All newcomers to Australia start their journey by hunting for an apartment.

We are no exception. Our first apartment was very small and fully furnished. It was hard to take it off, because we were only in the country for 2 months and at that time we didn’t even have an Australian license.

Almost no one rents housing directly, everyone trusts this business to real estate agencies, of which there are a great many in Australia. Agencies organize photos of houses and apartments, they also post them on real estate websites, meet potential tenants at an open house and conduct inspections of already commissioned houses. This is a whole industry in which a decent number of people work. Some are just professionals.

Open house is an inspection of the apartment that you would like to rent, most often these inspections take place on Saturdays. At the appointed time, all potential tenants gather and wait for the agent who deals with this apartment. The agent lets everyone inside the apartment and the bridegroom takes place. People who already have furniture and appliances begin to measure the openings for the refrigerator and washing machine, check whether the bed will fit into the bedroom and whether the sofa will fit into the living room. If everything is pleasant and suitable, then you need to ask the agent for an application form for an apartment. After, already at home, it must be filled out, attach all the required documents and send to the agency. Naturally by e-mail or fax. Agents will hand over the documents to the owner and he will choose who he likes.

In Australia, the tenant should please the owner (the owners are also called landlords here), and not vice versa. It was wild for me at first. How is it, we pay and still have to like him? Landlord here, in principle, is protected from all sides. First, they pay a bond (bond) in the amount of a monthly rent. If, for example, you do not clean when you leave, the apartment will be cleaned at the expense of this money, the rest will be returned to you. Or the agency will consider that you did not clean well, then the apartment will be “finished” from this money, and the rest will be returned. Secondly, if you suddenly decide that you want to move out before the end of the contract, then you will pay a fine, an average of $ 400. And you’ll keep paying rent until a new tenant is found.

Inspections should be expected every 6 months. An inspection is a check of how you maintain an apartment. The agent will check if the hood is clean, if the lights are working, how the oven is doing, and if there are stains on the walls and carpets. It is not necessary to be at home during the inspection. The agencies have the keys. It is in your best interest to leave the apartment in the best possible condition, because when you move to another apartment, they will definitely ask for recommendations. And the agency will not hesitate to say that you are still the pig.

When renting an apartment in Canberra, we were assigned a sweet agent girl — Teagan, who sent an e-mail every 3 months and asked if everything was working for us, if there were any breakdowns that needed to be fixed, and in general, whether it was pleasant for us to live there. When in the middle of winter I told her that yuccas in flowerpots on the backyard did not tolerate frost very well, Teagan said that she would make a note, and if these palm trees did not survive the winter, then we had no complaints at all.

Once the switch from the electric oven and stove stopped working, we wrote to the agency, the electrician was sent the next day and promptly replaced everything. We didn’t pay a dime, for fixing all the breakdowns in the apartment, if it’s not our fault, the landlord pays. In almost all cases, he also pays for water and for cleaning the adjacent territories and maintaining the complex in order (cleaning pools, processing and cleaning garbage chutes, cleaning entrances, preventive maintenance of elevators). All this is called in one word – strata. Strata is paid by the owner only if you rent an apartment or a town house (a house with an adjacent wall, a cross between an apartment and a house). When renting a private house, you will have to take care of all the small pleasures, such as landscaping the lawn and taking out the garbage yourself.

It took me a long time to get used to the cream tiles in the porches, glass and at the same time absolutely clean doors, flower beds around and public grills. There, anyone can have a picnic in the courtyard of their own house, after grilling sausages and steaks, people clean up after themselves, sometimes they leave to eat while the food is still warm, but then they still come back and clean up. People are accustomed to order and this is a fact.