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Paying rent – don’t complicate it.

The rental market in the Barossa Valley remains extremely active. The next couple of months will see a high number of enquiries with lots of people looking to move here.

The eagerness to get families settled before the beginning of the new school term increases the stress levels for most people. Given this, we do find that some prospective tenants will offer higher rents – or lump sum payments of rent in advance – to secure a rental property. This doesn’t always get the result the prospective tenants were looking for.

A successful rental application has many layers to it, and it would be wise for any prospective tenants to follow the instructions of the landlord and/or agent managing the property. We get many prospective tenants advising us they are happy to pay a pet bond. Whilst we understand why they offer to pay one, a pet bond is illegal in South Australia. Once a tenant is approved a landlord must not require or receive from a tenant or prospective tenant any other money unless it is for rent and/or a bond.

Under a residential tenancy agreement, a landlord cannot request a tenant to pay more than two weeks rent in advance. The Residential Tenancies Act does state “if a tenant “voluntarily” elects to pay rent for more than two weeks in advance the landlord (or the landlord’s agent) may lawfully accept the payment.”

A tenancy agreement will state whether the rent is being paid weekly, fortnightly or calendar monthly. This means when the rent falls due the tenant must pay the full rent amount to the landlord. If a tenant pays only a portion of the rent, on the due date, this means the tenant is in breach of their tenancy agreement. If it remains unpaid the tenant may receive a breach notice for non-payment of rent.

A landlord must also allow a tenant an alternative way to pay rent outside of cash or by a third party who charges a fee, payable by the tenant, for the collection service.

A well written tenancy agreement will ensure all parties have a full understanding of their obligations during the tenancy term.

Call Lisa Akeroyd at Barossa Rental Specialists on 0414 335 660 – or drop into our prominent Tanunda office to discuss your rental strategy.

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