Understanding rent in advance
As a tenant, you’re usually required to pay both rent in advance plus a rental bond, which functions as a security deposit in the event you fail to pay rent, services, or incur serious damage to the property.
The rules behind rent in advance in each state vary from two weeks to one calendar month. In Victoria, it also depends on the amount of rent being paid and whether it’s weekly or not.
Here’s a quick run-down of the latest legislation, by state:
In New South Wales, the maximum rent advance is two weeks. You may choose to pay more, however. They cannot demand further rent until it falls due.
In Queensland, the maximum rent in advance is two weeks rent for rooming accommodation, movable dwelling tenancy agreements and periodic general tenancy agreements. In most cases, you will be required to pay your rent in advance. For fixed term general tenancy agreements, the allowed maximum rent in advance is one month.
In Tasmania, the maximum is one month’s rent.
In Victoria, the maximum is one month in tenancies where the rent is less than $350 per week. If your rent is over $350pw, there is no rent in advance limit. If your rent is to be paid weekly, you cannot be asked to pay more than two weeks’ rent in advance.
In the Australian Capital Territory, rent is generally paid in advance. The landlord or property manager cannot ask for more than one calendar month’s rent in advance.
In the Northern Territory, the maximum rent advance is one rental payment period.
In Western Australia, the maximum is two week’s rent in advance.
In South Australia, a tenant is required to pay the first two weeks’ rent. If two weeks’ rent is paid at the start of the tenancy, no rent is due until those two weeks have passed.
For more information specific to your state or territory, read our Important Numbers section.