Queensland Rent Payments

In Queensland the maximum rent in advance a landlord can ask for is 2 weeks to 2 months depending on the nature of tenancy. Receipts are required by law for any rent paid in cash or cheque. The landlord must give at least 2 months written notice of any rent increases.

This guide covers landlords (or head-tenants) and tenants (or sub-tenants) in a Residential Tenancy. This applies to the majority of share accommodation and residential property rental situations. To confirm it covers your situation visit What is my share accommodation situation?

Rent is a regular payment made by the tenant(s) to the landlord in return for the right of use of the property or room.

The tenant is required to pay the rent to the landlord on the day that the rent is due. The tenant can also choose to pay rent before the due date.

There are restrictions on the types of payments that a landlord can receive from a tenant during a tenancy. Rent is one of types of payment allowed. The Rental Bond and charges for utilities are the other main types of payments allowed during the tenancy.

What is the maximum rent in advance that can be charged?

While the tenant can volunteer to pay as much rent in advance as they wish, there are some restrictions on how much landlords can require as rent in advance.

If the agreement is a periodic tenancy, then the maximum amount of rent in advance that the landlord may require is 2 weeks.

Example: if the agreement is a periodic tenancy and the weekly rent is $400, then the maximum amount of rent in advance is $800

If the agreement is a fixed term tenancy, then the maximum amount of rent in advance that the landlord may requires is 1 month.

Example: if the agreement is a fixed term tenancy and the weekly rent is $400, then the maximum amount of rent in advance is $1,600

Once rent in advance has been paid, the landlord cannot require the tenant to pay any further rent until it becomes due.

A fixed term tenancy is where the tenancy agreement has a specific length agreed to by the tenant and landlord, e.g. 6 months. A periodic tenancy is where the tenancy agreement has no specific length agreed to, e.g. Month-to-month

How should rent be paid?

The method of paying rent should be agreed to by the tenant and landlord in the residential tenancy agreement. It is recommended that the tenant and landlord agree on an alternative means of payment in case issues arise with the main method.

In Queensland, there is a list of 6 approved ways of paying rent. Alternatively, the tenant and landlord can agree on a method of payment not included in the list. The approved methods are:

  • Cash,
  • Cheque,
  • Direct bank deposit,
  • Credit Card
  • EFTPOS, or
  • Deduction from pay or pension.

The most popular ways of paying rent are direct bank deposit/transfer and cash payments.

Never pay rent via an untraceable money transfer system such as Western Union.

If the tenant and landlord agree to a method of payment not in the list, the landlord must also allow the tenant to pay rent in at least 2 of the approved ways as an alternative. If the tenant will incur an additional cost or fee by using the agreed method, the landlord must inform the tenant.

Are receipts required for rent payments?

Keeping track of rent payments through receipts and other permanent, written records is an important part of securing a tenancy and preventing any issues from arising.

Although receipts are not always required by law depending on the way rent is paid, asking for and giving receipts regardless of payment method is best practice for landlords and tenants alike. In the unlikely event that a dispute arises regarding payment of rent, receipts are the main form of evidence used.

In Queensland, the landlord (or agent) is only required to give a receipt when a rent payment is paid in cash or by cheque (if the tenant requests a receipt). When the payment is made in cash, the receipt must be given when the payment is made. If the payment is by cheque, then the landlord must give the receipt within 3 business days.

No receipt is required by law for electronic payments. This is because the electronic transaction record acts as a permanent record of the payment. Although this is sufficient, a written receipt gives greater certainty and it is strongly recommended using one nonetheless.

If no receipt is required or requested, the landlord must still keep a record of each payment. This record may be requested at any time by the tenant.

What should be on the receipt?
The receipt should clearly indicate that it is a receipt—it is advisable for each receipt to be a separate document rather than entries in a rent receipt book.

When a receipt is given, it should include the following details:

  • Name of the tenant
  • Signature of person receiving the payment
  • Address of the premises the rent is paid for
  • Period rent is paid for
  • Date when the payment is received
  • Amount of rent paid

Does the landlord need to keep Rental Records?

The landlord is also required to keep a record of rent paid for at least 1 year after each payment, regardless of whether a receipt was given for the payments.

If a receipt was given for the payment, then keeping a copy of the receipt is sufficient. The record should include the same details for each payment as are required for a receipt (listed above).

A tenant can request a copy of the rental record at any time.

What are the laws for Rent Increases?

Landlords are allowed to increase the amount of rent payable during the course of the tenancy. For the protection and certainty of both parties, there are restrictions on the when and how rent can be increased. In Queensland, the restrictions vary depending on the nature of the tenancy agreement.

Although it is not necessary for the tenancy agreement to include a term allowing a future rent increase in periodic agreements, it is best practice for all parties to be aware of that increases may be necessary, and if so, by how much and when.

When rent can be increased
Rent can only be increased if the tenant is given at least 2 months written notice. The landlord is allowed to increase the rent only once every 6 months.

As mentioned above, the rent under a fixed term tenancy agreement can only be increased if the agreement allows this. The agreement should state either the increased rent amount, or at least a method for calculating the increased rent.

While this is not required for a periodic agreement, it is in all parties’ best interests to at least discuss the potential for a rent increase during the course of the tenancy.

When a fixed term tenancy agreement continues after the fixed term has ended, it then becomes a periodic agreement. Therefore, after the end of the term, the rules for periodic agreements apply in place of the fixed term rules.

A fixed term tenancy is where the tenancy agreement has a specific length agreed to by the tenant and landlord, e.g. 6 months. A periodic tenancy is where the tenancy agreement has no specific length agreed to, e.g. Month-to-month

2 Months Written Notice
The requirement of 2 months written notice for any rent increase allows both the tenant and landlord time to discuss and prepare for any increase. Any increase in rent that does not follow this requirement is invalid.

To ensure that this requirement is met, there are a number of things to remember:

  • The notice must be written, but can take many forms—e.g. email, posted letter, text message
  • The notice should very clearly and explicitly state the following:
    • Amount of the increase,
    • When the increase begins, and
    • That the notice states an intention to increase rent.
  • The notice should make the tenant aware of the increase at least 2 months before the increase is scheduled to occur—even if the tenancy agreement provides for the increase, the landlord must still give a later notice of at least 2 months.

Excessive Rent
If the tenant believes that a rent increase is excessive, the first step should be to discuss the issue with the landlord. If the landlord and tenant cannot come to an agreement, then the tenant can apply to QCAT for a review of the increase. Check out our Resolving Disputes page for more information.

Renewing a tenancy agreement
When the same tenant and landlord renew a tenancy for the same property immediately after the end of the original lease, if the rent has increased then the landlord must give 2 months written.

When can Rent be decreased?

The rent under a tenancy agreement may also be reduced. In Queensland, the tenant and landlord can agree at any time to reduce the rent payable at any time.

In addition, there are two other ways that the rent may be reduced—these are listed below. In these circumstances, the tenant should make a written request to the landlord first. If the landlord does not agree to a reduction, then the tenant apply to QCAT. Check out our Resolving Disputes page for more information.

1. Reduction in goods, services or facilities provided to premises
The tenant is entitled to a rent reduction if any goods, services or facilities provided with the premises have been withdrawn or reduced. The reduction in rent because they are no longer being provided with everything bargained for and priced at the original rental rate.

Common examples of where the tenant can request a rent reduction include:

  • When the landlord does not carry out sufficient repairs to the premises
  • The removal of access to a utility such as water or electricity
  • Part of the premises cannot be used anymore due to the landlord’s action
  • Services such as gardening no longer being provided

2. Premises becomes unusable
The tenant becomes entitled to not pay rent if the whole premises, or part of the premises, becomes unusable for one of three reasons:

  • Premises Uninhabitable—because of something other than a breach of the agreement, whole or part of the premises becomes uninhabitable.
  • Unlawful Residence—the premises cannot be lawfully used anymore as a residence. For example, the premises is rezoned as non-residential.
  • Government Acquisition—the government acquires the premises compulsorily.

Transferring money safely

When paying your deposit, bond or rent by cash make sure you get a receipt. With modern phones this can be as simple as an SMS or email confirming the amount, date and what it is for. Keep a copy of this incase you need it later.

Never ever transfer money to a bank account outside of Australia or use a untraceable money transfer system such as WESTERN UNION. If anyone asks you to do this on any website it is likely to be a scam and you are almost guaranteed to lose your money.

If this ever happens on Flatmates.com.au report the member immediately so we can investigate and take the appropriate action.

You might also be interested in

QLD Bonds
QLD Tenancy Agreements
QLD Holding Deposits


These legal guides provide a brief summary and introduction of the laws and regulations affecting share accommodation. They do not cover all cases in all legal jurisdictions and might not apply in your specific share accommodation situation. It is important that you use this information as a guide only and seek independent Legal Advice or consult the Relevant Acts. We do not accept any liability that may arise from the use of this information.