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Renting and Rent in Advance Help!
What would you do? *long* esp Real Estate Agents


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17 replies to this topic

#1 ~Edie~

Posted 14 August 2009 - 03:58 PM

Ok just stick with me because it's kinda a long story etc.


Ive just been approved for a new rental,its 395 a week and we move in on friday 21st of this month.


I went and signed the lease yesterday and to pay the bond of $1540(4 weeks rent)

I also brought in 2 weeks in advance that you always pay when you rent.
That brings me up to the 3rd of September.

So paid that, signed my lease....every single thing. During the time I'm signing
Property manager mentions I must be 2 weeks in advance at all times.
i'm half listening and like yeah yeah, thats normal, rented for 6 years, you know, every place
Ive rented with expects you to pay 2 weeks in advance.

Anyway finishes signing, and she mentions of course I'll need to bring another 2 weeks rent in when I pick up the keys. ???

Turns out their "policy" is for you always to have 2 weeks in advance as a sort of second bond almost, as well as your normal 2 weeks rent that you then pay when the 2 weeks expires?

Oh and as well they mention their direct debit system takes 4 days to get to my bank account to
theirs, so unless I want to be getting late rent reminders and letters and have it show up on my ledger that
Ive consistantly paid 4 days late(even though Im paying via direct debit on the day the rent is due) then could I please also pay an extra 4 days.

So they want effectively 4 weeks 4 days rent just to get into the property?

I rang the RTA ( QLD rental tenants service) and they said what theyre doing is totally not on and legally all they can ask for is the 2 weeks in advance that you always pay, and if it doesnt reach their account until 4 days later tough titties if thats the day the payment is due, and your paying through a method they ask you to pay.

I also found this on their website which confirms what I mean

Most owners/managers require tenants to pay their rent in advance. For example, the tenant may pay rent every second Saturday to live in the place for the following two weeks. Tenants will normally pay the first lot of rent before they move in. Rent in advance is not part of the rental bond.

No matter how much rent the tenant pays in advance, they cannot be asked to pay more rent until the rent paid in advance has been used up. The owner/manager cannot ask the tenant to pay more than two weeks rent in advance. However, the tenant can pay more rent in advance if they want to.


But practically what CAN I do?

I know legally I can refuse to pay it, and then have dramas with them before handover of the keys even comes? Or move in just pay the normal 2 weeks in advance and get harrassed by them daily because their
syetem would show I'm behind even though I'm not.
Start a dispute? The RTA said if they insist I pay I can start a dispute with them but then I either have the RE cranky with me before I move in, or have them make life very difficult for us.

Or pay the extra $770 rent even though what theyre asking is illegal and suck it up (while quietly seething)
Which is what I'm inclined to do.

(if it helps its one of the major, nationwide real estates that may or may not mention a colour in the name)

TIA any advice would be great.


#2 wyntery

Posted 14 August 2009 - 04:03 PM

PoshWipe, If I were you I would very "nicely" point out the RTA regulations regarding rent in advance and give this as the explanation as to why you're not paying the additional two weeks rent. By pointing out in a nice way that what they are doing is illegal I'm thinking that they'll let it 'slide'. Stand up for yourself and don't let them walk all over you!

#3 FeralAndIKnowIt

Posted 14 August 2009 - 04:12 PM

I would see if you can get the info that the RTA gave you in writing and present them with that. I'm in Vic and in our current rental we paid a 1 calendar month rent in advance + the same amount to the bond authority, then just paid the next calendar month the next month.

As long as you pay on time each fortnight then you are staying 2 weeks ahead from each rent payment. As for the direct debit thing - that's their problem I reckon, not yours. It comes out of your account the day it's due, not your fault that it doesn't go into theirs on the same day.

I hate dealing with RE property managers, majority of them seem to treat you like second class citizens - they don't seem to realise that renters won't rent forever and by treating people like crap, they're not going to be inclined to purchase property through that RE.

Good luck - don't let them walk all over you!

Edited by aimee28, 14 August 2009 - 04:13 PM.


#4 ~Edie~

Posted 14 August 2009 - 04:19 PM

QUOTE
I hate dealing with RE property managers, majority of them seem to treat you like second class citizens - they don't seem to realise that renters won't rent forever and by treating people like crap, they're not going to be inclined to purchase property through that RE.


This is exactly what this woman is like, I actually mentioned yesterday afternoon
that I spoke to RTA and I they said what they were wasking was illegal, and she just repeated it
was their policy and gave me her icy Property Manager death stare (which because I'm a big wuss sent me
running for the hills lol )


This is the same property manager who when she approved my application on Wednesday
told me she's so glad we didn't tick the box indicating that we wanted a Housing Trust Bond loan or
she wouldn't have approved the application as "they find the sort of tenants that get a bond loan arn not really the sort we want in our properties huh.gif ".


I'm a habitual renter, but I've never come across an agency like this before!

#5 Amanda_R

Posted 14 August 2009 - 04:20 PM

If it's illegal, just point it out to them.  Don't pay to keep them happy.  They would surely know it is too, I cant see why the hell they would do it, but I guess people pay it for fear they'll lose the house or something?  Perhaps keep a printout of the clause in your pocket if they try to say it isnt.

As for the direct debit, I guess if it doesn't interfere with your pay days or anything, to simplify the issue just have the debit come out a few days earlier.

I don't understand why they would be asking for the 4 days rent, even if it arrives late you are still paying for the period prior.  

Gah they sound like a right bunch of morons.

#6 justpeppermint

Posted 14 August 2009 - 04:23 PM

Don't worry poshwipe, i've had this before and there is nothing they can do to make you pay it.

My ex re also waited till after I signed my lease to mention it. I read the lease cover to cover and told them so. If it's not a part of the contract just tell them that it will be paid as per the contract and the advice you have recieved from the RTA and if they wish to take it further feel free.

They cannot force you to pay it AT ALL!



#7 Amanda_R

Posted 14 August 2009 - 04:23 PM

QUOTE
This is exactly what this woman is like, I actually mentioned yesterday afternoon
that I spoke to RTA and I they said what they were wasking was illegal, and she just repeated it
was their policy and gave me her icy Property Manager death stare (which because I'm a big wuss sent me
running for the hills lol )

Their policy is irrelevant if the laws of the state say otherwise.  No local policy can overrule it.  Can you bring someone in with you next time for a bit of moral support/backup?

That's like saying murder is illegal, but it's my personal policy that it isn't, so I'm going to kill you!  Lol ok not really like that, but yar lol. Tounge1.gif

#8 chaosprincess

Posted 14 August 2009 - 04:26 PM

I agree with the others just present the real estate with the appropriate info and let them know you spoke to someone personally at the RTA as you have been renting for 6 years and this is the first time you've ever been asked for so much rent in advance before moving in. I personally would email them so you have written evidence of their stance as proof for any later disputes, keep a copy of your own email too. It's easier to be assertive via written text too original.gif

Is this extra money they have demanded upfront on the lease or written anyway? You have no commitment to pay it if you never agreed to it. Stand your ground.

As for the 4 day thing, that's BS IMO.

Edited by raveness, 14 August 2009 - 04:29 PM.


#9 justpeppermint

Posted 14 August 2009 - 04:33 PM

QUOTE
Oh and as well they mention their direct debit system takes 4 days to get to my bank account to
theirs


Just say it seems to you that they should get themselves a more efficient direct debit system. I don't know any bank that takes 4 days to transfer.  rolleyes.gif

The fact is you pay your rent on time and can prove it though bank statements. So its a bit of tough bikkies for them.

Unfortunately for us renters you can never tell if you've got a crap realestate till after you've signed the lease.



#10 ~Edie~

Posted 14 August 2009 - 04:34 PM

I just spoke to the RTA again. Just to confirm everything.

Once again they confirmed both things theyre asking are illegal and that if they insist on the money
I can contact the RTA again and they will investigate and fine the Real Estate Agency.


Not sure RE if it's written into the lease,I havn't received my copy of it yet.
But I couldn't see anything other than the normal 2 weeks in advance which is pretty average.
But nothing about an extra 2 weeks on top of the two weeks iykwim.


I guess it's more a fear of rocking the boat, I hate dealing with real estates at the best of time,
and the thought of getting into some sort of cat fight with them already is just depressing lol.
And Property Managers are scary Tounge1.gif


#11 chaosprincess

Posted 14 August 2009 - 04:37 PM

QUOTE
Unfortunately for us renters you can never tell if you've got a crap realestate till after you've signed the lease.

yyes.gif
They often don't treat you that great before the signing of the lease, but after they have that autograph sometimes it's like dealing with totally different people.

OP if you let them get away with it, who knows how far they will push you in future. What they are doing is wrong.

But I understand you not wanting to rock the boat, you have to make that compromise in standing up for yourself and not making life with the RE a living hell.

Normally you get a copy of the lease as you sign it, well that's what has always happened with me - I sign one copy for the RE agent and one for me to keep.... this whole scenario sounds dodgy to me...

Edited by raveness, 14 August 2009 - 04:41 PM.


#12 Hayleymumof3

Posted 14 August 2009 - 04:42 PM

It's always a good idea with RE agents to stand up for your rights.  If the RTA says it's illegal for them to do so then thats the law.

We had some trouble with our RE agent who wanted to up our rent on our two year fixed rent lease Oops that didn't happen after we asked what was it was about, then they tried to changed our method of payments to a Deft card Ie user pays, on the advice of our landlord(not Re agent) who happens to be a lawyer and use to work for the consumers advice said to mention that when they were doing was illegal to try and force us to use this system and they backed down.  They went quietly about trying to shut down our other methods of payment which was we use to pay in cash but they no longer were going to accept cash because it was unsafe for the receptionist to walk it to the bank(ok fair enough) they then said that they weren't going to accept direct debuts but had to back down on that one when we pointed out that it was illegal for them to force us to use the deft card if it was going to cost us to use it but we would be happy to use it if they covered the fees and charges the card had whiched = to an extra $90 per week on the rent that we already paid.

Read your lease from start to finish and if there is nothing about this extra payment on it ask them to show you where on your lease it is and if it's not there tell them your not paying it


#13 Amanda_R

Posted 14 August 2009 - 04:50 PM

QUOTE
I guess it's more a fear of rocking the boat, I hate dealing with real estates at the best of time,
and the thought of getting into some sort of cat fight with them already is just depressing lol.
And Property Managers are scary

They know that as well, which is probably why they do it and succeed in doing so.  They know people feel nervous and dont want to lose the house, so they hold them to ransom really.

After you get your keys, go over the house with a fine toothed comb, write down even the most insignificant thing on the condition report, everything inside and out, gardens, even things that would come under general wear and tear.  The condition of the oven, stove, any grime, any dirt even if it can be cleaned, EVERYTHING.  Take date stamped photos and even video.  If they seem this dodgy now, who knows what they'd try to say you have done down the line.

Best of luck, stand your ground, good to hear the RTA are onto it.

Edited by Amanda_R, 14 August 2009 - 04:50 PM.


#14 ~Edie~

Posted 14 August 2009 - 04:54 PM

Thanks everyone, if nothing else your helping me grow some balls Tounge1.gif

In retrospect not getting a copy of the lease is dodgy, I didn't even think
of it at the time as I was so flustered from mentally trying to figure out where I
was going to get $770 at the time that I walked straight out without even thinking to ask where my
copy of the lease agreement was. I've always gotten a copy as soon as I signed with any other RE.

#15 qak

Posted 14 August 2009 - 04:56 PM

WIth our NSW property, the two weeks in advance is "policy" (or maybe in the lease?). It is never enforced, we get our net rent at the end of the month & it is usually paid up to 3-5 of the following month.

#16 chaosprincess

Posted 14 August 2009 - 04:59 PM

I tend to think some RE's push you to see how much they can get away with also.

Here in QLD laws changed recently, RE's have to give 2 other methods of rent payment if they use one of those debit cards that charge fees. Also any change in rent amount they have to give you 2 months notice. For house inspections they have to give a 2 hour window of when they will arrive, instead of the usual "here's the date, we'll get there when we get there". There were lots of changes to stop tenant being treated unfairly, which I think is fantastic original.gif

As I said before OP, carefully construct an email, it's often better than a face off. I'm able to keep my cool and say exactly what I want in an email and it's there as a record for future dates if necessary.

Edited by raveness, 14 August 2009 - 05:01 PM.


#17 Literary Lemur

Posted 14 August 2009 - 05:01 PM

As a landlord I would be upset if my tenants were being treated this way as that is not the way i wish to be represented sad.gif  If it's illegal I woudl keep myself nice but say that you have been advised that it is illegal.  I would also note down exactly what was said you, who you spoke to and time if at all possible.  I agree that they can't make policies that are against the law.  They seem to have forgotten what the bond is for.

#18 ~Edie~

Posted 14 August 2009 - 07:02 PM

QUOTE
They seem to have forgotten what the bond is for.


That's what the RTA guy said happy.gif


Thanks so much everyone.


I'll go in on Monday and ask for my copy of the lease and politely remind them that what
they're asking is illegal and the RTA said they could be fined original.gif


Fingers crossed thats enough to do the trick, I have the receipt saying I've paid
up until the 3rd so I guess theres not that much they can do ...... hopefully!




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