How to rent a house in Australia

Renting a house is no rocket science in Australia, but it’s not child’s play either. Arriving to the country for the first time, you can’t expect to own a house in just a few weeks or months. Even those who have been here for quite a while still choose to rent. Only seventy percent of the population owns their homes or on mortgage. The rest choose to rent. Here are some simple steps on landing your first apartment or flat in the Lucky Country.

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Learn the local lingo

The first step to renting property in Australia is to get a handle on the local lingo that residents and agents use to describe their humble homes or magnificent mansions.

In Australia, properties are either referred to as flats or houses. A flat is a local term for an apartment. Houses are typically larger than flats and come with an outdoor space; thus it’s more likely that a two-bedroom flat will cost less than a two-bedroom house, but it’s not always the case.

Flats with just one room are called studios.

Expats may also come across the word “unit” used to describe a property. Units are larger flats, often with split levels like a house, but built in blocks like flats.

Useful websites

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Inspection

Once a suitable property has been found that meets the requirements, it’s time to arrange an inspection.

It’s important to note that in Australia most agents will not rent a property without the tenant having viewed it first. Some agents hold opening viewings or open houses, where anyone can view. These can be competitive, so turn up early and be prepared. Bring all the papers necessary to put in an application on the spot.

That would be a smart way for you to well prepare the application form before the inspection if you really want to win and take the property.

Application

Real estate agents can take more than one application for a property at a time, so you should make sure when submitting that they include all the correct information. This can often be the difference between securing a property and losing out to someone else who is better prepared.

Typical applications require:

Once references have been checked by the estate agent, the whole application will go to the owner of the property for final approval.

Signing

When renting property in Australia, there is no standard for how much rent has to be paid in advance. However, when coming to sign the lease and to pay the first instalment of rent, the new tenant will also need to pay a bond, usually for the amount of a month to six weeks’ rent.

The bond, similar to the idea of a security deposit, protects the owner against any damage done to the property or any bills left unpaid by the tenant. The bond is held by an independent government-owned body.

As the tenant is bound to the bond it’s important to inspect the property thoroughly for damage before moving in. If existing damage is found, be sure to bring it to the attention of the managing agent or landlord. In the case of a furnished property, an inventory should be kept. At the lease’s conclusion, the cost of any items not accounted for on the inventory are deducted from the bond.

Broadband

Find an broadband company for your property. For example, Belong is a good choice for its price.

Electricity

Find a electricity company for your property. For example, Ergon is the choice in Bundaberg.

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Researcher | Architect | Full-Stack | @hustakin

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