Paying Rent

It is the tenant’s responsibility to ensure that the full rent amount is paid by the rent due date. This is in accordance with the rental agreement which specifies the amount to be paid and the starting date. The rent should be paid on or before the start of the next rental period.

 

Rent not paid on time

If rent or any part of the rent has been in arrears for not less than 14 days the landlord may give the tenant a notice to remedy breach.

This notice will stipulate the amount of rent outstanding and will give the tenant at least 8 days in which to pay it.

Failure on the part of the tenant to remedy the breach could result in the landlord applying to either the Commissioner or a court for an order of termination of the tenancy and possession of the property.

For further information regarding the requirements of this notice please refer to Termination of Breach Not Remedied

 

Keeping records

A tenant should keep all records/receipts for rent in a safe place as they are proof that rent was paid. The details of how, where and how often the rent will be paid must be in the tenancy agreement.

If rent is paid in cash, the landlord must immediately provide a receipt. If rent is paid by cheque, the landlord must give the tenant a receipt within three days of the tenant requesting one.

If rent is paid by direct credit into the landlord’s account, the landlord is not required to provide a receipt. PENALTY OF UP TO $2200

The landlord must keep a written record (which may be in an electronic form) of each instalment of rent received. The landlord must at the request of a tenant, permit the tenant to examine the record of rent received. PENALTY OF UP TO $2 200

The landlord, or any other person, must not make a false entry of a record of rent received or falsify the record in any other way. PENALTY OF UP TO $11,000.  A landlord cannot require a tenant to pay rent in advance of more than one rental period. PENALTY OF UP TO $2,200

 

Rent increases

Rent can only be increased during a tenancy if the right to do so is specified in the tenancy agreement.

The tenancy agreement must also state the amount of the increase or the method of calculation of the increase. The landlord must give at least 30 days notice in writing before increasing the rent.

The date from which the increase is to take effect must be at least six months after the date the tenancy commenced or six months from the last increase. If the rent is increased, the landlord may ask the tenant to increase the security deposit. The tenant must receive notice in writing from the landlord, and the total security deposit held by the landlord must not be greater than four weeks rent.

Notice to increase the security deposit can only be issued two years after a security deposit was paid or last increased.

 

Rent reductions

Rent may decrease, either by a specific inclusion of a term in the tenancy agreement or by agreement between the landlord and tenant. An agreement to reduce the rent should be put in writing and signed by both parties.

 

Excessive rent

The tenant may apply to the Commissioner for a declaration that rent payable is excessive. Such a declaration can be made only under limited circumstances. For further information on this matter contact Consumer Affairs. (This provision does not apply to public housing tenancy agreements.)

 

Other expenses

The landlord must not require or receive from a tenant a payment for the preparation, renewal or extension of a tenancy agreement. PENALTY OF UP TO $2 200

The tenant generally has to pay for any costs associated with connecting services to the property for which the tenant will be billed, such as, gas, electricity, and telephone.

Tenants moving into new properties should check if a telephone line has been installed. If it hasn’t, then the tenant should request the landlord pay to have one installed, otherwise the tenant may find him/herself paying the high cost of doing so.