Find and secure a place to rent
Things to consider when looking for a rental property:
- bond - this can be up to 6 weeks rent
- rent - how much can you afford, with other bills and groceries
- location - are you close to public transport and shops
- infrastructure - what's included with the property (heating, cooling, phone line, etc)
- size of the property - is it what you need, does your furniture fit
- garden or yard - can you look after a large garden, do you have a pet
- parking - do you need secure, off-street parking.
Finding a property
1. You can find places to rent:
- on the internet
- in newspapers
- through real estate agents.
2. Inspect the property
- check that it meets your needs and is in good condition
- be on time for any appointments, make a good first impression
- take copies of your identification, written references, rent records and income statements.
3. The landlord/agent can ask you to complete an application form which may ask you for your previous address, the nature and place of your employment and the size of your household.
4. If you are successful, the landlord will ask you to sign a lease.
- ask the landlord to explain anything you don't understand
- read all terms and conditions of the lease before signing
- agree on a moving date so you can plan your move.
5. Sign the lease and pay the bond and rent in advance.
- get a copy of the lease
- get a receipt for money paid
- know your rights and responsibilities as a tenant.
Free information session
CBS offers a free information session about rights and responsibilities when renting privately. The session covers:
- maintenance and repairs
- types of leases
- lodging a bond
- landlords right of entry
- inspection sheets
- water charging
- lease breaches.
Getting help to secure a property
Housing SA may be able to help if you are having trouble securing private rental and have no previous rental history.
Housing SA can also help you with your bond and rent if you are on a low income.
Contact Housing SA to find out more about what is available to you.
A landlord has the right to choose a suitable tenant, but can't refuse to have children in the property unless the landlord lives in the premises the tenancy relates to.
If you have been refused a property and believe that you've been discriminated against, contact the Equal Opportunity Commission to find out more or to make a complaint.
Rental listing scams
Sometimes people advertise properties that don't belong to them. These fake advertisements are usually listed online. The scammers can ask for money to be paid upfront before letting you see the property. Once the payment has been made the scammer will often cut off contact.
When you are looking for a place to rent:
- don't pay any money until after you have inspected the property
- don't pay any money unless you are satisfied that the agreement is fair and genuine
- make sure you get a receipt for any money paid
- make sure the landlord lodges your bond with Consumer and Business Services (CBS)
- be careful if sending money overseas, particularly to a post box number.
If you are unsure about any details you should contact CBS for advice.
You can also report a scam online.