“In Sydney, can I pay my rent each week via direct debit on my credit card to avoid bank fees?” – Dianne
We asked managing director at Real Property Manager, John Gilmovich for his advice:
John said that in New South Wales, tenancy legislation states that an agent/landlord has to provide at least 1 free method for tenants to pay rent.
“That method could be a direct electronic fund transfer (EFT) into their bank account or a third party payment gateway like BPAY,” he said.
“Direct debit can be set up via your own net banking. However, using a credit card for this purpose will incur a merchant charge out on your account by the merchant, which can be as high as 4% of your total rent payment.
“This can add up to be a lot of money during the course of a tenancy.”
John said paying rent from a savings account or cheque account usually does not have such a charge:
“It would be wiser not to pay rent via credit card for that reason alone,” he said.
Note: The landlord / agent or the tenancy agreement cannot require you to pay more than 2 weeks rent in advance (you may choose to pay more). They cannot demand further rent until it falls due and cannot ask for a post-dated cheque.
Got a burning question you’d like answered? Send your question and your state to email@example.com