- Renting is expensive in Sydney, given the very high value which property prices have reached during recent successive property booms. Also, the demand is greater than the supply, inflating prices further. Keep in mind it may take longer to find somewhere to move into as you will be competing with many other people. Nevertheless, for most expats arriving in Sydney, it’s quite normal to rent accommodation as an initial means of entering the Australian real estate market. As a rule of thumb, you can expect a property’s annual rent to equal approximately 5% of the value of the property. So, a $1 million dollar property would rent for around $50,000 a year ($4,166 per calendar month). The average price for two-bedroom executive style apartment in the inner city and surrounds is $750 per week.Steps to finding a property
1. Create a short list from properties which you may have found online, in newspapers or through real estate agents. Most Sydney rentals are listed online and this is the main form of searching. Saturdays and Wednesdays are the two main days for new listings.
2. Some of these will be available to inspect at a scheduled time. This is usually on a Saturday for a period of around half an hour, or on a Wednesday in the middle of the day. The property can either be vacant or still occupied.
3. If you are interested in the property, the real estate agent will ask you to fill out an application form, often the requirement is for the application to be completed online. Due to the current rental shortage, it is highly advised that if the property looks suitable on the website, that you PRE fill in an application form. In some cases you can even submit the application and then retract it later after viewing the property. You will stand no chance if you only obtain an application form on the day as other applicants will actually be handing theirs in.
Applications normally require the names and contact details of three references, which they will check and 100 points worth of identification. This must include a pay slip (30 points), a bank statement (20 points) and a rental ledger (30 points). The referees can either be professional or personal contacts.
4. If you are successful, you will be required to sign a lease agreement and pay a security bond, usually the equivalent to four weeks rent. The agent lodges the bond money with the NSW Department of Fair Trading. It is returned to you in full once you move out of the property and the agent is satisfied the property has not been damaged, you have not breached your agreement, nor owe rent.
Lease agreements are legally binding documents, specific to the laws of the state of New South Wales. The lease agreement outlines the rights and responsibilities you have as a tenant, along with what to expect from your landlord. It will include details of the rental property, the agreed rent and when/ how it should be paid, the bond amount, when the agreement begins and ends, and the contact details of the landlord. Leases usually run for a duration of either six months or a year.
5. You will also be required to fill out an inspection report before moving in. Take the time to list any damage already existing. For example, the property may have a faulty garage door. If it is not flagged before you move in, you may be made liable to pay for its repair when you move out.
6. Generally, your rent will be calculated weekly and payable either fortnightly or monthly, depending on your real estate agent or landlord. Your rent includes your right to occupy the property only. It does not include electricity, gas, bond or anything else – unless it specifically says so in your contract. Your rental payments will be required in advance. So if your lease agreement is monthly, you will be expected to pay a month of rent in advance, at the same time each month.
Breaking your Lease Early
If you need to end your lease early, give as much notice as possible in writing to the real estate agent and keep a copy of the letter. A landlord is entitled to claim compensation for any loss they may incur. This could be lost rent until new tenants move in, advertising costs and/or a re-letting fee. The landlord must be able to prove this loss to successfully make a claim. Generally speaking, breaking a lease early can be done without any conflict or financial loss depending on the aforementioned factors.
- Median prices and demographics by suburb and region – only shows for sale prices. http://www.domain.com.au/public/apm/default.aspx?mode=research
- Median rent by graph – http://www.suburbview.com/view/nsw/sydney/2000/rent/report/median+price+graphs+for+rent
- Department of Fair Trading Bond – http://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/Tenants_and_home_owners/Renting_a_home/Bonds
- Renting a Home – Department of Fair Trading http://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/Tenants_and_home_owners/Renting_a_home.html