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Navigating Sydney’s Rental Market

Committing to a rental property for 6-12 months is definitely a daunting task for first timers. With the average rental property hovering above the $500/week mark – it is a considerable portion of the average income of a young Australian chasing the big city dream in Sydney.

So where do we begin?

Realestate.com.au and domain.com.au are the two significant portals which display thousands of rental properties available for inspection and application. Detailed search fields can further narrow down your search from property type, price, location, bedrooms, bathrooms, and parking. Rental properties are usually available to inspect one time during the week and/or on Saturdays. Generally a standard lease term is 6-12 months unless stated otherwise.

With 15-30 minute inspections on a Saturday – driving around on the weekend almost can feel like work. To ensure that you’re precious Saturday isn’t wasted; narrow down your search to at least 3-5 properties to inspect – then your one step closer to making the big move.

The most common property type in the rental market is units – brand new and second hand. Due to the recent development boom – brand new units are plentiful and the fresh feel of is next to none – but you do pay for it.

Second hand units on the other hand; may feel lighter in the pocket initially but may have other sets of challenges which may hit the balance statement in different ways further down the track. Doors and windows which do not close properly may in turn cost more to keep the property warm in winter; or cool in summer and directly impacts the quarterly power bill.

Although not a cost to the tenant; repairs and maintenance are a given component of a rental property; and determining the likelihood of experiencing them during your stay will ultimately shape your experience positively or negatively. Wear and tear items such as ovens, cook tops, range hoods, dryers, and air conditioners are the most common items which are replaced; so it’s best to note if they have been replaced in the past or are in original state to mitigate any inconvenience.

When inspecting a potential rental– looking around the property can also make or break your decision – so ensure a thorough inspection of amenities, common areas; and parking is ticked off so there is no surprises once settled in.

Once a rental property that ticks all the boxes has been found; an online application form must be filled out to express your interest; alongside supporting information required:

· 100 Points of Identification – (ie. drivers license, bank card, Medicare card, utility bill, passport)
· Previous rental history (if applicable)
· Current employment information.

Once this information is provided – the ball is in the property managers court who will then do the relevant checks.

As a first timer; it is best to provide as much information as possible in order to compete with renters who have a past track record of renting. Don’t let this ever stop you from taking the next step – there is always a first for everything.