Before you start looking

Before you start looking at properties, it can help to think about:

Make a budget

There are both ongoing and one-off expenses involved in renting a home. Making a budget can help you: 

  • work out how much rent you can afford
  • decide if you’ll live on your own or share with other people
  • identify other living expenses, such as bills and groceries
  • plan for the costs involved in moving

One-off expenses are those costs you’ll only need to pay once when you move, and can include:

  • rental bond
  • removalist fees
  • utility connection fees
  • any household items you don't already own

Know what you want

Having a clear idea of what you want in a home will help save you time and energy when you start looking. Think about:

  • the location – do you want to be close to shops, public transport, schools or parks?
  • the size – is there enough room for all your household members and belongings?
  • if you want a parking space or if you'll need street parking
  • any other features that are important to you

You’ll also need to decide how much rent you’re willing to pay for the type of property you want.

If you'll be sharing

Shared housing is a home you share with people who are not members of your family.

Your rights and responsibilities in shared housing will depend on whether you’re a:

  • head-tenant – you’ve signed a lease for the whole property
  • co-tenant – you’ve jointly signed a lease with some or all of your household
  • sub-tenant – you’ve signed an agreement with the head-tenant
  • boarder or lodger – you rent part of the property from a live-in owner or manager