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Renting in Sydney – What you need to know.

Renting in Sydney – What you need to know.

If you are looking to rent in Sydney here’s my helpful hot list that will save you time and improve your chances at getting the home you want. The 2 main websites to search for rental properties are www.domain.com.au and www.realestate.com.au – both usually list the same properties but it is worth checking both to ensure you don’t miss a cracker. Agents can be slow to take their listing off these sites so check for accurate listings by going direct to the real estate agency’s website.

If you are looking to rent in Sydney here’s my helpful hot list that will save you time and improve your chances at getting the home you want.

–    The 2 main websites to search for rental properties are www.domain.com.au and www.realestate.com.au – both usually list the same properties but it is worth checking both to ensure you don’t miss a cracker. Agents can be slow to take their listing off these sites so check for accurate listings by going direct to the real estate agency’s website. Also read copy carefully as sometimes it says “˜Application approved’ or “˜Deposit received’ which means the property is no longer available.

–    Rental properties can be viewed either by appointment (often reserved for homes above $700 a week) or at the open for inspection times advertised. There is usually a mid-week inspection (Wed/Thurs lunchtime or early evening) and a Saturday open time. Saturday is the busiest day and for properties in popular areas or price brackets there can be upwards of 10/15 people viewing on the day”¦.I once counted 40 people at one!

–    Rental prices are quoted on a price per week. However, rents are usually paid on a monthly basis (although the NSW tenancy laws state that you are only required to pay 2 weeks in advance). It is important to do the math as it is not as simple as multiplying weekly rent by 4. To work out monthly rent:  multiply weekly rent by 52 and divide by 12. Example: $250 a week x 52 = $13,000 : 12 = $1083 a month.

–    To increase your chances of getting your application improved be prepared. Ensure your application is correctly filled out (this may be an online form or a paper form to be scanned and emailed or faxed) and to be submitted to the agent asap. Applications from Saturday open inspections are processed Monday (so make sure yours is in by 9am). Ensure you have all the required supporting documentation -this usually equates to copies of ID such as passport (with proof of visa status), drivers licence and another 1 or 2 such as Health Card/Credit Card/Utility Bill or Bank Statement. You will also need proof of income (letter of offer/payslips/work contract). Anything additional that can help is always great – extra references (rental or personal) or proof of assets such as a home are a bonus.

–    Rents can be negotiated. If a property has been available for a few weeks or you are the only person at the inspection you can try and negotiate the rent down. For properties under $1000 a week $50-$100 a week is the maximum most would expect. For properties over $1000 a week, $100-$250 off the prices could be negotiated. Good rentals are usually very competitive so less likely to lower their price.

–    What are the Rental Costs? If your application is accepted you will be required to pay 1 weeks deposit to secure the property (often by end of the day). Then a few days prior to your lease start date you will need to pay 4 weeks bond and 2/4 weeks rent in advance (minus the deposit amount). Your bond will be returned at the end of the lease term subject to no damage to the property.

–    Lastly “¦..be nice and friendly to the agent during the inspection, follow up with a phone call to ask if they need anything additional to support your application and if you get the place make sure you fill out and return  the condition report (this will help you get your deposit back at the end of lease).

Happy Hunting! (and don’t take it personally if your agent calls go unanswered “¦ I am in relocations and they are too lazy to return my calls most of the time 😉

Charlotte Sherston has lived in 15 different properties in Sydney since she moved there from England in 1997. She has 10 years  experience in relocations and is director of Aussie Relocation – a website that covers everything you need to know about moving to Australia.