Rent in advance guidelines - Landlords bulletin issue 51
23 December 2020
Rent in advance guidelines
Some renters have contacted us recently with concerns about receiving requests to pay more than two weeks rent in advance. So it’s a good time to remind landlords about the requirements under WA tenancy laws.
The Residential Tenancies Act 1987 only allows a landlord to ask for rent up to two weeks in advance. You also cannot overlap rental pay periods. Rent should not be requested to be paid until the period covered by the previous payment is finished. If you request rent before it's due you may be breaking the law and risk a penalty of $5,000.
It is the renter's responsibility to make sure their rent payment reaches you by the due date. Some renters may want to pay rent more than two weeks in advance. If this happens, ask them to confirm their decision in writing.
Renter Amy’s agreement requires fortnightly rent payments, starting on Monday 2 November 2020. Amy gets paid monthly and wants to pay her rent four weeks in advance. Amy emails her landlord advising of her choice, making her next rent payment due on Monday 30 November 2020. As she pays by direct deposit, Amy must factor in the time it takes for the money to transfer to her landlord’s account.
Cash is not always king
Be wary of prospective renters who offer large amounts of cash upfront to pay rent. Some may belong to crime gangs that use rental properties to grow hydroponic marijuana. Other renters may use the property as part of a tyre dumping scam operation.
Further information about renting a home, including rental payments is available on our website, or by ringing our Contact Centre on 1300 304 054.
Six hundred dollars household electricity credit
As part of the State Budget, the McGowan Government announced a $600 household electricity credit to help families save money on power bills leading up to Christmas.
It's expected this one-off credit will give the average household about four months of relief from paying their electricity account. It's available to eligible Western Australian households from 1 November 2020.
Synergy and Horizon Power customers
Your tenant does not need to apply for the credit if they receive Synergy or Horizon Power bills in their name. Six hundred dollars will automatically be credited to their account issued after 1 November 2020. They can contact their provider if they would like more information.
Energy Concession Extension Scheme
The Energy Concession Extension Scheme (ECES) provides an annual payment to assist with electricity costs. If your tenant registered for the ECES before 4 October 2020, they do not need to apply for this credit. It will be paid directly into their bank account before Christmas.
If they registered after 4 October 2020, they need to apply for the household electricity credit and provide information about the electricity costs.
For more information contact RevenueWA on (08) 9262 1486.
If the electricity bill is issued by third party
If a third party charges your tenant for power and they are not eligible for the ECES, they need to apply online for the electricity credit by 31 March 2021. This third party may be you as their landlord, your appointed property manager or strata manager.
Visit the Department of Finance website for eligibility and application details.
The Department of Finance’s Household Electricity Credit fact sheet can provide you with additional information.
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