Rent in advance guidelines - Real estate industry bulletin issue 237
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 agents and property managers about the rent in advance requirements under WA tenancy laws.
The Residential Tenancies Act 1987 only allows property managers 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 its 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 property manager 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 agent's trust 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.
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
You do not need to apply for the credit if you receive Synergy or Horizon Power bills in your name. Six hundred dollars will automatically be credited to your account issued after 1 November 2020. Contact your provider if you would like more information.
Energy Concession Extension Scheme
The Energy Concession Extension Scheme (ECES) provides an annual payment to assist with electricity costs. If you registered for the ECES before 4 October 2020, you do not need to apply for this credit. It will be paid directly into your bank account before Christmas.
If you registered after 4 October 2020, you need to apply for the household electricity credit and provide information about your electricity costs.
For more information contact RevenueWA on (08) 9262 1486.
If your electricity bill is issued by third party
If a third party charges you for power and you are not eligible for the ECES, you need to apply online for the electricity credit before 31 March 2021. This third party may be your landlord, property manager, strata manager, park operator, or retirement village operator.
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.