Finding a place to live in Australia

House for rentIt may take some time to find a place when you first move. If you have friends or family already in Australia, you may wish to ask if you can stay with them for a while. If you’re on your own, try to budget for at least 2 weeks accommodation – the more you have saved, the more time you can afford to spend finding the perfect house and job.

A great option for temporary accommodation is Airbnb. Not only are places usually much cheaper than staying in a hotel, but Airbnb can give you chance to meet some locals and get advice on great places to house hunt.

Whether you’re looking to Buy, Rent or Flat, the most important thing is to make sure you look around at a range of properties. The competition can be fierce so it pays to keep your options open.

Renting in Australia

The rental market in Australia can be very competitive – especially in the main cities. If you’re looking to rent it will help if you have the following documents prepared:

  • Your last 3 months bank statements
  • A written reference from your previous landlord
  • Your previous landlord’s contact information
  • Proof that your last bond was repaid in full (or an explanation as to why it wasn’t).

If you’re looking to move into one of the larger cities such as Sydney, Brisbane or Melbourne, Internet advertisements are the best place to look. Don’t bother looking at advertisements older than 14 days, they’ll usually be relisted within this time if the properties are still available. The following are popular rental listing websites:

  • Domain – This site has a large number of listings including a selection listed by property agents.
  • – Good site with lots of listings and extra information about renting and purchasing property in Australia.
  • Gumtree

If you’re planning on moving into a more rural area, try checking the local newspaper for listings.

Bond and Rent in advance

It is normal for landlords to request between 2-4 weeks rent as bond and 2-4 weeks rent in advance. This means that you will need to be prepared to front up with somewhere between 4 and 8 weeks rent before moving into your new place.

If you’re moving to Victoria, your bond will be lodged with the Residential Tenancies Bond Authority (RTBA) and returned to you minus the cost of any damages when you leave. Like many things in Australia, the rules are slightly different for each state: Queensland, New South Wales, Western Australia, Northern Territory, ACT, Tasmania, and Victoria.

Don’t forget: To help avoid disappointment, it’s important to look at a number of rental properties. Don’t set all of your hopes on just one!

Flatting & Sharehouses in Australia

In Australia, Flatmates wanted is usually listed as ‘Share house’ or ‘Sharemates wanted’. As with renting, competition can be fierce so make sure you look at a range of properties.

People looking for sharemates generally list their houses on the internet: it’s easy and best of all it’s usually free. Some good websites to check are:

Also, keep an eye out for cafes and bookstores – some have hand written advertisements posted in their windows.


If you are moving to Australia from New Zealand and planning on purchasing a house, try visiting the sites listed above. Most of the houses are listed by Real Estate agents and their contact information is provided. Some of the major Real Estate Agencies in Australia include: