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Australia - Renting Property

The complexities of an overseas move to a country as far away as Australia can be daunting. Finding a place to call home in a new suburb or city is not only important but also challenging. Locating the right rental property in major cities such as Sydney and Melbourne is usually very difficult. However, there are a few tips and guidelines that can make finding a new home in Australia easier.

Step 1: Learn the local lingo

Understanding the local lingo used by agents to describe humble homes and magnificent mansions is really important. Common terms such as “flats” are used to describe apartments. The term “house” is used to refer to large houses with outdoor spaces. Hence, a two bedroom flat is likely to cost far less than a two-bedroom house. Flats with one room are called “studio flats” and the term “unit” is used to describe large flats that are split but built in blocks.

Step 2: Location

Expats should identify which areas they would like to live in. You may opt to get the feel of an area by strolling around various neighborhoods. In addition, call estate agents and browse property websites to get a good idea of the housing prices in various neighborhoods. As an expat, you should repeat this process a few more times since there are plenty of suburbs in each city and you should seek to identify the one that best suits you.

Identify the means of commuting from work to home or school. This will also give you a better idea of the time it takes to get from one point to another as well as proximity of your neighborhood to various social amenities. This information may also be available on various real estate websites.

Step 3: Start searching

Using technology is one of the best ways to house hunt. Start looking for homes that are within your budget by browsing property search websites. Also, check newspaper listings for rental properties. Although real estate agents manage rental properties, some may provide little or no help to potential tenants. Some simply provide a list of the properties they manage and a map. Therefore, be sure to work with an agent who provides valuable information and knows the neighborhoods he operates in well.

Step 4: Dealing with agents

Once you have located a suitable rental property, arrange a viewing. Contact the person managing the property or find out the agent's name if it is an agency. Once you have found the relevant contact information, contact the agent directly and start the application process. It is important to keep in close contact with the agent because the rental property market in Australia is quite competitive. It is also important to visit an open house and be prepared with the necessary paperwork so that you can submit the application early.

Step 5: Putting in an application for a property

Expats should ensure that they include the correct information when submitting an application because real estate agents often take more than one application and this can be the deciding factor. You may lose out on a property to someone who was more prepared even though they submitted their application later.

Typical applications require:
• Previous rental agreements
• Proof of income (these include bank statements for the last three months)
• Proof of identity (passport/birth certificate/drivers’ license)

In some cases, you may be asked to make a down payment before renting the property. This is often refunded if the applicant fails to get the property. The references section of a rental property application is very important. It should include the applicant’s current employer and details of the previous landlord, if any. Once the estate agent receives all the required documentation, they will forward them to the property owner.

Step 6: Signing the lease and moving in

There is no standard for how much rent has to be paid in advance in Australia. However, a bond that ranges between a month’s and six weeks' rent is to be paid by the new tenant when they come to sign the lease and pay the first month's rent.

Potential tenants should thoroughly inspect the properties they want to move into for structural damages. Be sure to let the estate agent know about any damage before moving in. In addition, you should receive an inventory of all items in a furnished apartment. Remember to ask the agent if there are accounts set up with any utility providers to save on connection fees.

Cheaper rental properties are located far from large cities, towns, and facilities. In general, rural areas have cheaper rates for rental properties than urban areas. Sydney, Melbourne, and Darwin have the highest rates for rental properties.

The following are weekly rents for unfurnished properties in larger cities:
• A studio/bedsit usually goes for about $250 – $350
• A 1-bedroom apartment usually goes for about $350-450
• A 2-bedroom apartment usually goes for about $500-$600
• A 3-bedroom apartment t usually goes for about $700-$1000
• A 2-bedroom house goes for about $500 – $750
• A 3-bedroom house usually goes for about $800 – $1200

The difference between short-term and long-term leases

Long-term leases typically last for five years or longer. On the other hand, short-term leases are binding for a period of five years or less.

Furnished Apartments

As the name suggests, furnished apartments come with furniture. The type of furniture in a furnished apartment usually varies. Some furnished apartments may have a couch, a dining table, a refrigerator, washer, dryer, and other home comforts, while others may only have a couch and a dining room set. Some may have everything needed in an apartment. The types of furnishings are usually listed in the advertisement.

Unfurnished Apartments

These are apartments that do not have any furniture. Some may have some appliances like washers and dryers and refrigerators but not furniture. This information is also contained in the ad.

Read more about this country

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