Renting or buying a property in Australia

How to Rent & Purchase Property in Australia

If you’re visiting Australia for a short period of time, or would rather familiarise yourself with your surroundings before fully moving in, then finding short term accommodation would be a better idea instead. However, if you’re looking to stay in Australia for a long time or even permanently, finding a new house to rent would be a wiser choice. Or, purchase property in Australia for a permanent place to call home.

Locations to rent or buy

It’s important to figure out where exactly you want to live. Think about different factors that could affect where you choose to live. Do you have family already living in Australia and want to live close to them? Or maybe you already have a job secured and would like a quick commute to your workplace every day?

If you’re still searching for a job, consider choosing cities that have your desired employment industries. Different cities have different career prospects that may or may not be suited for you. For example, some skills high in demand in Sydney include Human Resource Management and Data Mining.

Considering the cost of living is also another factor when choosing your location to stay. Where the wages are high, so are the cost of living. Also, the closer you live to the city, the pricier your rent will be. Your connection would also be better in the city, rather than rural Australia. Does your job require fast internet and connection? These are all factors you should consider before settling on a location.

Once you’ve decided on a location, you should take a day off to explore the neighbourhood and streets, just to familiarise yourself and see if it is what you desire! Checking the safety level of your neighbourhood is also crucial. Some popular cities to consider living in for expats are Perth, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra and Sydney.

How to rent in Australia

Renting a property in Australia
Photo credit: 123RF

Types of rental property

With different budgets, you can rent different kinds of property as well. In Australia, you can choose to rent a serviced apartment, also known locally as “flats”. These apartments are for both long and short term stays, and come fully furnished. A flat with one room is usually a studio.

Another option is to rent a purchased property – a house. These are usually bigger in space than flats and come with an outdoor space such as a garden.

Requirements to rent property

When renting a property in Australia, it’s important to have the necessary documents on hand. Some things you’ll need include your identity certificate, proof of income and employment. Certain places might require you to show your bank statements of the past three months or even a reference from a past landlord.

According to the Residential Tenancies Bond Authority in Australia, placing a down rental deposit is also required. Make sure you have money put aside for rental bonds beforehand!

Where to look for rental property


Realestate allows you not only to find places for you to rent but also to look for a roommate or tenant. You can filter properties by property type, the number of beds and price.



Scour through Domain to find your dream home in Australia. Explore rental homes by filtering through price, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms and property type.


Sydney Service Apartments Rental

Are you looking for an apartment to rent in Sydney, Australia? Check out Sydney Service Apartments Rental for fully furnished apartments of your choice. Besides Sydney itself, it also shows rental apartments in Melbourne, Canberra and also shows the different suburbs of Sydney.

Sydney Service Apartments Rental

How to purchase property in Australia

Type of property to purchase

In Australia, expats can purchase vacant land, in which case you would need plenty of extra funds to build your dream house from the ground up. You will be required to finish the construction of your house within four years.

Not ready to put in so much extra work and time for a house? No worries! Expats are also able to purchase new buildings or established houses that are for sale. However, if you decide to live somewhere else and leave Australia permanently, you have to sell that house.

Process of purchasing property

Once you’ve hired a property agent and have discovered the perfect property for you, there are still hurdles you have to overcome to purchase property in Australia. Expats (regardless of whether you have temporary residence or not) will have to head over to the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) to request approval for residential real estate investment.

Further instructions regarding the residential real estate application can be found here.

The application for approval requires visa details and declaration if you are purchasing the property as a sole purchaser or as a joint tenant. Once you have submitted your application, you will get a payment reference number, which is used to pay the application fee. This fee is usually dependent on the price of the property being purchased. You can make this payment through BPAY, credit or debit card, or pay using online services instead.

Find more information about payment methods here.

Once the fee has been paid, the approval can take from two to four weeks to process. You may also have to register your purchase afterwards using the land and water registration form after settlement.

When you get your approval from FIRB, then you can make an exchange of contracts and officially purchase the property. However, we recommend getting a lawyer during this process to ensure a smooth purchase.

Once you’ve got your property or rented a house, enjoy making your new home comfy just for you! Having more difficulty settling into a new country? Let Moovaz help you manage the process of your move.

Feeling ready to make the big move?

Head over here to begin your journey
Or start ticking off your relocation checklist here

Still unsure?

Learn more about Australia here
Explore more destinations here 

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