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How to succeed in renting a home in Canberra?

By Pedrose - 8 November 2011 50

My husband landed himself a plum job in the ACT.

He has been there for several weeks and is enjoying the new job.

However, he has had no luck finding a rental for our family which consists of 2 adults, 4 children (number three turned out to be twins) and two dogs.

He has attended several open inspections with around 20 other people to look at the same ‘cosy’ 3 bedroom house and supposedly allows pets. We have good references etc.

My question is to those with kids and pets who have succeeded in find a rental is how did you do it and how long did it take?

Alternately should we put our own lovely home on the market and look to buy in the ACT?

Or should DH chuck it in and return to regional NSW.

We are getting quite desperate so if there are any landlords out there that would like to rent us a 3 bedroom home with reasonably sized bedrooms anywhere in the ACT I would love to hear from you.

We would like to be moved in time for the start of the 2012 school year.

What’s Your opinion?


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50 Responses to
How to succeed in renting a home in Canberra?
Watson 2:35 pm 08 Nov 11

FioBla said :

>My question is to those with kids and pets who have succeeded in find a rental is how did you do it and how long did it take?

Can’t remember. But at least 10 inspections. And at least 5 applications. These are the ones I can remember: I’m sure it was more than those.

Allhomes; that’s all. Their search is really good. They also have an email feature that worked. You can filter out all your above criteria: $490, pets, house, # bedrooms. As you’re not fussed about living *anywhere* in Canberra, that’s a big plus.

I stopped bothering with apartments early on; there was only tiny chance of them being pet-friendly.

Calling to try and organise a viewing before the main one can also be a good strategy to make yourself noticed. Just come up with some excuse about being out of town when the open house is on and could they please show it to you before. That’s how I ended up getting my current house though it was a private rental.

FioBla 2:26 pm 08 Nov 11

>My question is to those with kids and pets who have succeeded in find a rental is how did you do it and how long did it take?

Can’t remember. But at least 10 inspections. And at least 5 applications. These are the ones I can remember: I’m sure it was more than those.

Allhomes; that’s all. Their search is really good. They also have an email feature that worked. You can filter out all your above criteria: $490, pets, house, # bedrooms. As you’re not fussed about living *anywhere* in Canberra, that’s a big plus.

I stopped bothering with apartments early on; there was only tiny chance of them being pet-friendly.

Grail 2:17 pm 08 Nov 11

From what I can see, $490/wk is reasonable for a 3-bed 2-bath house in the outer suburbs (Holt, Macgregor, Gungahlin, Condor, etc). You’ll be heading over the $500/wk mark for places a suburb closer in though (e.g.: Evatt, Spence).

Then there’s the difficulty with pets, as has been mentioned on RiotACT a number of times many landlords are reticent to accept pets since there are an increasing number of people in the renting community who have allergies to animals. You just cannot get cat or dog hair out of carpets, and you end up having to recarpet the place.

Buzz2600 2:15 pm 08 Nov 11

Pedrose said :

Hi Blub. We are not fussy where it is and it the max we are prepared to pay would be $490.

Herein lies your problem. Canberra has a housing shortage, extremely low vacancy rates and lots of permanent high-paying rental customers.

Maybe you should start looking in Queanbeyan.

blub 2:05 pm 08 Nov 11

Sorry – I think you’re problem might be you’re asking for too much for too low a price. Hence the high competition in that price range.

Good luck though!

Pedrose 1:40 pm 08 Nov 11

Hi Blub. We are not fussy where it is and it the max we are prepared to pay would be $490.

orangegirl 1:35 pm 08 Nov 11

A couple of people I know have had luck by offering to pay three months rent in advance up front or offering to pay a higher weekly price. Download the forms off the websites, complete the application before the inspection and hand it to the agent on the day. Get two or three amazing written recommendations and submit those as well – they never ask for them but it makes it easy for the real estate agent to forward them on to the owner for approval.

Good luck!

GBT 1:34 pm 08 Nov 11

Pedrose said :

What I meant to say is, does land tax apply to a home owned as your principle place of residence or just homes owned as investment properties?

No, Land tax is not payable on your PPOR, just on investment properties.

blub 1:25 pm 08 Nov 11

Where are you looking, and how much are you looking to pay for rent each week.
I might know a guy who knows a guy … who has a 3br, 2 bathroom house in Belco coming up. pet friendly.

Will post agent details if you’re looking in that area around the right price.

Pedrose 1:19 pm 08 Nov 11

What I meant to say is, does land tax apply to a home owned as your principle place of residence or just homes owned as investment properties?

Pedrose 1:18 pm 08 Nov 11

Thanks Guys. Git, what is the land tax situation?

RandomGit 1:14 pm 08 Nov 11

Due to the land tax situation in the ACT and global economy yadda yadda yadda, lots of people are trying to sell off their rental investments.

I’m selling mine simply because I can’t afford a second mortgage that is negatively geared as well as pay land tax. A tax that is used for…………. something, I don’t know what service it gives me as a landlord on top of what rates already give me. I swear, its like doing business with the underpants gnomes.

So yeah, buy. I’ve had to drop thew price after two weeks.

Classified 12:41 pm 08 Nov 11

Buy. Prices have softened a bit, and there are plenty of sellers who’d be happy to negotiate.

winter 12:32 pm 08 Nov 11

Pets and renting in Canberra don’t go well together unfortunately. My only suggestion is to keep looking now, because come January, all the new public service recruits appear and then you will have no chance.

madamcholet 12:24 pm 08 Nov 11

Buy. It’s a good market for you right now – lots of houses, few buyers – that’s what I heard on the TV last week anyway. I came to Canberra with Mr Cholet in 2004 and have loved being here ever since. Now have a Cholet sprog as well – great place for kids.

So your next question will be – “where should we buy?”. But no need as it’s been asked so many times before…just search RiotAct.

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