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Fact sheet for renters

Did you know that 30.9 per cent of Australians are renting their home or apartment? The current housing affordability climate has certainly contributed to this figure, so it’s important to understand  the opportunities and setbacks attached to renting. By taking the time to read this fact sheet, you could increase your quality of life by choosing the right lease to suit your needs.

Cost

Many renters are not in a position to become homeowners for a multitude of reasons. Perhaps your job requires you to move around a lot, or you don’t want  the financial commitment of a mortgage. Whatever your situation, it’s important to consider the long-term cost of renting, to make sure you’re getting the best deal. Ask yourself:

  • How much am I willing to spend on rent per month?

  • Am I factoring in the possibility of a rent increase each year? Will I be able to afford this?

  • How much will I be spending on additional costs such as energy bills, internet etc.?

  • What repair and maintenance costs are the responsibility of the landlord?

 

Location

 

One of the best things about renting is that it offers many Australians the option to live in areas that would be too expensive in which to buy.  Even if you’re forking out to live in a coveted location, you should still ask yourself:

 

  • How close is this home to public transport? How frequent and convenient are the public transport options?

  • How long will it take you to get into the city or work?

  • Does your home or apartment have a private parking space?

  • Will you have convenient access to shops, cafés and other services like libraries?

  • Is the home close to hospitals or other healthcare facilities?

 

Quality

One of the biggest issues renters face in Australia is dealing with faulty fixtures and fittings in their home. Just because you don’t own your house or apartment doesn’t mean you should settle for substandard living. Ask yourself:

 

  • Have I conducted a rigorous condition report before signing on the dotted line? Have I taken photos of any faulty fixtures as evidence?

  • Is this house or apartment well insulated?

  • Does it feature energy and water efficient fixtures and fittings?

  • Are there any signs of mould or pests?

  • Does this home have good cross-ventilation, orientation and outlooks?

  • Will you have access to high speed internet?

  • Are you aware of your rights as a tenant? (Note that this differs in each Australian state or territory).

  • If it's an apartment, does it have a Green Star rating?

  • If it's a home, is it located in a Green Star community?

Liveability

Liveability is the sum of all the factors that add up to a community’s quality of life – everything from the built and natural environments to culture, community activities and cafés on your doorstep.

 

  • What sort of lifestyle do you want? How will this home support your lifestyle?

  • Is the house or apartment surrounded by noisy neighbours?

  • How much space do you need? Will this home suit your space requirements?

  • Do you prefer a garden or a balcony? Will you be able to fit your outdoor furniture in the space?

  • Do you have easy access to green space and parks? What level of tree coverage do you find around the neighbourhood?

  • Is it a safe neighbourhood?

  • What kinds of community activities are found in the area? Is it a diverse and inclusive community that brings together people of all ages and abilities?

  • Are you close to schools?

 

 

There are pros and cons to being a renter. Lease terms might not offer you the security you want in your home, but provided you abide by your rental agreements, you have the option to move around freely and explore new areas without the financial responsibility of a mortgage.

Green Star rated apartments are on the rise across Australia and can give you confidence that your home will be efficient to heat and cool, and will be a healthy, high quality space in which to live.