Rental bonds and leases – Find a rental that’s right for you

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Renting your own place means choosing where you live and who you live with. Know what to do when you sign up for a place, and where to get help if you’re having issues.

Before you sign the lease

A rental agreement (or lease) is a legal contract between you and the landlord. Follow our steps to find the right rental for you.

Work out what you can afford

Rent isn’t the only cost you have to plan for. Make sure you can afford all the costs of moving out, including the rental bond and everyday living expenses.

Not paying your rent on time can affect your credit score and rental history. You could even be evicted. 

Work out how much you can afford to spend when you move out.

Inspect the property

Make sure the property:

  • is clean and in good condition
  • has what you need, like a laundry or somewhere to park your car
  • is in the right location for you — for example, do you need to be close to public transport, or a supermarket?

Check the lease term

If the length of the lease doesn’t suit you, try negotiating with the landlord, or look for a different place.

If you sign the lease but decide to move out before it ends, you may have to keep paying rent until the landlord finds another tenant. You could also lose some of your bond. Check your lease for details.

Understand the contract

Make sure you understand the terms and conditions of the lease. Don’t be afraid to ask questions — you’re not expected to know everything about rental contracts.

  • Ask the real estate agent to clarify anything you’re unsure about.
  • Ask family and friends for a second opinion.
  • Get advice from your local tenants’ union.

Paying the rental bond

A rental bond is the security deposit you pay to your new landlord before you move in. The bond amount is usually equal to four weeks of rent.

To get your bond back, you’ll need to:

  • pay your rent on time
  • cause no damage to the property
  • have your bond receipt
  • have a detailed condition report

Get help paying the bond

State and territory governments offer interest free loans to help people on lower incomes pay their bond.

Australian Capital TerritoryRental Bond Help
New South WalesRentstart Bond Loan
Northern TerritoryHelp with set-up costs for a private rental
QueenslandGuide to Bond Loans and Rental Grants
South AustraliaHelp paying bond and rent
TasmaniaSeeking housing assistance
VictoriaRentAssist bond loan
Western AustraliaBond Assistance Loan Scheme

Do a detailed condition report

A condition report records the condition of the inside and the outside of the property when you move in. If there’s a dispute about missing items or damage, your report can be used as evidence. The landlord may do their own condition report, and this might be provided to you as well.

Your report should be as detailed as possible. Take lots of photos and record any marks, damage or issues, such as peeling paint or a faulty light.

Keep a copy of the condition report. You may need this to get your bond back.

Sorting out rental problems

Renting can come with its ups and downs. If you have a problem with your landlord or another tenant, contact your local tenants’ union for advice. Government agencies may also be able to help:

Australian Capital TerritoryTenancy Advice Line
1300 402 512ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal: Rental property disputes
New South WalesTenants NSW
1800 251 101NSW Fair Trading: Resolving rental problems
Northern TerritoryDarwin Community Legal Service
08 8982 1111Northern Territory Consumer Affairs: Renting
QueenslandTenants Queensland
1300 744 263Residential Tenancies Authority: Renting
South AustraliaTenants Information and Advisory Service
1800 060 462SA.GOV.AU: Renting
TasmaniaTenants’ Union of Tasmania
Hobart area 03 6223 2641
statewide 1300 652 641Consumer, Building and Occupational Services: Renting
VictoriaTenants Victoria
03 9411 1444Consumer Affairs Victoria: Renting
Western AustraliaTenancy WA
08 9221 0088
country callers: 1800 621 888Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety: Renting a home

Get help paying your rent

If you’re falling behind with your rent, or other debts like credit card repayments, there is help available:

  • Visit the National Debt Helpline for steps to take if you’re struggling to pay your rent.
  • Talk to a financial counsellor to get your finances back on track.



Wealthness Pty Ltd ABN 13 231 248 112 [t/a Better Financial Planning Australia] is a Corporate Authorised Representative of Infocus Securities Australia Pty Ltd ABN 47 097 797 049 AFSL No. 236523. It is important to be aware that Better Financial Planning Australia is not authorised by Infocus to provide advice relating to credit services or property advice. Infocus is not responsible for any advice outside of the scope of this authorisation and should you wish to act on any of this general information, please first seek professional financial advice.
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This information is of a general nature only and neither represents nor is intended to be specific advice on any particular matter. Infocus Securities Australia Pty Ltd strongly suggests that no person should act specifically on the basis of the information contained herein but should seek appropriate professional advice based upon their own personal circumstances. Although we consider the sources for this material reliable, no warranty is given and no liability is accepted for any statement or opinion or for any error or omission.
Wealthness Pty Ltd t/as Better Financial Planning Australia does not give any warranty as to the accuracy, reliability or completeness of information which is contained in this website. Except insofar as any liability under statute cannot be excluded, Wealthness Pty Ltd t/as Better Financial Planning Australia and its employees do not accept any liability for any error or omission on this website or for any resulting loss or damage suffered by the recipient or any other person.
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Source: ASIC MoneySmart

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