Accommodation

Short-term Accommodation in Perth

As there is a daily influx of new people to Perth, the most isolated city in the world, Claddagh strongly recommends you book accommodation prior to arrival. The suburbs of Perth stretch north of the city 25km, south of the city 25km and inland 20km (approximately). Reviewing the public transport links available may assist in your choice of location for your short term accommodation. Options for short term lets and holiday apartments, hotels and hostels are available at varying budgets. See Appendix One for Listing of Hostels in Perth.

Information available on Short Term Lets in Perth including:

www.stayz.com.au/short-term-rentals-accommodation/wa/perth

www.rent-a-home.com.au/accommodation/wa/perth/perth

www.exapt.com.au

www.holidayrentals.com.au/holiday-rentals/search/locale/perth

www.happyhousesitters.com.au

Renting in Perth

Each state in Australia has different rules, requirements and regulations when leasing properties. There is a high demand for rental properties in Western Australia at present, and it can be especially difficult for immigrants to successfully lease a property. This is mainly due immigrants’ lack of rental history in Australia.

When leasing a property, viewings and home opens are held any number of people can attend. There are numerous websites available in which properties available are listed, and home open days/times are detailed which include:

www.realestate.com.au

www.reiwa.com.au

The property manager conducting the viewing will hand out Tenant Application Forms for completion at the viewings. It is important, when submitting a completed application, that all relevant requirements and information are included also.

In order to improve the chances of successfully attaining the property in question, it is important that each person wishing to reside at a property has provided the following:

  • Copies of photo ID (e.g. passport, WA driver’s license etc.)
  • Proof of income (e.g. 2-3 recent payslips) – new immigrants have often not yet secured employment, and wish to secure a property first. In this case, each applicant wishing to reside at the chosen property must provide back statements showing sufficient funds are available to pay the bond and the rent for a certain period of time. If an immigrant has recently secured a job, but has not yet begun work, a signed contract will suffice.
  • Rental references – new immigrants do not have a previous rental history in Australia, however, if a reference from a rental agent is available, then this should be included in the application

The reference from the real estate agent in Ireland should detail:

  • Confirmation of rent payments being transferred by the tenant on time each week/month
  • Details of inspections completed, and condition of the property during each inspection
  • Details of the inspection completed when the tenant vacated and confirmation of costs taken from the bond, if any

If the Irish real estate agent is unwilling to provide a written reference, then the applicant can provide the Australian property manager with a contact email address for the Irish agent and contact telephone numbers. It is also advisable to specify on the application the time differences between Ireland and Australia.

  • Western Australian real estate agencies often require applicants to pay an option fee when submitting an application. This option fee is generally equal to one weeks’ rent. This is usually payable by money order (obtained from a post office) or a bank cheque. If the application is successfully, the option fee will become the first weeks rent paid at the property. If the application is unsuccessful, then the option fee will be returned to the applicant
  • However, if an applicant submits a number of applications to different real estate agencies, and is successful on more than one property, the option fee the applicant has paid on the property he/she chooses not to take, does not get refunded

When an applicant is successful, an agreed date to sign the lease and move in is agreed between the property manager and the applicant(s). All tenants must sign the lease, and the Bond Lodgement Form. The tenants must pay a bond equal to four weeks rent, and two weeks rent in advance (the option fee usually counts for the first week in advance).

The bond paid is lodged to the Bond Administrator, which is a government authority, and is returned to the tenants at the end of the lease agreement.

Pitfalls for Immigrants

Immigrants often have to wait weeks, or even months, before securing a property. This leads to immigrants often resorting to leasing properties from private owners. There are a number of disadvantages to leasing a property through private landlords, some being:

  • Some private landlords hold the bond in their personal account, and do not lodge it to the Bond Administrator; therefore it can prove difficult for tenants to be reimbursed the total bond amount at the end of the tenancy.
  • Private landlords often do not provide tenants with all-encompassing lease agreements and there are often numerous loopholes in such lease agreements in which owners can terminate lease agreements, evict tenants and refuse to refund bonds.
  • Private landlords often do not provide tenants with detailed reports of the condition of the property prior to the lease agreement; therefore it can be difficult for tenants to prove whether or not certain damages were present prior to the commencement of the tenancy.
  • Both private landlords, and recently immigrated tenants, are not fully aware of the rules and regulations of the Residential Tenancies Act. Tenants often feel as though there is no recourse if a dispute occurs between the private landlord and the tenant.
  • Private landlords often complete inspections without providing the tenants with sufficient notice. Other private landlords often turn up at the property with no notice given. Some private landlords collect the rent from the tenants at the property each week, and expect the tenants to allow access to the property at that time also.

Leasing a property through a private landlord does not ensure that tenants will have an easier rental process when attempting to secure a property thereafter. Private landlords are notorious for falsifying rental references, often advising real estate agents that certain tenants are excellent, in an attempt to have the tenants vacate their own property. Additionally, private owners sometimes falsify references and advise real estate agents that certain tenants are not good, in order to scupper the tenant’s chances of securing another property, therefore forcing that tenant to remain in their property. Some property managers are unwilling to rent to tenants who only have private landlords as references.

When completing a Tenant Application Form, it is important that an applicant does not list a friend or relative as a ‘private landlord’ through whom they are currently renting a property, in the belief that it will help secure a property if a ‘rental history’ in Australia is detailed. Property managers have the facility to check the address of the property listed, as well as the correct owner. If the name of the correct owner does not match that of the owner detailed in the Tenant Application Form, the property manager will automatically decline the application as incorrect information has been provided.

It is important that properties are maintained to a high standard during the term of the lease and returned to the property manager in excellent condition at the end of the lease agreement. It is vital that undue damage is not caused, and that tenants do not abscond. There are a number of Defaulting Tenancy Databases Australia-wide accessible by the property manager, if the tenants name appears on the Defaulting Tenancy Database, and it will prove extremely difficult for that person to secure a property within Australia until all debts are cleared.

Further information on renting in WA