Even when you are just renting, house hunting can be a lengthy and challenging process. There are always many factors that a potential renter wants to take into consideration, such as location, price and facilities. Looking for property abroad can be an even more challenging process than it can be at home as you're not really sure of how the whole process works, and you probably won't be familiar with the city that you want to find property in.
In Australia, most of the major cities have a fairly fast moving rental market and you will find that as rental properties come onto the market, they are snapped up very quickly. That said, it is entirely possible to find a property to rent if you are willing to put in the effort.
As you won’t have a great deal of familiarity with the city you are looking to rent in, it is a good idea to get acquainted with it. Spend several days just exploring the city and seeing what different parts of it are like. This should give you a decent idea of where you might want to live. Don’t get your mind set on one specific neighbourhood as it might not fit your requirements for other reasons, such as price. Instead, make a list of three or four regions of the city where you would be happy living.
Renting property in Australia is something that has largely been taken over by the Internet, and sitting down at your laptop is going to be one of the best ways to find out what rental options there are. There are many websites around which have functions which will allow you to search by different factors, such as price, location, and facilities. Start by having a look on these websites: http://www.realestate.com.au and http://www.mcgrath.com.au/
Properties are sometimes rented privately, but the majority are rented through an agency. When you have found a property that you are interested in you need to make a phone call to either the private landlord, or to the agency. This will allow you to arrange a viewing of the property to see if it is something suitable for you.
There are some formalities you are going to have to provide when you rent a house, especially if you're doing it through an agency. Therefore, you should make sure that you have a way to prove your identity, income, and references. Australian agencies are generally very keen on references, and they will normally request a reference from your current employer and, in addition to this, they might also request a reference from a previous landlord.
Deposits are also something that work a bit differently in Australia, and you will be asked to make a deposit before you know the house will be rented to you. If it is decided that you don't get the house the deposit will be returned, if you do move in, it will be offset against the first month's rent. You will also need to make a different type of deposit, called a bond, when you move in to cover any damage you do to the property. This is usually about a month's rent.
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