Finding a place to rent

Last updated: 4 November 2014

Some tips on finding a place to rent.

Finding the right place to rent

There are things to think about when deciding on a place to rent. There are also things you should check when you inspect a property.

There is a property inspection checklist on the Tenants Union of Victoria's website that you might find helpful.

Some things to think about

Work out the place that's best for you.

What can I afford?
  • Do a budget to work out how much rent you can afford. MoneySmart has a budget planner that may help you. Don't forget to include ongoing water, gas and electricity costs
  • You'll need to pay rent in advance. This can be up to one month rent
  • There will be fees to get the gas, water and electricity connected
  • Check if you are eligible for Commonwealth Rent Assistance
  • Check if you are eligible for an interest free bond loan
  • Research rental prices to find the most affordable areas according to your budget.

You may be eligible for an interest free bond loan from us, rent in advance or rent assistance from Centrelink. To find out more, see Help to get into private rental.

Where do I want to live?
  • If there is a certain suburb or town where you want to live, consider neighbouring suburbs.
  • Think about how close you need to be to things you need, like:
    • Work
    • Health facilities or doctors
    • Cultural facilities
    • Family and friends
    • Schools
    • Public transport.

Local councils sometimes have information on facilities and services. Visit the Victorian Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure's website to find your local council by map or look at the full list of Victorian councils.

What kind of place do I need?
  • Think about how many bedrooms you need.
  • Do you have any pets? Check that they are allowed.
  • Do you need somewhere with reliable mobile phone or internet coverage?

Finding places for rent

Ways you can look for a place to rent:

Searching online

There are lots of websites that have places for rent listed, like real estate agent websites or other sites.

They let you search by location, type of accommodation, number of bedrooms and weekly rent.

You can also see what searches bring up: try 'rental accommodation', 'student share housing' or 'house mates'.

Newspaper property listings

Check the local paper in the areas you want to live for any rental listings they have.

Local real estate agents

Visit real estate agents in the areas you want to live and see what is on display in their windows.

Ask for a list of available rental properties and check their website.

Ask if they have a mailing list that they can put your name on.

Noticeboards

Look on the noticeboards at TAFE colleges, universities, shopping centres, supermarkets, local shops and caf├ęs for shared accommodation.

Ask friends and family to let you know if they hear of something that might be suitable.

National Rental Affordability Scheme

This scheme helps low and moderate income earners rent privately at an affordable rate. The properties are owned and managed by non-government organisations and private developers.

For more information, see National Rental Affordability Scheme.

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