overdue rent

If you’re late paying your rent because you haven’t paid by the due date, or haven’t paid at all, you fall into what’s called ‘rent arrears.’ But can you be charged for late rent?

When you don’t pay the rent, you risk being in breach of your tenancy agreement. There are several actions a landlord or property manager could take if your rent is continually late.

You may be asked to pay dishonour fees

Along with unpaid rent, your landlord could recover the amount of any bank fees for dishonoured rent cheques, insufficient funds for direct debit rent payments and the like.

What they can’t do, however, is recover other costs such as tribunal application fees or the cost of enforcing a warrant.

They also can’t impose any form of penalty (e.g. interest) for late payments.

You might also like:
> Rental applications – What happens after you apply?
> What references should you include in a rental application?
> I want to break my lease and I found a new tenant: What do I do?

What happens if I stop paying my rent?

  • If you’re late in paying the rent, your landlord/property manager will send you a reminder letter about your overdue payment. They may also contact you by phone.
  • Regularly pay the rent late? Your landlord may discuss changing the method of payment, such as an automatic bank transfer.
  • Experiencing financial hardship? A repayment plan could be set up. In this case, you pay your landlord the outstanding rent over a period of time, on top of your normal rent payments.

In certain circumstances, your landlord can also take steps to end your tenancy.

You should never stop paying the rent

You’re legally responsible for paying the rent if you’re named on a lease agreement.

Not paying or falling behind in your rent payments may mean you’re given a termination notice. This could make it harder for you to rent another property in the future.

If you’re not happy with something in your tenancy (e.g. if your landlord or property manager isn’t getting repairs done), don’t stop paying rent.


Rent.com.au is Australia's largest company dedicated to renters and is owned and operated by ASX-listed Rent.com.au Limited (RNT:ASX). For over 15 years, Rent.com.au has exclusively focused on making renters' lives easier by making it easier to find a property, secure it, move in and pay rent.


  1. Perhaps knowing they can pass on dishonour fee, they are attempting to put payment thru each day or its on a transaction schedule. Most people wait 3 days and notify you. Maybe not this time….