocated to bond which is lodged and held with the Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA), and the remaining 2 weeks is allocated towards the tenants rent.
WHY IS THERE CONFUSION?
The confusion arises as some tenants believe the funds are held in a separate account and reimbursed at the end of a tenancy, which is not the case. Following is a description and an example of how the process works, as explained on the RTA webpage:
“A tenant will often be asked to pay ‘rent in advance’. This is simply the first rent payment the tenant makes to the property manager/owner (before, or on the day, they move in). The tenant cannot be asked to make another rent payment until the ‘rent in advance’ has been used up.
“Example: The agreement states the tenant must pay rent of $400 a fortnight. Before they move in they pay $400 ‘rent in advance’. The tenant moves into the property and lives there for 2 weeks. At the end of that 2 weeks their next $400 rent payment is due. The ‘rent in advance’ has been used up.”
TWO WEEKS IN ADVANCE
For the tenant to remain two weeks in ‘advance’, another fortnight payment would have to be made as soon as the tenant moves into the property. This means the tenant is paying for the 2 weeks ahead rather then paying for the 2 weeks behind.
HOW TO STAY AHEAD
As long as rent is paid consistently each week, fortnight or month, the tenant should not fall into arrears; however, the 2 weeks paid at the beginning of the tenancy will be used up after the first fortnight if rent is not paid straight away.
If tenants are worried about falling behind during the Christmas period, we encourage them to make small additional amounts each time they pay rent during the year to get themselves in advance. This will ultimately relieve some pressure during the festive season.