Last year, we hosted a sponsored post by Ausrental about finding the best places to live in Melbourne. Ausrental offers a full relocation package to help you find a long term rental before you arrive in Australia. I’ve had so many messages asking me if they offer this relocation package outside of Melbourne. And now I’m excited to say that they’ve just launched a Sydney branch so they can now help you find a Sydney rental too!

This Q&A is sponsored by Ausrental and it contains affiliate links

If you need help finding the best place to live in Sydney, Seddon Johnston is your man! Seddon heads up Ausrental’s Sydney office. >>You can contact Ausrental here.

Get help finding where to stay in Sydney

Ausrental can help you find and secure houses for rent, Sydney apartments and long term places to stay in Sydney BEFORE you arrive in Australia. By instructing them to help you find your Sydney accommodation, it means you won’t need an expensive Sydney AirBnB, plus you’ll have a professional in your corner helping you to identify the best Sydney suburbs for your needs.

If you’re moving to Sydney and have been hitting the Internet searching for property to rent in Sydney, you’ve probably come up against some brick walls. Before you take on a rental, Sydney properties generally need to be viewed in person. Ausrental do this for you by offering a thorough inspection and sending you a detailed report including photos and videos to help you choose from the range of rental properties Sydney has to offer.

I interviewed Seddon to pick his brains about finding property to rent in Sydney and to learn a bit more about him and Ausrental’s Sydney services…

Hi Seddon, can you tell us a bit about yourself and the Ausental Sydney office

Seddon Johnston from Ausrental Sydney

Kia Ora, my names Seddon and I’m the Director of Ausrental Sydney. My partner and I live in Drummoyne, Sydney. I grew up in a rural town called Woodville, New Zealand. My parents were dairy farmers which meant we were isolated growing up and at age 16 I moved out of home which is where my renting background began!

After living in various shared houses, I eventually moved to Sydney, met my partner John, and together we relocated to Melbourne. We spent over six years living in Richmond, Victoria before we relocated back to Sydney for his work.

While living in Melbourne I made the transition from a sales role into property management. During this time I met Codie Smith (Director of Ausrental Melbourne). We worked really well together and I referred clients to him through that period. When we got the news about my partner’s transfer back to Sydney I dreaded the thought of having to find a rental property. I contacted Codie and told him we were moving and that it would be so good if he offered his service in Sydney. I didn’t have work lined up and I thought to myself, why don’t I head up Ausrental in Sydney?! One thing led to another and here we are!

The first thing I did was revamp the Ausrental website so it provided more information about our services and our new Sydney offering. It has been non-stop ever since! Take a look at the site here

What is the lifestyle like in Sydney?

Like most cities or towns it’s what you make of it. We follow this page on Facebook called Urban List Sydney and it highlights all the cool, new and trendy culture that is going on. For example, there’s a food truck stall located on farm about 50 kms away where all the decent food trucks go. It features live music, some amusement rides and of course the food!

I noticed on there the other day the King Tut exhibition is due to arrive in 2021. There’s fireworks in the city every fortnight. Vivid is amazing! It’s a festival based around light, music and ideas. Let’s not forget Mardi Gra. The beaches…The shopping….I could go on all day!

How easy is it to secure a Sydney rental if you have pets?

Funnily enough, I was actually asked this question the other day. It is a grey area with owners and most won’t stipulate that you can or can’t have a pet. Some managing Strata’s/Owners Corporations have bylaws that stipulate that no pets are allowed in the building.

The property we live in doesn’t allow dogs but cats are permitted. When searching for a property though it’s one of the questions we ask the agents before inspecting. If there is a by-law that stipulates you’re not allowed a pet or if the owner wouldn’t consider a pet we wouldn’t waste anyone’s time in viewing the property having our client fall in love with it only to find out their application is rejected because of the pet.

How do school catchment areas work for people who live in Sydney?

Like most cities, you need to live within a catchment zone to your preferred state school. What this does is it limits the amount of students that are able to attend at any one time. Private schools or boarding schools are flexible but school places can get booked up early.

With the updated website we now cater for our families that require information about schools on our where to live page. There is a lot of information regarding schools, there’s even a school finder search for both private and public!

If you have children that attend schools I would suggest you figure which school you’d like them to go to make sure that you reside in that catchment zone.

Are there any affordable suburbs left in Sydney?

There are so many variables when comes to finding the perfect suburb to rent in Sydney and, unfortunately, it comes down to the three p’s: Price, Proximity and Place.

Everyone’s circumstances and priorities differ, there’s no set box that we should all fit into. It’s about prioritising what’s important and fitting that within what you’ve budgeted. Someone might say that Vaucluse is affordable, however, MOST will disagree but it’s the value in which you perceive. When you’re ready to engage Ausrental we will send you a questionnaire to find out as much information as possible. The questionnaire will help us determine the best location that suits your needs.

A beach at Sydney

How long do you recommend people take out a rental for in Sydney? Do you recommend six or 12-month contracts?

The minimum lease term that any agent or owner will consider is six months. That been said, if the agent receives more than one application the likelihood is that owner will prefer the 12-month applicant over the six because it’s a longer guaranteed term of income for their property. If a client of ours is only after a six-month lease we will endeavour to find a suitable property for you.

What areas have great transport links to the CBD?

I don’t think Sydney realised how big it was going to be when they built the transportation systems.

Trains and buses make up for most of the public transportation and are very frequent. The government has spent a lot of money to add a line out to Kellyville/North West as it’s a newly developed area.

Ferries make for a pleasant ride but can be time-consuming, costly and there a few docks that aren’t serviced as regularly as others.

There is a light rail being introduced to assist the Inner West, Eastern Suburbs, CBD and on top of this they have also introduced the West Connex which offers a quicker access from Parramatta to the CBD and the CBD back out to Liverpool via car.

The traffic in Sydney compared to six years ago has dropped dramatically, yes there are spots with heavy congestion but you learn ways to avoid these after time.

What do you need from clients in order to secure a rental before they move to Sydney?

If I have clients that are coming from overseas to live in Sydney, there are a couple of documents that will assist them in securing a rental property.

  1. Australian Visa – this gives the agent and the owner an understanding of how long you’re legally allowed to stay in the country for.
  2. Passport – this doubles as proof of identity and highlights when you arrived in the country (if you’re already here).
  3. Bank Statements/Savings – this provides reassurance that you’re able to pay the rent if you don’t have a job secured when you arrive. Australian bank accounts are preferred as the banks are pretty stringent on opening bank accounts.

If you haven’t yet set up your Australia bank account ready for your move, you can check out Commonwealth Bank here

If you’re coming to Sydney with a job, I would be requesting a letter of offer. This stipulates how much you’re going to be paid, the terms of your employment and other parameters surrounding your employment. If you’ve been working for a little while, I would also request payslips to prove you’ve been paid.

Other things that will be required are the contact details of previous rentals and employment references. It’s best to have the correct information regarding companies, names, contact numbers and emails so it’s easier for the agent to contact them. Some will also request personal references too – I would recommend you use professional references and not put down family members or friends.

When we’ve secured your property in Sydney, it is common to pay a deposit (normally one week’s rent) and then the balance of a month’s rent. It’s also worth noting that rent is calculated per calendar month, so let say the rent is $500 per week for argument’s sake $500 / 7 Days X 365 Days / 12 months = $2172.62

On top this you’ll be requested to pay four weeks bond. This is calculated @ $500 X 4 weeks, not per calendar month. It’s also worth noting that the bond is refunded at the end of the tenancy if the property is damage free, clean and there is no outstanding rent.

There is the option to pay more than a month’s rent in advance. You’re not required to do so, but it gives the agent and the owner more confidence when you’re applying.

An image od Sydney CBD and the water

Planning a holiday to Sydney? Read about planning a city break with kids here.

What are your favourite suburbs in Sydney and why?

There are so many suburbs in Sydney that I love! Drummoyne is the first on my list because it’s affordable, it’s not full of tall buildings, you have access to the ferry, you’re close to the water and it’s generally quick to get the city, cross to the inner west, and northern suburbs. I’ve recently fallen in love with Lane Cove, it’s so leafy and pretty.

Paddington is another favourite suburb and is home to Oxford St which is filled with boutique clothing shops and restaurants. There are so many nice suburbs in Sydney, they all have their quirks and charms.

What would you say to somebody who is trying to decide where to move in Australia to persuade them to choose Sydney? What makes Sydney the best city?

In my opinion, I feel that Sydney is naturally beautiful and iconic; you have so many beaches here, there’s a lot of greenery still around, you have the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House – it’s a beautiful city. The other thing I enjoy is the climate. Winter has been and gone here but it was mostly sunny.

When it rains here though, it pours – almost like it’s getting all the rain out of it’s system so it can go back to being sunny again. You can’t beat summer here either! Don’t get me wrong, there are days where the temp gets right up there but the heat itself is bearable and you can normally avoid it with some shade.

Is it easier to find rentals in Sydney at certain times of the year?

Between October through until Feb/March is the busiest time in rentals and this is usually due to the weather. March through to September/October are generally quieter because leases don’t expire till the warmer weather arrives or people will go on to a periodic lease and wait for the warmer weather to arrive.

Will larger families with 4+ kids find it harder to find a rental?

Yes and no. There won’t be a huge selection of properties to choose from, with that been said it all depends on the other requirements you’re looking for and of course your budget. There are some family-friendly suburbs in the outer suburbs that tick a lot of boxes for my clients but then again the same can said be about inner suburbs – it’s about finding that right mix.

How far ahead of a move should somebody get in touch with you?

I’d suggest you look to contact Ausrental around the 4-6-week mark. I say this so you can have some time to fill out our questionnaire, we can put some options together for you and get a better feel what you like and what you don’t like. If we find a property that you absolutely love and the agent/owner are ok with the lease start date it means we can lock it and you can relax knowing that you’ll have a roof over your head when you arrive.

Thanks so much to Seddon for answer these questions. I know they’ll be really helpful for anyone who is about to move to Sydney.

Find your dream property to rent in Sydney before you get here

You’ve got your Australian visa, you’ve booked your flights to Sydney Australia, your Australian bank account is open and waiting and you’ve organised the shippers. Let Seddon and the Ausrental team help you with the final piece of the puzzle by finding you property to rent in Sydney so you can hit the ground running.

Using a property rental service like Ausrental means you’ll avoid wasting a lot of money on a temporary rental in Sydney (as serviced apartments in Sydney and AirBnBs in Sydney can be so expensive.) But it also means you can get started with your new life in Australia right away instead of spending weeks viewing rental properties in Sydney and putting in rental applications (which is how we spent our first three weeks in Brisbane!).

Make your move to Sydney as simple as possible and appoint the experts to do what they do best. >> Contact Ausrental here and don’t forget to tell them you read about them on Smart Steps to Australia!

Thanks to Ausrental for sponsoring this post. 

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