If you are new to renting in Sydney, it is important to know your rights as a tenant and to familiarise yourself with the process of renting.

Check out the renting guideline below and visit Fair Trading NSW for more information.

1. Conduct a property inspection

Inspect the property to ensure it meets your needs and is in a good condition. Take photos during the inspection to review later on. 

You can also request a virtual inspection. However, you will need to ensure that this will be conducted by a real estate agent or a reputable service to avoid scams.

Things to note during your property search:

  • Consider your budget and preferences for off-campus accommodation, including location, proximity to campus, transportation options, safety and local amenities. 
  • If you are joining a shared accommodation, consider the people sharing your accommodation and if you will get along well with them. 

2. Fill out the rental application form

Obtain and complete the rental application form from the landlord or the property manager. 

You may find the following resources helpful when completing the form:

3. Review the lease agreement

Read the lease agreement carefully to understand the terms, including rent, bond and any special conditions. 

Check the tenancy agreement for the approved duration of stay. Leaving before the end of your agreement may result in the landlord keeping your bond (security payment) and you having to pay rent until the end of your agreement.

If the landlord won’t give you a standard tenancy agreement or doesn’t agree to sign a sample agreement, then there might be a problem. If you get an agreement and are not sure what it means, or think it is unfair, get legal advice.

You also have the right to request information on the landlord, including full name, home address and contact details of your landlord and/or the real estate agent.

You may find the following resources helpful when reviewing your lease agreement:

4. Prepare for reference checks

Prepare the following documents as you will often need to present 100 points of ID for reference checks:

  • Photo ID (driver's licence or passport)
  • Birth certificate
  • Rental references

International students will need to present their visa and Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE).

Additionally, you will need to produce proof of income, such as current pay slips, employment letter, bank statements or letter of guarantor from parents if they are financially responsible for you. This is to ensure that your income is sufficient to cover the rent. Typically, your rent should be no more than 30% of your monthly income.

5. Review and pay bond and rent

If your application is successful, carefully review the lease agreement again before signing to ensure it aligns with your expectations. Ensure your move-in date aligns with your arrival in the area. Be prepared to make the initial bond and rent payments in advance as per the lease agreement. 

The rental bond is the security deposit that landlords take in case you breach the tenancy or lease agreement. Don't pay more than 4 weeks of rent as bond and more than 2 weeks rent in advance. The landlord/agent must deposit the bond with NSW Fair Trading within 10 working days after it is paid. Fair Trading NSW also provides an online service for payment, management, and return of bonds.

Get written receipts for all transactions towards your lease - Make sure receipts have details of the property, who you are paying to, your name, the date, the amount and what it is for e.g. bond, rent.

6. Complete a condition report

Document the property's conditions by completing a condition report as soon as you have moved in. Ensure you keep a copy for your records. 

Back to top