Renting a Property in Australia
Some Property Renting Information
- Most house rentals in Australia are Unfurnished.
- Council rates are included in the rent charged.
- Water usage is sometimes included, but sometimes charged extra.
- Not all Landlords will allow Pets.
- Some States allow Landlords to charge a deposit for Pets, where they are allowed.
- Leases are normally from 6 months upwards, but often a 1 year tenancy is required.
How much you will pay for a property rental in Australia will depend very much on location, and the quality of the property.
In my own local paper in July 2011, I checked the prices for the two extremes, and found:
- Cheapest: $280pw for a 2 bedroom Duplex (semi detached).
- Expensive: $780pw for a 4 bedroom detached with pontoon for parking your cruiser on the canal behind.
- Middle: $360pw 3 bedroom 2 storey townhouses.
Some of the ‘cheaper’ suburbs in Australia for Rental properties.
Average weekly rentals quoted at Dec 2008
House $203 pw Russell Island
Unit $210 pw Booval, Ipswich
House $200 pw Carramar
Unit $195 pw Bradbury
House $350 pw Holder
Unit $225 pw Hughes
House $185 pw Millgrove
Unit $175 pw Albion
House $195 pw Elizabeth
Unit $155 pw Elizabeth Vale
House $240 pw Hillman
Unit $205 pw Rockingham
House $350 pw Moulden
Unit $280 pw Nightcliff
2009 Median Rentals around Australia
Rental Terms and Conditions
Long Term Unfurnished Rental Properties are normally available for longer stays of 6 months upwards, although sometimes a 1 year tenancy is required.
These are cheaper than the Furnished rentals but do require that longer commitment.
Many Real Estate Agents will have a list of currently available properties on their books, but you can also look online at a couple of National databases of properties being advertised for rent.
Most Rentals will have cooking facilities built in, and some of the newer ones have dishwashers, but this is not fully standard.
Rarely will you get one with a washing machine. Tenants are normally only responsible for the following costs:
- Initial Rental Bond, Rent, Electricity & Gas (if applicable), Water usage excess charges, Telephone charges, Personal Contents insurance and any damage to the property cause by the Tenant or Tenants guests.
The Landlord normally pays:
- Council rates, Water Access Costs, Property repairs, Property Insurance
The following costs can be paid by either, depending on the agreement:
- Swimming Pool Maintenance, Garden Upkeep, mowing etc., Pest Control.
You will generally need to put down a rental bond, equivalent to about 4 (or more) weeks rent, which the landlord deposits with a Rental Bond Agency in the State that the property is in.
Check with each State on this, as Queensland for example states:
|By law, no more than four week’s rent (two weeks’ rent for moveable dwellings) can be charged as a rental bond, if the weekly rent is $500 or less.
There is no limit if the weekly rent exceeds $500
Rental Bond Info:
The Bond is a guarantee to the landlord against any unpaid costs that the tenants may still owe when they vacate the property.
It is returnable to the Tenant when they move out from the property.
The amount returned will depend on the condition of the property when handed back to the landlord.
Rental Property Advertising Links
Real Estate.com.au – One of the major databases of property both for Sale and Rent. Many of the Real Estate agents advertise their properties on that site.
Domain.com.au – Another similar to the above, but operated by the Fairfax Newspaper Group
Renting in ACT
- www.tenantsact.org.au – Tenants Union of ACT
Renting in Queensland
Most rentals will be for 12 month periods, although some are done for 6 months.
It is important to note though, that “A tenant cannot just move out at the end of a fixed term agreement without letting the lessor/agent know”.
They MUST complete and submit a “Notice to Leave – Form 13” to the landlord or agent, at least 14 days before the end of the term.
If this is not done, then the lease will continue on a month by month basis, unless a fresh term agreement is signed. Details at:
Median Weekly Rents in Queensland
The Queensland government record all property rentals, and provide us with median rental figures for different types of property in each of the different locations. This information can be seen at:
Renting rights and responsibilities in Queensland
A guide issued by the Queensland Government RTA (Residential Tenancies Authority), shows the rights and responsibilities that are covered by the law for both the tenant and the lessor/agent.
Information Statement – Renting a home – A tenant’s guide to the rules for renting in Queensland –
- PDF File 1.2mb www.rta.qld.gov.au/…/17a-final.pdf
An excerpt from this guide is shown here:
When you start a tenancy, you will need to:
- read and sign a written General Tenancy Agreement (Form 18a) including the standard terms
- get a signed copy of your tenancy agreement
- get a copy of this booklet (the lessor/agent is required by law to give this to you)
- pay a bond (if required) and complete a Bond Lodgement (Form 2)
- pay rent in advance (if required)
- get receipts for any monies you pay
- get one full set of keys for one of the tenants named on the agreement, and entry keys for the other tenants named on the agreement
- receive 2 signed and completed copies of the Entry Condition Report (Form 1a) from the lessor/agent
- complete the tenant sections of the Entry Condition Report (Form 1a), mark both copies if you disagree, record the water meter reading on the form, sign both copies and return one copy to the lessor/ agent within 3 days from when youre allowed to move in, and
- keep copies of all these documents in a safe place they are important documents that may help if there is a dispute over your bond.
Australian Tenants Rights Information
- ACT – Tenants Advice Service, Havelock House, Gould Street, Turner
Tel Enquiries: (02) 6247 2011 (9.30am – 1.00pm)
- ACT – www.tenantsact.org.au – Tenants Union of ACT
- NSW – NSW Office of Fair Trading, 1 Fitzwilliam Street, Parramatta NSW 2150, Australia,
Tel: (02) 9895 0111, Fax: (02) 9895 0222
- NT – Consumer and Business Affairs – Tenancy Unit
Tel: (08) 8999 1999, Toll Free: 1800 019 319, Fax: (08) 8999 6260
- QLD – Residential Tenancies Authority
Tel: 1300 366 311, Fax (07) 3361 3666, International calls +61 7 3013 7400
- QLD – Tenants Union of Queensland
Tel: 07 3257 1108, Toll Free: 1800 177 761,
- SA – Office of Consumer and Business Affairs, Level 1, 91-97 Grenfell Street, ADELAIDE SA 5001
Tel: (08) 8204 9544, Fax (08) 8204 9570
- TAS – Tenants Union of Tasmania, Macquarie Street, Hobart 7000
Tel: 6223 2641 Monday – Friday 9.30am – 4pm
- VIC – Tenants Union of Victoria, PO Box 234, Fitzroy, VIC 3065, Australia
Tel: (03) 9416 2577, Fax (03) 9416 0513
- WA – Tenants Advice Service, PO Box 8437, Perth Business Centre, PERTH W.A. 6849
Tel: (08) 9221 9499, Fax : (08) 9221 9609,
An excellent list of the Tenants costs and responsibilities, provided by an Australian property manager is shown here:
- Leasing fee – 1 weeks rent upon application that you get back if your declined.
- Security bond – Normally 4 weeks rent to be paid and put in the real estates trust account. Providing there is no damage, carpet cleaning or bills and rent owing upon vacating you will get it back.
- Consumption – Meaning water consumption (providing there is no agreement that the owner should pay any towards the bill, usually this happens when there is no bore on the property), electricity and gas.
- Connection – The connection of phone, internet and cable. If you move into a new house and there is no phone lines connected to the house the tenant has to pay a chosen company to install 1 as according to lease agreements the owner is not obligated to provide a working phone connection.
- Carpet cleaning – Upon vacating the property. Also the property manager may request the tenant to clean the carpets during the lease anytime they see fit.
- After hours call out fees – For maintenance (if it’s the tenants fault) and for property managers normally for forgotten keys.
- Water metre reading upon vacation of the property.
- Flea treatment upon vacation of the property if you have a cat or dog.
- Contents insurance
- Pest control whilst in the property and if its not pre-existing
- Gardening and Lawn mowing unless provided for in lease
- Pool chemicals and care if you have a property with a pool
- Bank fees if you bounce a cheque.
- 2 weeks rent in advance when moving in.
- A pet bond if you have a cat or dog – normally it’s a set amount unless the rent is more than $500.00 per week or the owners occupied the property less than 3 months ago. (not all States allow this pet bond to be charged)