Skip to content Skip to main navigation

Ask RiotACT

Buying or selling? Get the right advice

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?


Please login to post your comments, or connect with
50 Responses to
How to succeed in renting a home in Canberra?
Filter
Showing only Website comments
Order
Newest to Oldest
Oldest to Newst
Ellebana 1:27 pm 17 Jan 12

Pedrose – Did you end up finding a place? If not, I may be able to help you. I have a pet friendly house that will be available by the end of the month. Rent is a bit higher than what you’ve budgeted, but not excessive. I’m speaking to new property managers at the moment, but am happy to consider good quality tenants for private rental. Cheers, Elle.

poetix 9:38 am 02 Dec 11

ex-vectis said :

Hi Pedrose,

We rent in ACT and over the last 4 years have tried 4 different properties. Trying not to sound too negative the rental market is a nightmare lottery in ACT. Some Agents/Owners are excellent and some are – in short – negligent. Unfortunately, you wont know until you’ve signed on the dotted line when it is too late as by then you’ve committed youself (and whinging or being pain to the Agents is a two edged sword as you then need them as a refernce if you move).

$490 a week is way way below the amount you are going to be paying. For your family, and a dog, I’ve probably budget at about $550-$600 for an area about 15Km from Civic.

The only real way to get place in Canberra is to attend viewings and give the Agents the completed application (and all supporting copies of required extras; which basically is a day-by-day detail of your life for the past 15 years) for places you like; not easy if living away and moving to Canberra.

We have had good and bad experiences.

The first two places we stayed in were ‘pull-downs’. Freezing in the winter and roasting in the summer. They were quite clean although a bit tatty (which was fair enough as they were pull-downs) – although one did smell of wee a bit which was only noticed when we moved in after signing up for 6 months.

The next place was in Isaacs had yapping dogs front, back and sides which drove us mad (Dont expect the ‘TAMS’ authority here to do a thing about it – we tried, after speaking nicely to the owners with no luck). The property was quite small but had been very well maintained and was clean. But was freezing in the winter and boiling in the summer and the electricy bills were breath taking.

The place we are in at the moment is a living nightmare. When we viewed it we quite liked it. It was quite grubby and the fixtures/fittings needed attention but the Agents assured us it would all be ok once the new tenants moved in. We had prepared the forms at the ready and so went for it. Well, when we moved in my wife just sat in a corner and cried for an hour. It was filthy – and I mean filthy. Carpets and oven had been cleaned (we think) but that was about it. The curtains were bed sheets held up with safety pins and the three sets of drop-blinds were broken and had some drops missing. We both had to take a week off work and it took us a month to get it habitable (we cleaned it, replaced the curtains from op-shop’s and stripped/painted the internal walls, fixed/replaced broken door handles & locks, replaced broken fly-screens etc). The wood-burner’s firebricks are little more than rubble and it took over 5 months to get the defective dishwasher & stove/oven replaced. But the real shocker was the ‘Inventory’ which was so wrong (IE. ‘Outside BBQ – Clean and working in good order’ – the BBQ had obviously never worked for many years!) it was almost funny. When my wife went to the Agents, the day after we moved in, to complain at the dreadful state of the place and ask if it had been inspected they said it had and thy couldnt see the problem!!

My only tip can be to NOT use an Agents and rent from a friend or friend of a friend. Some Agents are good (IE.Ones we rented from in Isaacs had communication issues but otherwise were ok.) and some are awful ( The ones we are renting through now are basically, negligent) but sadly you wont know until you are committed.

As for buying. We think the downturn is only just starting (as demostrated with the small falls seen so far). House prices here are, simply put, daft. You could get a small mansion in the US or UK for the prices being asked for single-skin huts in ACT and so the current prices being asked are just not sustainable. We’ve invested our savings elsewhere and rent with the income. However, buying may well be the only option for you if you dont want to go for the rental lottery! 🙂

I can’t help but think that if you are having to rent places that make your wife cry for an hour (lucky she hasn’t seen my house) you’d be better off buying, given that you have the funds. It’s not just an investment decision, it’s about feeling relatively secure and being able to have the house as you like it. The best thing we did was to buy many years ago and escape the clutches of real estate agents and their inspections and general stupidity.

They’re my crappy curtains now, I tell you!

Bramina 8:10 am 02 Dec 11

Hanksinatra said :

Well since noone else has offered you can stay at my place as an interim arrangement and welcome. 2 rooms but extremely large with furniture
hanksinatra@iinet.net.au
Your problem is I assume dogs in more ways than you imagine. No doubt you consider their cost in a direct connection but if it is true that the cost of a medium size dog is equivalent to a medium size SUV in carbon terms it is likely to be high in unconsidered externals.
Nevertheless my relationship on a personal level with that member of the animal kingdom runs smoother than on a philisphical level (disclaimer: I have rarely eaten them and under pressure at that) so I entreat you to accept my offer if it provides service to you until you are able to be accomodated with more appropriate lodgings.

Demand is not a sole function of ability to pay. There are other factors such as people’s expectations of price.

Until recently, many people’s expectations were that prices would always rise, so they were willing to pay a premium for house prices.

Now people believe that houses cannot go down, so they are prepared to hold onto them.

At some stage in the near future, people will realised that housing prices can go down, and they will start selling them, which will cause prices to go down even more….

Hanksinatra 3:44 am 02 Dec 11

Well since noone else has offered you can stay at my place as an interim arrangement and welcome. 2 rooms but extremely large with furniture
hanksinatra@iinet.net.au
Your problem is I assume dogs in more ways than you imagine. No doubt you consider their cost in a direct connection but if it is true that the cost of a medium size dog is equivalent to a medium size SUV in carbon terms it is likely to be high in unconsidered externals.
Nevertheless my relationship on a personal level with that member of the animal kingdom runs smoother than on a philisphical level (disclaimer: I have rarely eaten them and under pressure at that) so I entreat you to accept my offer if it provides service to you until you are able to be accomodated with more appropriate lodgings.

OpenYourMind 10:53 pm 01 Dec 11

Ex-vectis, if you think Canberra house prices are going to markedly drop, you are probably wrong. Canberra house prices are market driven. Canberra has a large number of highly paid public servants (and associated contractors/consultants/advisers etc.) in secure jobs all competing to buy a house. The ACT rental market is a shocker, so there’s a strong incentive for people to buy. You’d need something significant to change. Here are a few scenarios that could lead to change. ACT Govt releases a crazy amount of land and drives the price significantly downward (unlikely), Public Service and Govt spending is drastically cut (possible, however these cuts tend to be short term eg. Start of Howard era. Massive world economic depression leading to massive backward step for the Australian economy.

In short, sure the market may soften, but probably the only thing that will drive a really big price decrease is a significant economic shift for the whole country. If this occurs, chances are those that were worried about the high real estate prices will be more concerned with where their next meal is coming from.

ex-vectis 8:52 am 01 Dec 11

Hi Pedrose,

We rent in ACT and over the last 4 years have tried 4 different properties. Trying not to sound too negative the rental market is a nightmare lottery in ACT. Some Agents/Owners are excellent and some are – in short – negligent. Unfortunately, you wont know until you’ve signed on the dotted line when it is too late as by then you’ve committed youself (and whinging or being pain to the Agents is a two edged sword as you then need them as a refernce if you move).

$490 a week is way way below the amount you are going to be paying. For your family, and a dog, I’ve probably budget at about $550-$600 for an area about 15Km from Civic.

The only real way to get place in Canberra is to attend viewings and give the Agents the completed application (and all supporting copies of required extras; which basically is a day-by-day detail of your life for the past 15 years) for places you like; not easy if living away and moving to Canberra.

We have had good and bad experiences.

The first two places we stayed in were ‘pull-downs’. Freezing in the winter and roasting in the summer. They were quite clean although a bit tatty (which was fair enough as they were pull-downs) – although one did smell of wee a bit which was only noticed when we moved in after signing up for 6 months.

The next place was in Isaacs had yapping dogs front, back and sides which drove us mad (Dont expect the ‘TAMS’ authority here to do a thing about it – we tried, after speaking nicely to the owners with no luck). The property was quite small but had been very well maintained and was clean. But was freezing in the winter and boiling in the summer and the electricy bills were breath taking.

The place we are in at the moment is a living nightmare. When we viewed it we quite liked it. It was quite grubby and the fixtures/fittings needed attention but the Agents assured us it would all be ok once the new tenants moved in. We had prepared the forms at the ready and so went for it. Well, when we moved in my wife just sat in a corner and cried for an hour. It was filthy – and I mean filthy. Carpets and oven had been cleaned (we think) but that was about it. The curtains were bed sheets held up with safety pins and the three sets of drop-blinds were broken and had some drops missing. We both had to take a week off work and it took us a month to get it habitable (we cleaned it, replaced the curtains from op-shop’s and stripped/painted the internal walls, fixed/replaced broken door handles & locks, replaced broken fly-screens etc). The wood-burner’s firebricks are little more than rubble and it took over 5 months to get the defective dishwasher & stove/oven replaced. But the real shocker was the ‘Inventory’ which was so wrong (IE. ‘Outside BBQ – Clean and working in good order’ – the BBQ had obviously never worked for many years!) it was almost funny. When my wife went to the Agents, the day after we moved in, to complain at the dreadful state of the place and ask if it had been inspected they said it had and thy couldnt see the problem!!

My only tip can be to NOT use an Agents and rent from a friend or friend of a friend. Some Agents are good (IE.Ones we rented from in Isaacs had communication issues but otherwise were ok.) and some are awful ( The ones we are renting through now are basically, negligent) but sadly you wont know until you are committed.

As for buying. We think the downturn is only just starting (as demostrated with the small falls seen so far). House prices here are, simply put, daft. You could get a small mansion in the US or UK for the prices being asked for single-skin huts in ACT and so the current prices being asked are just not sustainable. We’ve invested our savings elsewhere and rent with the income. However, buying may well be the only option for you if you dont want to go for the rental lottery! 🙂

Bramina 11:40 pm 30 Nov 11

drfelonious said :

My goodness there is a lot of spruikers on this site for buying a house. Let me try to add some balance to this thread – here goes: Canberra house prices are at astronomical grotesquely inflated bubble prices the likes of which have never been seen before and likely won’t be seen again for generations.

House prices are going to collapse no matter what.

People have been paying large prices for houses on the premise that they can make money from the increasing value of their house.

But house values are only rising because people are paying rising prices.

Now prices are stagnating because fewer people will pay exorbitant prices for a house. This means people can’t make lots of money from buying a house and watching the value go up.

The only reason that prices have not gone down at this point is that people are loathed to sell their house too cheaply. But once prices start dropping, people will be loosing money on their houses. Suddenly people will want to turn their houses into cash before they loose too much.

It’s the basic life cycle of a ponzi scheme.

Debster 2:58 pm 30 Nov 11

My husband and I ended up speaking to the owner of a private rental and ‘selling’ her on us. We are both in professional positions and have well trained pets. It was obvious she would prefer to have us in the house than take a chance on a group, transient contractors or other similar. She even agreed the pets can be in the house at nighttime when we are home, originally it was outside only
While I like the security of renting through an agent this is working well for us

missanonymous 4:53 pm 21 Nov 11

I’d second the suggestion of offering to pay a higher weekly rental – lots of people do this and it might change the landlord’s mind about kids/pets. Buying might work well in your case but investigate it properly – I’ve heard the system here is different from interstate and securing a place to buy may not be easy either.

Chop71 3:42 pm 09 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?

simple – Don’t tell the truth

Related Articles

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Top
Copyright © 2018 Riot ACT Holdings Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.
the-riotact.com | aboutregional.com.au | b2bmagazine.com.au | thisiscanberra.com

Search across the site