Sydney Rentals

Old Jan 9th 2006, 8:03 pm
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Default Sydney Rentals

We're desparately trying to get some Estate Agents geed up into looking for a rental property for us so that we can have something to move into pretty soon after we arrive in Sydney at the end of Feb. I've e-mailed about a dozen, only one of whom has replied to say he can't help us until we get there. Is this lack of response normal? Or are they all still closed for the holidays? We're looking in the Balmain/Birchgrove/Rozelle area.
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Old Jan 9th 2006, 8:15 pm
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Default Re: Sydney Rentals

Originally Posted by gavinrobertson
We're desparately trying to get some Estate Agents geed up into looking for a rental property for us so that we can have something to move into pretty soon after we arrive in Sydney at the end of Feb. I've e-mailed about a dozen, only one of whom has replied to say he can't help us until we get there. Is this lack of response normal? Or are they all still closed for the holidays? We're looking in the Balmain/Birchgrove/Rozelle area.

This is normal as far as we found. They were not really interested until we had arrived in Sydney but still very helpful and polite. They sent us some example properties of what we wanted in that area but there was nothing they could really do until we arrived.

But then i do not encourage you to sign and agree to any property until you have seen it with your own eyes. What you see on the internet is not what you get alot of the time. You need to check out the street and area that the property is in and the condition of it also as photos can be very deciving.
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Old Jan 9th 2006, 8:28 pm
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Default Re: Sydney Rentals

Originally Posted by Goodwin
This is normal as far as we found. They were not really interested until we had arrived in Sydney but still very helpful and polite. They sent us some example properties of what we wanted in that area but there was nothing they could really do until we arrived.

But then i do not encourage you to sign and agree to any property until you have seen it with your own eyes. What you see on the internet is not what you get alot of the time. You need to check out the street and area that the property is in and the condition of it also as photos can be very deciving.
couldnt agree more
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Old Jan 9th 2006, 8:46 pm
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Default Re: Sydney Rentals

we are arriving too in Sydney around the same time. Our plan is to rent a holiday let place for (hopefully) no more than 4wks, giving us time to view properties and (again hopefully) will not be ripped off by accepting anywhere at any price.

Whilst expensive to stay in holiday places (somewhere that has kitchen to avoid eating out for every meal), but it will be more unsettling & expensive to rush in to contract only to find you just *have* to move.

In mean time look at what is available on the website to get an idea of what you can get for what price and where, so when you arrive you can have better judgement on places you view and maybe even bargin a price if you know it has been on the market for a while.

all the best, and if you see another couple with toddler in tow stressing that they can't find a place, it might just be us
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Old Jan 9th 2006, 9:20 pm
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Default Re: Sydney Rentals

Originally Posted by walaj
all the best, and if you see another couple with toddler in tow stressing that they can't find a place, it might just be us
Thanks - we'll be the ones with the orange bugaboo with the 6 month old in!! I see you're arriving on the same day we are...scary.

Thanks to the others too for your repsonses. We've been doing most of those things anyway, and we checked the area out when we were there last year. It's the decided lack of human response I was worried about.

Last edited by gavinrobertson; Jan 9th 2006 at 9:28 pm.
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Old Jan 9th 2006, 10:13 pm
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Default Re: Sydney Rentals

Originally Posted by gavinrobertson
Thanks - we'll be the ones with the orange bugaboo with the 6 month old in!! I see you're arriving on the same day we are...scary.

Thanks to the others too for your repsonses. We've been doing most of those things anyway, and we checked the area out when we were there last year. It's the decided lack of human response I was worried about.

I sent off around 15 emails to North Sydney real estate agents and although most replied they all said the same - get a short term serviced apartment and look for a rental when you arrive.

We are arriving in Sydney on 5th Feb and have yet to organise aywhere to stay but will have to sort it out this weekend.

Best of Luck

Cameron
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Old Jan 10th 2006, 1:18 am
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Default Re: Sydney Rentals

To be honest the rental market in the popular areas of Sydney is quite brutal and the estate agents seem to have plenty on there plates so don't need to go out of there way. We have been here 3 months and did like you, moved into a serviced apartment for 4 weeks and then started house hunting. The papers with the most rental ads (Sydney Morning Herald) come out Wednesday and Sat and list the 'open homes' - i.e. details of property and times it is available for viewing. You then view the property and put in an 'application of interest' and a deposit. If you are successful you then complete the contract etc, if you are not they give you your deposit back and it all starts again. If you can,see if the real estate agents will give you a private viewing otherwise you can be competing with the masses. One place we viewed had about 20 people waiting to view!

There is also a lot of crap places that they want steep rents for. In terms of bargaining, out of the 3 places we put in an 'application of interest' for, 2 we knocked $30 off the rent and needless to say we missed out on both, the one we just offered the full rent we got. So I guess if you really like the place might be worth paying the asking rent straight up to secure it. Particularly as being a new migrant you won't have all the credit and employment history that Aussies have.

One thing that we have found to be really true, and that I really did not think would be, is how much the tempreture rises when you get just a little bit away from the coast. Especially hard for newly arrived expats who are not acclimatised to the heat. We live in Paddington and just going to Glebe (15 mins away) and you notice the rise in tempreture and drop in any breeze. It hit 44 degrees recently so be careful where you pick.
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Old Jan 10th 2006, 2:26 am
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Default Re: Sydney Rentals

We rent in Rozelle. Have to say it was a hard slog finding a place, especially as I wanted to live in a house rather than a unit. There were usually about 20-30 viewing, the rents were high (there is a shortage of rental properties these days, so landlords have their pick of tenants and are less likely to negotiate a reduction), and some of the places were in a really poor state. We were lucky with the place we got, someone else put in an application but apparently they asked lots of questions about changing things, pets etc and that put the landlord off.

We saw probably about 50 places! Saturday mornings were spent driving from one place to another, trying to get there before the 15 min viewing slot was over. And then wondering why we bothered when the so-called modern place turned out to be a 70s monstrosity, or the two bedroomed house turned out to really be a one bedroom with 'nook'.

Rental agents won't bother with you until you arrive. Even then, the level of service you'll probably get will be rubbish. They don't have to attract potential renters - there are enough out there for them to just sit back, put the ad in the Sydney Morning Herald and on Domain, and spend 15mins at the property on the Saturday doing an open viewing, knowing people will show.
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Old Jan 10th 2006, 2:53 am
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Default Re: Sydney Rentals

Couldn't agree with you more. That is exactly our experience very different to what I thought it would be. I thought it was supposedly a tenants market and you would be able to negoiate the rent but this was not the case. Plus even when you said you wanted somewhere and had the cash ready and waiting it would be up to the landlord to 'pick' who they wanted. Could also be that, like you, I didn't want a unit but a house and we also picked a popular area.

Funny to think we initially only wanted a six month lease in case we wanted to move again but remembering what the process is like I think we will stay put for a minimum of 18 months.

Top tips:
Try and get a private viewing off the estate agent before the en masse open homes.
Take along your passport, recent bank statement, letter from employer showing salary etc. This way you can fill out the 'expression of interest' there and then at the property, and may get a head start on the competition.
Get the paper really early Saturday morning. Some viewings start at 10:00.
If you really like the place and there are other people at the open home don't haggle over the rent, otherwise your 'expression of interest' won't get any interest.

Try and keep sane you will find somewhere eventually.
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Old Jan 10th 2006, 3:14 am
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I find all this quite odd. We had the very opposite experience. Came here at the end of November and had decided on a brand new complex of units and various apartments on a new development. None of the apartments are more than a year old, most with gym and pool facilities and yet theres loads still available!! We had our pick of several on offer at the time and even haggled down a rent $20pw. Maybe it depends on the type of property you are looking for.
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Old Jan 10th 2006, 3:30 am
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Default Re: Sydney Rentals

Originally Posted by Linda Lushardi
I find all this quite odd. We had the very opposite experience. Came here at the end of November and had decided on a brand new complex of units and various apartments on a new development. None of the apartments are more than a year old, most with gym and pool facilities and yet theres loads still available!! We had our pick of several on offer at the time and even haggled down a rent $20pw. Maybe it depends on the type of property you are looking for.
Actually, the only time someone showed interest in us (ie offering to put us on their database) was a property manager for a large new development. They actually tried to 'sell' us the units and told us about all the good points etc, and when we said it wasn't big enough for us, they showed us some alternatives. (Real estate agents on the whole would just open the front door and then loll about looking bored.) However, we really wanted a house with our own garden - plus my partner felt the other residents were just too homogenous: young, professional, no children, no pets, tanned and healthy (okay, he made that last observation based on about 5 people but he had a point!).

The advice about bringing your passport etc with you to the viewing is good. Also bring along photocopies of your passport and documentation that shows you'd be a good tenant, so that the agent can put all of it forward to the landlord. If you rented in the UK, bring a reference from your landlord, or bring something about your mortgage if you had one. Without a rental history in Australia, the landlords can be a bit fussy.
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Old Jan 10th 2006, 4:18 am
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Default Re: Sydney Rentals

Originally Posted by Linda Lushardi
I find all this quite odd. We had the very opposite experience. Came here at the end of November and had decided on a brand new complex of units and various apartments on a new development. None of the apartments are more than a year old, most with gym and pool facilities and yet theres loads still available!! We had our pick of several on offer at the time and even haggled down a rent $20pw. Maybe it depends on the type of property you are looking for.
I think if you are looking for a house with a yard / garden in the eastern suburbs it is far harder than if you are looking for a unit. We specifically wanted a house for the feeling of space, no shared entrance, some outside space, bit more privacy. We are in Paddington but had Balmain, Rozelle, Woolhara, and Randwick all on our search list and securing a 2/3 bed house in these areas paying up to $650 a week rent was tough.
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Old Jan 10th 2006, 5:50 am
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Default Re: Sydney Rentals

Originally Posted by chels
Actually, the only time someone showed interest in us (ie offering to put us on their database) was a property manager for a large new development. They actually tried to 'sell' us the units and told us about all the good points etc, and when we said it wasn't big enough for us, they showed us some alternatives. (Real estate agents on the whole would just open the front door and then loll about looking bored.) However, we really wanted a house with our own garden - plus my partner felt the other residents were just too homogenous: young, professional, no children, no pets, tanned and healthy (okay, he made that last observation based on about 5 people but he had a point!).

The advice about bringing your passport etc with you to the viewing is good. Also bring along photocopies of your passport and documentation that shows you'd be a good tenant, so that the agent can put all of it forward to the landlord. If you rented in the UK, bring a reference from your landlord, or bring something about your mortgage if you had one. Without a rental history in Australia, the landlords can be a bit fussy.
Yes i can related to what your partner said about some of these developments as i thought the very same thing. But how wrong i was!! Where we are there is a huge doggie community and our dog has finally settled in well. There seems to be no issues with owning pets here. I did think that i would feel out of place a bit being older (over 40) as there always seemed to be those young tanned bods floating about, but once again i have been pleasantly surprised and have made friends with 2 different couples in their 40s which is a bit of a relief. Seems to be a real mixed bag of ages, culture and nationalities which i like. Plenty of little tots about too. We also have a huge dog park right outside, kids adventure payground, tennis courts, basketball court, 2 electric BBQs with seating areas. It really does have a lot going for it. But i fully understand that its not for everybody. We like it and enjoy sitting on our balcony/terrace watching the dogs and kids playing and it has made it easier making friends and passing the time of day.
Ideally we would have liked our own house and garden, but i need a pool and renting one which has that would be way out of our league price wise.

We are not far from Paddington Hubbard. I am yet to venture over there but a neighbour tells me its lovely, but extremely pricey. I am attracted to those gorgeous old terraced houses with filigree iron railings, but was told they are well over $1million to buy, which in my opinion is a complete rip off considering how small they can be.
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Old Jan 10th 2006, 9:35 pm
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Default Re: Sydney Rentals

Originally Posted by Linda Lushardi
We are not far from Paddington Hubbard. I am yet to venture over there but a neighbour tells me its lovely, but extremely pricey. I am attracted to those gorgeous old terraced houses with filigree iron railings, but was told they are well over $1million to buy, which in my opinion is a complete rip off considering how small they can be.
We are in one of those terraces, just renting at the moment but will hopefully look to buy one in a year or so. They are actually deceptively spacious inside, as all rooms have high ceilings and the houses are narrow but fairly long. In terms of cost, yep you are looking at a million plus for a 2-3 bed terrace but the area is incredibly popular, houses sell like hot cakes, hence the demand keeps the prices strong. The area is very much on a par with the likes of Fulham and Chelsea in London - easy access to the CBD, attractive architecture, good pubs and restaurants. Prices of houses are not solely related to size often it is more related to the area and the demand to live there, hence Paddington, Balmain, Potts Point, Double Bay, are all expensive.
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Old Jan 10th 2006, 10:13 pm
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Default Re: Sydney Rentals

Originally Posted by hubbard
The area is very much on a par with the likes of Fulham and Chelsea in London - easy access to the CBD, attractive architecture, good pubs and restaurants. Prices of houses are not solely related to size often it is more related to the area and the demand to live there, hence Paddington, Balmain, Potts Point, Double Bay, are all expensive.
This is what I have to keep reminding myself - I never dreamt of buying somewhere in Fulham or Chelsea, knowing houses there were well out of my league. So I'd better be a bit more realistic when it comes to buying in Sydney and accept that I probably won't be able to afford a house in most of the Eastern Suburbs or Balmain Peninsula!

Linda, your unit sounds lovely. How I wish we had a pool to cool off in on days like this!
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