4 weeks rent in advance?

We've decided to rent for a while to save a few pennies. We went in to the agents to sign the lease agreement and were told that we had to pay 4 weeks bond plus 4 weeks rent in advance. When we questioned the 4 weeks rent in advance, we were told "that's the rule when the rent is more than $300 a week".

Is this the rule? We have a few properties renting higher than $300 per week and none of the tenants had to pay 4 weeks in advance when they moved in. Just wondering if the agent can enforce this or if it's just something they do in that office.
are you expected to pay fortnightly or 4 weekly or monthly?

You could always pay the 4 weeks to keep them happy and then not pay again until you get back in to a standard 2 weeks in advance cycle. They can't exactly issue you with infringements unless you are actually behind in rent.
Thanks for your reply. The lease agreement states fortnightly payments - I assumed that would mean I pay a fortnight in advance.

As for not paying for a few weeks I thought of that too but then I was told that if you pay 4 weeks in advance before moving in you must continue being that far ahead for the duration of the tenancy. I'd rather not get on the bad side of the owner just cos the agent is enforcing something that I'm not sure can be enforced.
fortnightly payments does mean fortnightly in advance. There is no way that I am aware of that they could possibly enforce monthly (or four weeks) in advance when you are paying on a fortnightly basis.
We recently started renting our IP through a PM. The payment frequency is fortnightly, and our PM said the first payment would be monthly in advance. Thereafter, it would be paid fortnightly in advance. We didn't actually ask why the first payment would cover 4 weeks, but it sounds like that might be standard now? I think if you have a problem, just query it with the agent/PM. In our case, we wouldn't have been bothered if the tenant asked it to be 2 weeks instead of 4 (unless there is some new rule enforcing this).
Completely unenforcable, and if they try to breach you or put any kind of bad marks against your name for remaining 2 weeks in advance instead of 4 then feel free to lodge a complaint and take them to the tribunal.

Tbh I wouldn't worry about getting the owner angry over this, it sounds more like a real estate policy than a landlord one.
Rent in advance in a tenancy agreement

If the rent is to be paid weekly, the landlord or agent cannot ask for more than 14 days’ rent at the beginning of a tenancy.

In any other case, provided the rent is $350 a week or less, the landlord or agent cannot ask for more than one month’s rent in advance.

The above is consumer affairs website in Vic. So if the lease agreement is fortnightly or monthly the agent can ask for 4 weeks/ 1 month up front. This is very normal in Vic.
I assume that you are in NSW. The RTA states:
38 Rent in advance

(1) A person shall not require:

(a) if the rent under a proposed residential tenancy agreement does not exceed the prescribed rent-more than 2 weeks’ rent, or

(b) if the rent exceeds the prescribed rent-more than 1 month’s rent,

to be paid as rent in advance under the agreement.

(2) A person shall not require the payment of any rent (other than the first payment) under a residential tenancy agreement for a period of the tenancy to be made before the end of the previous period for which rent has been paid.

(3) In this section:
"prescribed rent" means rent of $300 per week or such other amount as may be prescribed.

In other words, as your rent exceeds $300 pw, they can ask for the first 4 weeks in advance, but you are only required to be 2 weeks in advance for the remainder of your lease, which I understand is pretty standard around Australia. It seems as though your Agent has chosen to invoke this clause, but a lot of Agents only require the two weeks in advance.
....looks like you've got your answer firmly squared away beachgurl....

Wow - 5 minutes looking up the rulebook clears up heaps doesn't it.

Onto a far more important topic, who spends 5 minutes reading the rules before playing Monopoly, or do we all just pick up the die and get cracking, making it up as we go along, or relying on what people think are the rules ??