Accommodation in Australia
Guide Summary :
1. Different types of accommodation
2. Where to live in Sydney ?
3. Checklist before moving into a new place
4. Where to look for an accommodation in Sydney ?
1. Different types of accommodation
When you arrive in Australia, you might think about staying in a hotel until you find an affordable place. However be careful to the (very) expensive prices of these hotels: in Sydney it’s quite complicated to find a room for less than $100 per night! But other solutions exist, often less expensive, to get a proper accommodation in Australia.
The Backpackers: Australian symbols
We recommend you the Backpacker hostels: very well-known in Australia – and abroad! -, they are basically youth hostels with no age limit (only children below 17 must be accompanied by an adult over 21). Backpackers are fully-equipped, so it will be easy for you to cook and eat there, and the bedrooms are dormitories, gender-mixed or not depending on the places.
Staying at a backpacker hostel is financially interesting: $20-30 for a share room, $35-50 for a double room and about $50-60 for a single room. The main advantage of the backpackers is the diversity of their inhabitants: they are the best place to meet new people and strike up a friendship with people who come from all over the world.
Be careful though to some places where the sanitary requirements may be very low, or not really honest.
Amongst all backpackers in Australia, we especially recommend YHA, that you can find in all the main cities of Australia and has a good value for money (clean, and rather cheap): yha.com.au.
Furnished or unfurnished accommodation in Australia?
Unfurnished accommodation is the cheapest solution. Unfortunately, it is also the most complicated when you arrive in Australia, because it means you’ll have to find your own furniture, which can be a challenge when you just arrived and have to deal with a hundred other things.… all the more if you’ll have to deal with them (sale or give away) if you move away or leave the country.
It might be wiser to choose first a furnished place, at least for your very arrival, and then to consider moving to an unfurnished accommodation when you get to know the country and what your life is going to be like.
You must also be aware that, generally speaking, non-furnished properties are offered by real estate agencies who will expect you to rent the place for a minimum of 6 months, and for which the selection will be made through very competitive files and paperworks, which can be quite exhausting and frustrating sometimes.
Flatsharing is a national sport in Australia. Wether you’re here as a tourist or on a Working Holiday Visa (internships, casual jobs or even full-time work), flatsharing will be your best friend since it’s the best way to find an affordable accommodation.
The figures speak for themselves: for a simple studio in Sydney, you’ll have to count about $500 to $600 per week (be careful to avoid bad surprises: in Australia, all rent are indicated in dollars per week), whereas a room in a shared flat will cost between $230 and $300/week. Besides, most of shared flats are furnished and well-equipped.
To be even more cost-saving, you can also choose to share your room with a friend or even a stranger. This way of living is quite common in Australia, and will allow you to have an accommodation for about $200-250 per week.
And of course, flatsharing is a very interesting way to meet people.
You can also find offers on gumtree.com.au.
Be careful during your search: don’t sign anything without being sure of what you want and having visited the place.
The flat research is globally quite fast, you can expect to find one in less than a week.
2. Where to live in Sydney : the neighbourhoods
Where should you live in Sydney? All the people who have travelled know that: the most difficult thing when you arrive in a new city is to chose your neighbourhood. Its life, its atmosphere, its coffee shops and bars, its inhabitants… all these things can totally influence your feeling about a city. Furthermore, the rental prices can change a lot from one place to another, particularly in Sydney.
The CBD (Central Business District) of Sydney is often the first place every newcomer wants to visit: it is the business core of the city, so living here means less public transports and a close proximity to all the events and touristic must-seen of the city.
The major issue you’ll have here is the rental pricing and the living conditions: a studio costs a minimum of $550 per week… Young professionals, students or interns willing to live in the City will have to share their flat or room, but you’ll find it hard to find a proper place for less that $250 per week in the core of the City.
The Asian community lives mainly in the part of the CBD around World Square and Chinatown, where lots of rooms are available for a cheaper price. But a good deal of these offers include rooms to share with more than one person, a living-room occupied by someone, and sometimes even the balcony is arranged to have the most profitable rental. There is no point underlining the risks and inconveniences related to these types of accommodations, particularly in terms of hygiene and well being. Without forgetting about domestic unwanted animals like cockroaches during the hot season… Nevertheless, these apartments offer a lot of services for their tenants such as Swimming pools, Saunas, Jacuzzis and gyms. In these apartments you would also find a lot of travelers from all over the world. In some suburbs such as George Street, Sussex Street and Pitt Street for instance, you would find a room from $180/week.
Glebe, Broadway, Annadale & Pyrmont
Situated right behind Central Station on the opposite bank facing Darling Harbour, these neighbourhoods are close to Sydney Universities and can be a good option for people willing to live close to the CBD without the noise and the fury of the City. Very accessible (less than 10 min), these artistic/bohemian boroughs are very animated and full of little shops, coffee shops, bars and restaurants. Besides, rent prizes are more affordable (from $200/week).
Surry Hills, Darlinghurst & Paddington
Very close to the CBD too, these boroughs particularly attract young professionals and artists. You’ll find there most of the trendy bars, art galleries, good bakeries and numerous coffee shops.
Potts Point & Kings Cross
Within 5 min train or 20 min walk from the city center, King Cross is one of the most animated boroughs of Sydney, particularly on Friday and Saturday nights when the nightclubs and bars stay opened until 5 or 6 in the morning… You’ll find lots of backpackers hostels in the area. The rental is not very expensive and you’ll get all the animation without being too far from the CBD.
Potts Point is only a few blocks away from King Cross, closer to Sydney Bay. This place is considered to be the “Little New York” of Sydney, being a trendy and very pleasant neighbourhood.
Edgecliff & Bondi Junction
These boroughs situated on the hill facing Bondi Beach are only 15min train from the City center, and are calm and mainly residential. In Bondi Junction, the rents are more affordable and having lots of shops that close is really convenient. In Edgecliff the prices are higher: you can find splendid houses, mostly for expatriate families or young professionals looking for a house to share.
Newtown & Randwick
A bit further from the CBD – within a 20-30min train journey -, these two boroughs have their own atmosphere and specificities.
Newton is a very nice neighbourhood where you’ll find heaps of or thrift or artistic shops.
Randwick is closer to the beach, just behind Darlinghurst and Paddington.
Bondi Beach is one of the must-seen in Sydney, mostly known as the surfers’ paradise. Within 15 minutes from the CBD by train or 40 minutes by bus, you can come taste the ocean’s waves right after work ! The neighbourhood is also filled with little coffee shops, seaside restaurants (sometimes a bit touristic) and garage sales. Must-do: the walk between Bondi Beach and Bronte Beach or Coogee Beach. Here you’ll find plenty of lovely and affordable flats (from 250$/week), near the sea, perfect for students or young graduates.
3. Checklist: the questions you must ask before moving in
Luck only won’t get you an accommodation in Australia: that’s why Australiance offers you this list of question you must ask yourself during your research. You can print this list to be sure you’re not forgetting anything and avoid any bad surprise.
Our advice on the accommodation in Australia:
If you are visiting a flat that is currently occupied, try and have a little talk with the current resident to know their opinion about the place.
The questions you should ask:
When should I pay the rent?
Are the charges (telephone, internet, etc.) included?
Do I have to make a deposit? For how much? What are the conditions?
What happens if I pay my rent with some delay?
What are the conditions of renewal of the contract?
What are the approximate costs of heating/air conditioning-system?
Are all the furniture and the devices in good condition?
Is there a washing machine? A dryer?
Is there a limited tank of hot water?
Is there enough light? (do not hesitate to test the interruptors)
Are there smoke detectors?
How much time before leaving the flat should I warn the owner?
Are animals accepted? (if you own one or if you are allergic)
Are there blinders or curtains on the windows?
Is there enough room to store all your belongings?
Are there traces of mice or cockroaches? (have a look behind the furniture, the beds, in the cupboards…)
Where are the nearest shops? (supermarket, chemistry)
Where are the nearest bus stops, train stations?
Is the flat well-isolated?
Can you hear the neighbours? The cars?
Will I have my own keys?
Does the owner come ofter?
Is the place completely furnished? Half-furnished?
Can I invite friends at the appartment?
How many roomates are there in total?
If you have any question about the accommodation in Australia, feel free to contact us!
4. Where to look for an accommodation
- One of the easiest way to find an accommodation in Australia is to look for the offers posted in various Facebook groups such as “French in Australia” or “Spanish in Australia”. But you never know who is posting it nor if it’s a real offer.
- You can also get the help of real estate agencies. A famous agency helping international and Australian people to find accommodation in Sydney is Furnished property.
Here is a video explaining how Furnish property works.
In few words :
- It is convenient because
* You can find your accommodation before you arrive to Australia
* The minimal rental time is only 4 weeks
* Possibility to be transferred: rapid change of accommodation if you do not like your new accommodation.
* You are certain to get the accommodation that you visited: Visit the location with an agent or online and be insured that no one is going to take the accommodation before you make your decision.
- It is cheaper than other agencies
*Their service will only cost you 100AUD: the equivalent of 3 nights in a backpacker.
* Accommodations for all budgets and taste: more than 800 studios, apartments, shared flats, single bedrooms, double and triple bedrooms, 1 to 5 bedrooms apartments for groups of friends, guest-houses to meet people…
* Possibility to lower your rent: if you recommend Furnished Property to people who then take a contract with Furnished Property.
* Cheap rents: from 150 AUD per week!
* Affordable bond: between 500 and 1000AUD only
- It is trustworthy
* Legal rental and after sale service: you will be certain to avoid problems such as:
– Never getting your bond back (unless it is deserved)
– Being evicted after an inspection of the accommodation
– Very bad relationship with your landlord or your flat-mates
– Having to share the keys with other flat-mates
– Having inappropriate flat-sharing rules
- It is beautiful and design
* Accommodations everywhere in Sydney: beaches or city? Make your choice!
* Entirely furnished and equipped accommodations: make your life easier!
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