Renting an apartment in Australia is actually pretty straight forward unlike North America. You just need to know where to look. Apartments are rented on a weekly basis here not monthly which make things so much easier for travellers. The length of your lease is up to your renter but they can go anywhere from 1 week to years depending on your needs. Luckily I’ve found apartments in many cities and islands around Aus so I can give you the skinny.
My first stop is always Flatmates This website is great especially in the big cities.
You can make a listing for yourself kind of like a profile that renters/roommates can view by clicking the ‘Find a place’ button. You’ll put in your details and wait for someone to contact you.
The other option is to browse the selection of places available. Click on the search bar and type in your preferred location. There are three options you can search for:
Room: Search for a room.
Flatmate: Search for flatmates for your place.
Teamups: Find a place with multiple rooms.
Besides that there are many filters to narrow down your search. If you’re just staying in Australia temporarily then make sure you filter for a furnished room. No need to buy a bed now is there!
Generally unless you’re millionaire you want to be shooting for under $200 a week if possible. If you’re really on a budget you can try a share room. Re: no privacy. I’ve seen them for as low as $100 per week. It all depends on the city.
On Flatmates you can search all you want but in order to do a viewing and rent these places you need to contact the seller. Some you can contact for free, yay! But a lot of them are ‘Early bird’ listings so you’ll need a paid account. Ouch. The price is reasonable but make sure you troll through and make sure the ones in the yes pile are in fact ‘Early bird’ listings so you don’t waste your money needlessly.
Once you’ve contacted the seller you’ll need to go check the place out. Make sure you take a friend and ask lots of questions.
Open the fridge
Ask about how the appliances work.
Ask about rent and when/ how it’s due.
Ask about cleaning.
Ask if there’s insurance.
Ask about utilities.
Test the wifi!
Ask how much notice they’ll need for move outs. Re: getting your bond back.
If you’re happy with the space you’ll have to put a bond down to hold the place and first weeks rent. Make sure you get a receipt!
Now you’re ready for your first Aussie apartment!
Another way to find apartments in Australia is to check out Gumtree. Like Australia’s craigslist. Search for rooms in your area but as usual be weary. There’s even less protection than Flatmates when you use buy and sell websites like this. Make sure you follow the above steps and bring someone with you to the viewing.
Airbnb is another one I like to check out in a pinch. I message renters and ask if they can do a deal for couple months of straight renting. Usually they appreciate longevity and the fact that they don’t have to constantly turn over their rooms. The trick is not to be discouraged. If you think this is the way to go them message everyone under the sun until it’s a yes. The downside remember is that you pay up front unless you strike a deal fyi.
Lastly in the off season check out vacation rentals. The price might be too high for you but there’s always the option of contacting the renter and asking for a lower price in exchange for a more permanent renter. This is a definite must on a lot of the smaller islands as there not much in the way of apartments or short term living arrangements.
Still can’t find anything? When in doubt, ask around. A lot can be found by word of mouth. Especially in the more obscure areas of Australia. Find their town posting board, their community swap page or friendly locals who might know someone looking. You never know who might lead you to where your dream apartment is hiding.