The rental market in Sydney has quite a quick turnaround, with properties being advertised a few weeks prior to becoming available. Properties you see prior to your arrival are likely to have gone by the time you arrive – so as addictive as those real estate sites are – treat most research as just that –research that will give you an indicative idea of what you can find in your chosen area and budget.
Look at www.ourproperty.com.au for information on what's available, or Mandarin speakers may prefer to use www.gifang.com. You may also like to check out www.realestate.com.au and www.domain.com.au. The majority of rentals in Australia are unfurnished, however there are some furnished properties available but they are more likely to be apartments than family sized homes.
Cost of Renting in Sydney?
- Rents are quoted on a per week basis. However, rents are paid on a fortnightly or monthly basis so it is useful to do the math. $250 a week does not equate to $1000 a month as there are different amounts of days in each month. This can make a difference to your assumed budget – so ensure you do the maths. $250 a week x 52 weeks a year = $13,000 or $13,000 : 12 months in a year = $1,083 per month.
- Rental prices can be negotiated but it is worth asking the agent first before submitting an application at a reduced rental price. Your chances of a reduction are improved if the property has been advertised for some time, you are able to move in straight away or you can offer 3/6/12 months upfront. If you want to ensure you secure a place you love your best bet is to offer the asking price
- Rental Costs: If your application is approved you will need to put down 1 weeks rent as a holding deposit to secure the property - this is not returned if you pull out or change your mind. Prior to getting the keys you will be required to pay 4 weeks bond – This is held by the Department of Fair Trading and is returned to you when you move out, subject to no breakages/damages etc. You will also need to pay 2 weeks rent in advance (minus the holding deposit). Some agents will request 4 weeks in advance but the maximum they are allowed to request is 2 weeks in advance. If the tennant wants to voluntarily pay more than 2 weeks in advance they are permitted to do so.
- For More information on tenancy rights go to: www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au
Looking at Rental Properties in Sydney
Rental properties can be viewed either by appointment (usually those priced $700 +) or at the weekly open for inspection times. These are typically held mid week (Wednesday/Thursday lunch time or late afternoon/early evening) and on Saturdays- the biggest day for viewing. Open times are often very short (10-10.15am) and many cross over, meaning you have to plan your Saturday itinerary wisely. Many properties are advertised using the photographs used at the time of sale which means they can be out dates and misrepresentative. A drive by prior to the open can help you rule out some properties and assist you make a short list. The best properties go almost immediately, often before they make the mainstream real estate listing sites. It is wise to follow some of the real estate agency websites located in your chosen areas as this is where they will be listed first.
Advice on Renting Property in Sydney
How to secure a rental property and beat the competition – Secrets from a Relocation Consultant!
- Be prepared. Download an application from the agency website or pick up a copy from their office prior to the inspection. Fill this out fully (make sure all sections completed) and attach to it relevant ID (100 points – see below for full outline) with any additional supporting material (letter of offer from employer/rental references from your country of residence/bank statements showing regular rental/mortgage payments etc..) .
- Give the completed application in at time of the inspection and take one of the agent’s business cards if possible. Later that day, email the agent expressing how much you liked the property (mention the full address) and remind them that you submitted an application at the inspection. Ask them to contact you if they need any further to assist with their decision on and wish them a lovely day. You can usually expect an answer on the Monday afternoon (if you viewed the property Saturday) or the following day if it was viewed mid week.
- You can follow up with a polite phone call asking when you might be able to expect an answer and did they need anything further.
Tip! Always remember to complete and return the condition report. This will maximize your chance to have your bond refunded in full at the end of your tenancy.
Applying for rental properties – what are they looking for?
- Having a completed application in on time (by first thing Monday am or at the time of the inspection) with all ID/additional information requested. Neat writing is a bonus.
- References – a mix of work and personal references are needed. Give a choice of contact numbers if relevant as they need to check these before applications are passed to owner for approval. Try and ensure at least some of the contact numbers are local.
- The key factor will be ascertaining your salary and that you can afford the rental payments. A positive rental reference is a big plus. Most ex pats with no rental history will improve their chances if they bring a written reference gained at the time of their move from their current rental agent or mortgage broker. If you have any investment properties/sources of additional income over and above your salary bring proof of these as this will further your cause.
- First come does not mean first served. The new tenancy laws in NSW require the agent to pass on all applications to the owner. The ultimate choice is the owners although the rental agents usually give their recommendations (so be nice to them). Australian residents or citizens are often chosen by owners as they feel they may be more reliable and commit to the lease term over expats who may relocate home again.
Although it annoys the real estate agents, many people apply for 2 or 3 properties at one time thus increasing their chances of having one approved. Once you are approved you need to put down 1 weeks rent to secure the property – this means it will be taken off the market and no further inspections held- this will hold the property essentially for 1 week. A few days prior to the lease start date you will be required to pay the remainder of the upfront funds due and sign the lease.
Need HELP? A relocation agent can assist you deciding on the best areas to live and set up house/apartment viewings on your behalf. They can also assist with the application process. To find out more go to www.eliteexecutiveservices.com.au