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Renting a
Place in
Australia

If you are planning to rent a property in Australia be prepared to change your name. According to the rental contract you will be called from now on Tenant. Of course in the end of the contract you will have name back, and the same happens with the proprietor that will be insistently called Landlord. But what really matters are the details about renting a property in Australia, and here we go:

After deciding your budget and what type of property and area you want to live, you can start looking for proprieties in the newspaper ( Saturday is the best day) at the Real Estate session. Look for something with the heading: To Let, Rent, or Rental Properties. It will be divided by areas and also by type such as houses or apartments. Many of Real Estate Agencies advertise their options in a whole block. Once you have chosen one that is proper, call the number to get more details and if it is available or when it will be. (many times they advertise rental properties with the old tenant still in but will move in a couple weeks or so). In this case, you will have to combine with the Real Estate a day and a time to inspect the property. If the property is empty, just ask for key and go by yourself to have a look (some Real Estate charges A$ 20 for the key as guarantee you will bring it back).  Another option to find property is through the Internet, and you may have the opportunity to see photos from inside and the map of where it is located. Most Real Estate operates by area, meaning that if you want rent in the neighbourhood "A" you must look for a Real Estate in "A".

  If you like the property than you must move fast to make a decisions about it (we lost a very affordable and excellent house because we went only on the following day to do the deal). You will probably be applying through a Real Estate, so the first step is to give a deposit and fill the application form. The form has many questions, such as how many people will live with you, your past rents, your current job, financial situation, and one question that we consider the worse for any newbie in town is to  present at least one person as Reference, (a friend or any person that knows you and they will be able to call). If someone will be paying for you, then you will have to supply the name of this person. The Real Estate can deny any application if they think the candidate does not fulfil the requirements, had any problems in the past as a tenant, or simply because the other person applying for this property has better credentials.

The establishment of the rental or lease contract is regulated by a definition of contract time (it can be 6 months, 1 year, 2 years, or any time, and depends if the Landlord agrees). During the agreed contract time, the rent will not be increased, but it can happen if is stated in the contract (thatís why you better read carefully and make questions). The contract also says other things, such as when returning the property it must be cleaned to be released. In other words, you must put some money apart to contract a carpet cleaner at the end. Considering that the majority of the houses and apartments in Australia have at least carpets in the bedrooms, you can count with the cost of  about A$ 80 to clean 3 rooms. Another important thing is the expiration date of the contract. If you decide not to renew, chances are that by the day it expires and you are moving out, some other person will be moving in. It is imperative to negotiate a few extra days if you thing you will have problems moving too much furniture.

Bond - or Security deposit means that the Real Estate will charges an amount besides the rent by the time you sign the contract. The Bond is equivalent to the 2 weeks rental (but some may charge 4 weeks). If you return the propriety in a good shape, clean, etc...the Bond money will be refunded to you, but if the walls or carpets are dirty, they can hold it to cover the cost o hiring a professional cleaner. The Bond is paid when renting, together with the value of the rent, always charged in advanced. In case you share the rent with someone else, you will need to decide which name will be responsible for the bond, and this person will be the one legally responsible for the property.

Note 1: The first day when you enter in the property, make a list of things that are not working well or with any problem. For example, Carpets or Curtains with holes, stains on the walls, broken or cracked windows, missing light bulbs, etc. Give a copy to the Real Estate, and keep one with you until the bond is returned.

Note 2: Anything belongings to the property in case of break or malfunction  by normal use, you should call the Real Estate agency and ask them to send someone to fix (no charges for you). Examples: tap dripping, defective toilet or leaks, electric problems in general, lights not working, ceiling fans or air conditioning problems, doors or windows. If they delay too much to fix, you may call again or send a written letter listing the problems. Do not try to fix anything by yourself, even the small problems. If you get any hazard and once you are not qualified or registered to do the job, it can cause immediate cancellation of the propriety insurance, and you it can be bring serious judicial or financial disputes.

Body Corporate means the condominium of a building, or in some cases it relates to the proper syndic. They legislate the rules of the building, such as where to park, not to smoke in corridors, prohibition of pets, etc. The condominium tax is already included inside the rent as well as any other taxes. The electricity bill is payed by you, and costs around A$ 80 for month for a family of 4 people. Any problem or claims you have that is not directly related to the property itself but is about the building, you direct a letter to the body corporate and a copy to the real Estate. Example, a tree which limbs that are banging against you window.

Rental properties in Australia are divided in two categories, furnished (and half-furnished) and no furnished (unfurnished). The unfurnished ones come only with a stove that is considered part of a property. Any other thing including refrigerator will be yours. The furnished ones are complete, some with extras such as, air-condition, swimming pool, etc.. (Make sure the cleaning of the pool is already included in the rent). The properties half furnished, comes with some household appliances. The average prices are listed below, however it may be very different depending on the location and the city. Traditionally more expensive places such as Sydney, can have a huge difference in prices. Prices below are based on the Gold Coast.

         AU$ per Week:

  • Apt. 1 Furnished room 280,00

  • Apt. 1 room without furniture 230,00

  • Apt. 2 rooms Furnished 350,00

  • Apt. 2 rooms without furniture 280,00

  • Apt.3 rooms Furnished 450,00

  • Apt 3 rooms without furniture 380,00

  • House 3 rooms furnished 490,00

  • House 3 rooms without furniture 440,00

"To let: Room on the beach with sea views to all directions. Very good breeze guaranteed all year round. 360 ļ small veranda and short stairs. Prospective tenants must be not more than 1,80 m tall, know how to swim very well, and like to save people drowning. For more information talk to the life guard chief next beach".

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