Rent is the amount of money that you pay for the right to live in someone else's house or flat. It is the main expense that you will be paying on a regular basis. The amount of rent should be agreed to before you sign the lease (residential tenancy agreement) and is written in the lease.

If you pay rent in person by cash or cheque, you must be given a receipt signed by the landlord/agent.

The receipt should show the:

  • name of the tenant;
  • name of the landlord /agent;
  • address of the place you are renting;
  • amount of rent;
  • period of time that the rent covers;
  • date when the rent was paid;
  • that it is a receipt for rent.

If you are given a deposit book to pay rent directly into a financial institution account, or use internet banking or direct debit arrangements to pay directly into a landlord’s account, you will not be given a receipt. The agent/landlord cannot charge you for the cost of the deposit book.

The landlord must keep a written record of each instalment of rent received and this record (which may be in electronic form) must be available for examination by you on request.

Rent increases

During a fixed term lease, a landlord (or agent acting on behalf of a landlord), can only increase the rent if

  • the right to increase the rent; and
  • the amount of increase in rent or the method of calculation of the increase in rent is specified in the agreement.

Before the rent is increased you must be given 30 days notice in writing.  The notice also must show you the amount of the rent increase and the day the increase will take effect.

If you are in a periodic lease (that is the fixed term lease has finished but you remain in the property and keep paying rent fortnightly with the agreement of the landlord) the landlord can increase the rent at any time if 2 weeks notice is given.