AE 661 – Interview: Renting in Melbourne Made Easy with Jade Costello

Learn Australian English in this interview episode of Aussie English where I chat with Jade Costello from Melbourne Rental Search about renting your dream house in Melbourne, Australia.

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G'day, you mob! What's going on? Welcome to this episode of Aussie English. The number one place for everyone and anyone wanting to learn Australian English. And today's episode is going to be specifically aimed at those of you thinking about setting up shop, establishing yourselves, moving to Melbourne, ok? So, today I have the pleasure of interviewing Jade Costello, who is the director of Melbourne Rental Search. Melbourne Rental Search is a company that will help you get established when wanting to move to Melbourne. They take all of the hard work out of trying to inspect the house, to find a house, to lease the house, everything like that, they do this for you.

So, it's especially useful for any of you guys who are interstate or even overseas thinking about moving to Australia and wanting to set up shop to rent somewhere in Melbourne. The problem is you can't do that, you can't rent a place without physically inspecting it or at least having someone to do that, ok? So, there's loads and loads and loads of info in today's episode about wanting to rent a house and apartment, whatever it is in Melbourne, but also about Melbourne rental search and how it can help you take all of the hard work out of finding somewhere to live in Melbourne. Let's get into it.

Alright, g'day guys! Welcome to the podcast, today I have Jade from a So, Jade, welcome to the podcast!

Thank you! Thank you for having me.

No worries. So, where did you grow up? Let's start with your story.

Ok. So, I grew up in Melbourne, I was in Melbourne until I got to 18 and then I knew everything about the world of course, as you do as 18. I moved over to London, I was in a place called North Yorkshire, a little town called Harrogate, for four years. And then I came back. I've been in Melbourne ever since, except for three months last year when my husband I moved to Vienna for his job, other than that Melbourne born and bred.

And so what made you choose Britain, going to England?

I think it was English speaking, so I knew that, I had a British passport. My mum's English.

Man. I've met a few like you recently, I'm the same. My mum was born on a holiday in Britain, so my grandparents went over there for work and I think for five weeks they were there, had her and then came. And that was on the ship, right? They went on a ship.

Yes. Right.

But I ended up with a British passport as a result.

Well-played, almost like default. That's great.

But does it still useful?

Oh yeah, of course.

Even with Brexit or?

Yeah. Well, that's what we'll see. I haven't needed to use it since that time, but it was good.It was a good experience, it was good fun.

What was it like? I mean, to sort of dive into that a little bit more, was there a lot of culture shock with going to Britain compared to Australia?

Not really. I've really enjoyed British humour and things. I weighed a ton when I went over there, I ate and drank everything, they say like in Britain, the food is not so great, but I'd like to disagree. The fish and chips or the hardy roast, the pub grub. I think that was all really good. So, yeah, other than coming back the size of a house, no regrets, all really good. I went over there I was only supposed to be gone a year, but I met a boy and you know how that happens.

So, your husband is British?

Oh, no, not that boy.

Oh, sorry.

Different boy.


So, apologies about my voice, I'm losing my voice. But no, it was a very good experience. Came back and yeah, no in terms of culture shock no, not a lot. Much more of a culture shock when we were in Vienna last year and of course I couldn't speak the language and that was we only found out we were going to Vienna a week before we went and I had a one year old I was pregnant with my second and we kind of just went over there. And admittedly, it was only three months. Yeah, but wow. Yeah, that that was a culture shock.

But that's almost worse, right? Because it's sort of long enough to need to learn the language, but not have enough time to really learn the language.

Everyone was very kind to me and, um, a lot of people could speak English and were very patient with me. But I think it's just things that surprised me was because I was pregnant the time that I was going to get some tests and things done that I need to do. A couple of people in the hospital, nurses and things couldn't speak English. But then when I went to the supermarkets and things, everybody could speak English. So, I was surprised. Yeah.

So, what was it like travelling with such young children? Well, one young child and one in the womb that must have been a total nightmare, right?

I did think, oh, we're going to go to Europe, we're going to see all these places. We're going to go away every weekend, but then when I got there, we were pretty much homebound and it just kind of lived and breathed Vienna. And it is such a beautiful city, there was so much to do. So, that was really that was really lovely.

But yeah, well, we're having a one year old is great because it forces you to get out, you literally, we were in an apartment apartment, so morning crack of dawn we were out the door, came home for a nap and then we were out the door again. So, we were at music things, we were at museums, we were at the parks and when you're you chatting to people, it's kind of like when you have a dog and you go out and a dog people chat to each other. Kids are the same, oh you've got a kid, I've got a kid, get talking.

It's funny. I mean, it's a random tangent, but I felt like as soon as I had a child and I'd be walking around the street, young women had no problem looking me in the eye anymore.

Yeah, you're not a creep anymore.

Exactly. I felt like everyone is like I'm okay, I'm like, 'you can be disarmed around me', I'm not going to come on to you. I got a child, you know. Don't worry. But yeah. Like young mums with children would come up to me and talk to me all the time. And I was like, man, this never happened when I was single.

What is going on?

I know. It's such a catch 22.

Yeah, far out! So, what was it like in Vienna? Did you have culture shock there?

I did. I mean, I was very warm in Vienna, we were there in the middle of summer, which I think is probably very different to how it is at this time of year, when it would be a hell of a lot cooler. I loved it. I loved it, especially because I knew it was a three month stint. So, we had to make the most of every day. There is talk that perhaps at one point or another my husband may need to go back and he might travel back and forth. So, I think he'll probably struggle with that a little bit just because it's such a long way away.

And this time you won't be moving over?

I mean, I'm pretty settled and I've got my little business here, If that comes, we have some staff on the ground that can take care of it, but Melbourne is home, I love it. And I think that's a good thing about any time you get to travel and you get to live abroad. Is it makes you so appreciate where you live.

That seems to be the story, right? Of people, I assume you're in your 30s about our age, right? Where, especially our generation finishing high school and being in a position, I think much more than my parents or our parents' generation to go overseas and travel abroad a lot more before getting into university, it seems that's the story where they go abroad quite often for quite a long time, several years at a time, then they come back in they're like, Melbourne is so good!

So good.

So what what aspects of Melbourne did you learn to appreciate when you when you'd come back?

Oh, that's a great question. I think our open spaces, this is going to sound a little bit odd, we were living in Vienna, so we're very inner city, which was amazing, we were in an apartment, we could come down and everything was right on our doorstep. However, in Melbourne, whilst we couldn't walk to everything where we are now, in a suburb. Nothing's too far away. The beach is right there, and of course, Austria is landlocked, there's no beach. There's the big open spaces, parks, mountains, you can go skiing here.

You can go surfing in Victoria like there's nothing that we don't have. The people are very open, I think in Vienna, until you start, you have an introduction, I mean, it's not... you wouldn't just start chatting.

Is that a German thing or is that a European thing? Because I have friends living in Switzerland and I have friends living in Germany, both from that country but also from Australia, and they tend to tell the same sort of story of people being a lot more introverted publicly, like when they're out of the house, they're not going to just wave at you or smile at you and not want to talk to you.


Was it like that?

A little bit. The fact that I have a very cute one year old does help, touching back in that one year old thing, because he was always doing something awkward. I ended up being one of those mums, I cannot believe I'm going to admit that, this... but I bought him a... because he was nuts!

So, it really was like taking a dog to the dog park.

Actually, it was sort of like taking a dog to a dog park. So, I ended up having a little lead and I think people like I'll check out this chick, what a lunatic.

You're like, you don't know my kid.

Exactly. So, in that way, you sometimes got the odd smile and things. But I think had that been that same scene, in any of the streets of Melbourne, people tend to say, oh, isn't that funny? Keep an eye on him.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

They're not as afraid to sort of strike up a conversation. And I'm no expert. I was only there for three months. I'm sure this is just my experience in the time that I was I was there.

But it seems to be a sort of general pattern with, I don't know, about further west in Europe, but definitely the Eastern Europe and then further north. I had friends from Estonia and they came they were living in Australia for several years and then went home and I remember chatting to them once they'd gotten home to Estonia, which is just below Finland, and they're like, I feel like such a freak walking in the street and smiling at people because they do not do that.

Even when I was living in England, it would be if someone smiled at you as you're walking, you crossed paths and you do the 'hi!' and the smile, they're like 'Oh God, hold onto my wallet'.

But that's really Australian thing. I think that's something I didn't know was an Australian thing until I left Australia and went travelling.

I'd take that for granted, I went to Lord Howe Island, you know where that is off Sydney. Five hundred K's off the coast there. And I remember having culture shock going there because it's an island with only I think it was 300 people that lived there, and so the weird thing is, everyone knows everyone. And so as soon as you get there and they have a limit on how many people can come to the island at a time, so tourist wise is only 100 people or something like that on the island. And so everywhere you would go, people would wave at you, they'd say 'g'day', that ask you where you were from and I was like, where the hell am I?

Like, this is so weird. And after about, you know, two or three days there, you get used to waving to strangers and talking to them. And I imagine that's what it's like. The shock of coming, say, from Germany to Australia and being like all these weirdos always want to smile and wave to me.

Totally! I think it would be a nice surprise coming into that. I think, all of my husband's colleagues that have visited us from Vienna, they do really enjoy that. They think that that's quite a treat.

But not going home.

Yeah, exactly.

I have to put on my bitch face now when I'm just out in the street.

Totally. Yeah, it is definitely a shift. And the smaller towns, like, um, I mean (?) smaller town, but going into any of the smaller towns and even Salzburg, you do have more of a countrier kind of feel. People are maybe a little bit more open to striking up conversations in the bigger cities.

But yeah, nothing like here.

That's a sad thing, isn't it? Really, I remember coming back from Lord Howe Island and going straight back into Melbourne and you're just like have that realisation of holy shit! Like I was on an island hundreds of kilometres from anywhere else with only a few hundred people, and now I'm in Melbourne, where within a rock's throw there's thousands of people, right? You know, there's probably how many people in Melbourne now? Five million? Four million?

Oh, my God. People are so isolated.

No one talks to anyone, right? They don't look at you.

The bigger the city, the lonelier people are.

It's almost like you feel rude, right? Because there are so many people were you have this sort of false sense of security and that like there's always someone nearby, but also that means everything isn't your problem if someone gets hurt in the street or, you know, you don't want to look people in the eye because it's a bit rude, it is funny how that changes.

I think it is such a good example of that is when you go into the CBD, if you don't usually go into any kind of CBD in a main city, and you see the homeless. And if you and I, who perhaps aren't in the city every day, it's a real shock. But then someone who works in the city or lives in the city, oh, we're used to it, I think, oh, my God, no. You've got to help this person. Yes, of course, I'll give you some money and things, but it is that whole thing of, yeah, the more people, it's kind of someone else's problem more.

Well, you get so used to it, right? You're constantly seeing like homeless people in the street every day if you're walking around all the time.

And I guess the mentalities like you can't help everyone.


Where if you're not used to seeing it you, of course, you help where you can.

I remember having, I think I was on a tram once, because I was living in North Melbourne, so literally right in the CBD and there was a guy on there wearing a cowboy hat, and I was just like, what's this guy's deal? You know, is he going to a dress up party? And he was like, man, this is the first time I've ever been on a tram. Where do I get off?

Where do I get off?

It was so funny. He'd come from like rural Victoria somewhere, he's like, I don't come here normally. And you saw through his eyes kind of the fear and the panic of being such a big city. And you take that for granted as being city slickers like you and I imagine. You know, you go to a small town and I have that in reverse where I was doing turtle research during my undergrad up in Bundaberg, in Queensland. And I kept meeting people from rural parts of Queensland or Victoria doing work there as well, And I felt so fucking useless.

oh, Really?

You would meet these women, for instance, of cattle stations and they'd be able to just, you know, fix an engine or the sprinkler system broke, So they dug up the backyard and just repaired the sprinkler system by going down to Bunnings. And you just like I feel so fucking useless.

I mean, that's amazing.

And they just like, oh, we do this every day, you know, because no one's going to come out to our farm, that is hundreds of kilometres away. So, you learn how to do this. But then it's funny when you see the farmers or the rural Australians come into the city and they're like, holy shit.

So overwhelmed. Oh, yeah, they have after drive in the city. I mean, that's a whole thing. Oh, you're right.

It is funny.

So, what makes Melbourne so liveable? Has it been voted the most liveable city again or do we lose that crown?

Last year we lost it to Vienna, how crazy is that?

And you went there.

I like to think it was because I was there.

How did it compare?

Yeah, that's a really interesting question, because I when I was there I was like, oh, what are the chances? I've lived in two of the most liveable cities in the whole world. So, so different. The one thing that Vienna has got over Melbourne in spades is their public transport system.


Oh, my gosh. There's underground trains everywhere, and every three minutes they're there.

On time as well.

On time, they're fast and clean. So, so good. Where in Melbourne, I think our public transport is where, I think that's might be solely how we lost it, because I mean, four seasons in a day in Melbourne as well, so you never really know what you're doing, but it kind of keeps you on your toes. And I'm not going to hold that against Melbourne.

You almost have to pack an extra change of clothes, right? It's like, oh, ok, I'm going to venture out today in shorts, better take some pants.

So, Vienna has the title at the moment, from what I understand, but I think Melbourne got a couple of years in a row.

We had like 15 years in a row.

Oh, wow, is it that long?

I mean, again, I don't know. I don't know how who rates it, who decides, there were different, definitely different websites when I was looking this up and there were some saying, yeah, Melbourne's been it for 15 years. I'm like, what? But it was definitely least a few, yeah.

I mean, where do I start? Melbourne is such a great place to live. I've got friends who have just moved over here from the UK and they were sort of saying every day we could do something different. They're going to the Grand Prix, they're going to concerts, they're going to there's a cinema on the St Kilda Beach at the moment where you watch the movie in bed on the sand. There's just quirky, fun things, bars, like your imagination is the only thing that could limit you.

You got no excuses. If you're in Melbourne and you're not going out to some of these things.

If you are a go-getter, in terms of the food, you don't have to spend a lot of money on the food. You just have to be sort of in the know, did a little bit of research. The food is amazing. The people are kind, some beaches are better than others, but there's beaches, there is walking tracks.

Security's pretty awesome. You got penguins, man.

There is penguins in St Kilda. Totally. Yeah, I think, I mean, there is very little people that I could imagine would come to Melbourne and say, ah, it's not for me. I think you could find something there for everyone.

And what about the rivalry between Melbourne and Sydney? Have you spent much time in Sydney?

Yeah, a little bit. My husband is from Sydney.

So, you do. You're an insider, effectively, you've got inside, inside knowledge.

But interesting, he says that now, so he's been in Melbourne now for eight years, said he'd never go back and live in Sydney.

Why? Because that's the thing, we have this rivalry, right? Between (?) or Melbournians. And yeah, well, obviously I'm biased and you're probably biased as well, loving Melbourne, but what is it about the two? And I felt so much more claustrophobic in Sydney. So, there is a difference. I felt something when we were travelling there it felt like there were nowhere to park. The streets were very closed in, it felt like there were so many tollways, I was like, God damn it, I had to pay like $30 one day just to drive in Sydney and back out.

Totally, ok. So, I mean, all of what you said is very, very true. But then you go on to some of the beaches, the harbour in Sydney, and that's where you have to sort of eat your heart and go, wow, this is really nice. So, their lifestyle in terms of their weather, it's a lot warmer and they're just being on the water, like a lot of their, in the city, a lot of their suburbs and things around those coastal areas in the CBD are so, so beautiful.

So, Sydney gets that tick. My husband says the reason why he much prefers Melbourne, and I think he's probably the true judge, is he feels that sort of in the corporate world that it's a very transient city. So, there's a lot of people who come to Sydney to kind of make a name for themselves, to build up their career and then they move onto the next thing. And, so there's a lot of a lot of people to sort of make it. I mean, a lot of people might be listen to this and like, that's bullshit.

But that's sort of how he felt, he thought, you know, everyone's there to really work hard, get it done. There's a lot of, there's a sort of a lot of hierarchy, where Melbourne it's a little bit more chilled.

It is funny, though, how you kind of... It's almost like reading a book. Different people who read the same book get different things out of it, right? And we're going to cities like Melbourne, for me, it was always being in my 20s when I was there, it was always much more student oriented from my point of view, I always knew the universities, the students, and there were always so many people from overseas coming in and then leaving.

And so that was how I sort of experienced it as opposed to, say, the corporate world or anything else. And that's why we have you on the podcast today, because there are so many people coming to Melbourne. So, switching into Melbourne Rental Search. How did you start that? How did that begin?


And what is it? Just give us the treatment.

Yes. Just wrap yourself in, here we go. Ok, so Melbourne Rental Search, I was working in a traditional Real Estate agency. I was doing, I was a leasing consultant and business development manager for rentals. And there'd be so many people who would call or email and they'll say, 'I'm moving from interstate or I'm moving from abroad, and I found a rental property that I like online. How do I apply for it?'

And is that because, sorry to interrupt you, is that because you can't really apply for unless you go and see it physically, do they quite often...

That's exactly right. So, in most states in Australia, legally, you can't apply for a rental property unless you've inspected it or someone's inspected on your behalf.

Why? Why is that?

Ah, I think it's because a lot of the times there's actually no legal requirement if like how old the photos can be, so there's so many people I mean, ask anyone who's doing their own rental search, they'll go, this place looks amazing, oh ticks a lot of boxes and they get in there like, no, what? This is crap!

It's a crack den.

Totally, it's not what I expected. And if they've already signed the lease, paid the bond, paid the deposit, there's no real getting out of it. So, I think agents to protect themselves have put this in place. So, it's all transparent. Everyone knows what they're getting. So, that's why that rule was put in place. But what we were finding is, especially people coming from interstate that find something that they like online, they go great, they'll book their tickets or come down, they get accommodation and either it's been leased before they arrive or they'll submit an application and they're not approved. And they've got to do it the whole time, like next weekend. And they're spending thousands of dollars.

People from overseas, unless you have someone who's here who can do it for you, I mean, they were really struggling, so they were coming over and spending weeks of time in AirBnBs or...

Hostels, right? I think I had friends during that, too, in Melbourne where they were, they would come over from Germany or Estonia and be in a hostel for three or four weeks, waiting to just try and find a room or house.

Just trying to find something. And I think as well, because if you're coming from overseas, you don't have the knowledge of exactly what a Real Estate agent is after. So, a lot of times in Melbourne, especially, the rental market is incredibly hot. So, if there's multiple applications that are put forth, if you're coming from overseas and you don't have rental references and things, then your application is going to get put to the bottom of the line. So, it's a really hard, hard job.

So, that's why I thought. She really needs to be someone on the ground who can help people secure a rental property before they arrive or once they get here, show them how to submit a great application, tell them yes, conclude this in your application. Don't include that in your application just to cut that time down and, ideally, just go straight from the airport into your new rental, ready to go.

So, that's sort of the space in the market, was it? That you just kept getting harassed and you were like, someone needs to do something about it.

I was like, oh, well, surely there's someone that you can hire to go and look at places for you, and there's traditional relocation agents. I mean, the fear was thousands and thousands of dollars and I just thought, like a normal person, that it's moving from... on their own back, they don't have a corporate lease behind, sorry, a corporate company behind them, and that's, I mean, the majority of my clients are just moving themselves or their families or a couple that did have thousands of dollars to spend at relocation agency. So, I thought, I'll fill that little gap.

And I go and see properties on people's behalf, I do full video walkthrough tours for them, so it's like they're there, and then I help them with their application, submit it to the agent, all the negotiations to get them approved, so just kind of take that guesswork out of the process for them.

So, can you talk a bit about what it costs to do this and the time that it takes to do it? As opposed to them having to obviously come here and do it themselves?

Yeah, sure. So, in terms of the service that I and my team sort of provide is we do as little as just one inspection, so what that means is if you find a place you like online, but you you can't make the inspection, we'll go and see it for you. That cost $190 just for the one up inspection, we do the video, walkthrough tour and a full report about the property.

So, it's almost like you're there. You got all the information you need to work out whether it's a property you want to apply for or not up until a relocation package, which is around the $2000 mark. And that is basically everything that we do fo you, that's a creme de la creme.

So, what would that include?

That includes after 10 inspections, we help you with exactly where you need to be. We do all the negotiations with the agents, we pick up the keys for you, we do the condition report for you. We help you furnish the property if you need furniture. There's very little that you would need with the relocation package.

So, that's effectively for anyone who really just wants to pay someone to get their house set up and they just want to walk in the door, kick their feet up and be like, ah, I'm home.

Yeah. I mean, it's still a lot cheaper to do that than it would be to get a service department or a AirBnB or something like that. So, yeah, for sure.

Well, that was a nightmare for us. We moved to Canberra and we were trying to find a house and I don't know, if you know much about the rental market in Canberra, but it is a fucking nightmare. Jesus Christ, we were there, my friends just moved there this march, she actually successfully rented a place. Hi, Emily! I think two days ago, but I remember going to inspections and there'd be 105 people waiting to check it out.

Oh, yeah, it's nuts, it's absolutely nuts. So, if you don't have a really strong application, I mean, you just you can... We've had people come to us, especially people who are moving from abroad, who said we've applied for 20 properties. What are you doing wrong? Let me see your application, ok. Let's let's just, ok. Let's do this together.

In Canberra we had to we got a bed and breakfast for, I think, the first two weeks, which was like nine hundred bucks, and then after that, we still didn't have a place, we had to stay with some friends. Then we got a room, we were staying there and that was $450 a week for a room in Canberra. And so we spent thousands of dollars trying to find a place to begin with. It obviously would've been so much more helpful if they'd been in a Canberra equivalent for this, right? Just get that done for it.

I mean, I have seen, since we started our business, I noticed a couple of others, especially in Melbourne, crop up similar to ours. There are other cities that do have similar services. I think people are just realising, yeah, there's a need for this. There's definitely a need for this. So, they're popping up. They're popping up a lot more, We never saw anything and wow... Yeah.

What are the sort of dos and don'ts with applications? Why do people find it so difficult to get houses? Because I've heard those stories too, especially from people who might not necessarily have a strong English or they're of a different ethnic background or they have plenty of other issues, and for whatever reason, they keep getting knocked back. And then you look at the application, it's related to just things there, including or not including. So, yeah, can you talk about that?

Ok, so a couple of things. First off, the majority of agents in Australia like you to fill out what we call a one form application, and that is an online application. It's handy because you only have to fill it out the one time and then you can apply for multiple properties with different agents. So, in that respect, it's good. It's a bit fiddly to fill out, but once it's done, it's done. You can also attach all of your supporting documentation to that. So, that's all your I.D, payslips, things like that.

The one thing that you really need to be mindful of, especially if you're going to do this on your own, is agents will not spend the time chasing you for additional information. So, if you don't have everything that they want to see, they would go on to the next application, usually because the rental market is pretty hot. They'll just go, yeah, onto the next one and and you won't get a look and you won't get a call say 'your application looks great, can you just send your last through payslips? Or can you just send your letter of offer for your job?', they won't call you.

So, they're just going to go straight to the ones that tick all the boxes?


Save them time and effort and then bam!

Yeah. So, my first advice is put together a really strong one form application online.

And have all your documents there and fill out everything and as much information as possible, or should you keep a concise?

The more information, the better. Yeah, I really would say. It's got... It feels like what they call like little dropdown boxes to put all the information in. And then if you're moving from overseas, I would always recommend putting in a little cover letter, and that's because sometimes people don't have employment already set up, and that can be a red flag for an agent because they're really looking for two things. Can this person pay the rent? And is this person going to look after the property? If you don't have employment set up, this is going to be a red flag.

And if you have don't have any rental references currently in Australia, this is going to be a red flags. These people really struggle, but they don't have to. There's a couple of things they can do. A cover letter that says we're moving. We plan to get a job in this field, we've got X amount of interviews set up, just kind of trying to put those concerns to rest or if they have employment set up, great! Put that all in.

And if in the country that they're coming from, they've rented before, then pop in, ideally, they'll pop in the details that the agent in Australia could contact an agent or a landlord from where they're from, but even a written reference to save the agent chasing around is always a good idea. And if they've own their own property from where they're coming from, a proof of ownership. So, that'll be like the first page of a sale of where they're coming from or even if there is a picture or a sales campaign or something online, a link to it online. So, the agent can see that.

And so how long does it normally take? So, people who go through this process with you, do they tend to be successful very, very quickly?

Yes. Interesting, so we find a lot of our... So, one of... I mean, that other little package that we had in the middle that I didn't explain is six inspections, we help you with the negotiations with the agent and things. It doesn't have all the extras, but it just concentrates on the rental search. And that's what really mid-priced. That is a popular aspect about a popular package, because the thing that people find the hardest is finding the rental property. So, with that one, we include six inspections and a lot of times our clients get approved on the first property that they see. But they're really hesitant to take it because it's the first one.

I want to keep looking, I want to keep going. This is the first one, we can't commit. So, there's there's a little bit of that. So, a lot of the times it just comes down to us only seeing the properties that we know you love the location. And if it presents like it does online, then ticks all the boxes, we apply for it. You've got a pretty good chance of getting it straight off the bat.

If you've got a situation where you might have a pet that can hold you back a lot of times.

Has that changed just recently?

Yes. Interesting. It has changed that the law is changing, as in, I think, June this year, to say that landlords cannot blanketly say no to a pet in a rental property.

Well, they have to justify it by sending something to... Is it VAT, or something?

Well, see, here's the thing. I was talking to some Real Estate agents and saying, how are you guys feeling about this? Knowing what it's like on the other side? And they've basically confided in me and said if there is an application that comes forth for a property that we know that the owners don't want a pet, we just won't approve the application and not specify a reason.

So, there's ways that people can get around that. So, we have a bunch of tips and tricks to try and get applications approved with a pet.

Don't say you want a pet or don't have one. Move in and then, oh, we just got one.

I mean, I'm certainly not saying that, that was you, but there's a ways around it.

We have the same thing here, when we moved in and it was, it sucked. I tried to do a sort of like, you know, we didn't have any pets. We moved in, we were thinking of getting some cats. And I remember asking and this is it's almost better to apologise than and ask for forgiveness than ask for permission sometimes, right? So, we asked and they're like, yeah, the owner doesn't want cats.

And I remember looking up and hearing that story about, you know, the rental owner's not being able to say no anymore. And I said to her, hasn't this rule come through? And she's like, not until next year.

That's so annoying, so annoying. I know from my years in property management, the damage that is done by children is far greater than that of pets.

That's what I was thinking. I'm like, so we've moved into this place. My wife is very, obviously, pregnant. You have no problem with the idea of us having a child. And I feel like the child is going to do a lot more damage than a cat would do, which is probably to shed hair and scratch the furniture, not destroy their house.

We're in the same boat now. I've got two kids. You've got your little one. Yeah, they're wild, much wilder than any animal. And the crazy thing is when you move into a rental property, you get a condition report. And at the end of the day, you have to hand the property back in the same condition you've got it.

And I was totally, when I said to them, I'm more than happy to pay for any possible damage, like I'm telling you in writing right now, if the cats were to burn the house down, I'm more than happy to be responsible for that, right? But they were just like owner doesn't like cats. Like, owner is not living here.

That's crazy.

Anyway, what can you do? But, what advice you have for people with pets? They just need to...

Ok, so you have to be kind of realistic about the types of properties you're applying for, especially if you've got a Great Dane, like a huge dog or something like that, we find a lot of times people who are moving from abroad, who have come from built up cities are very used to apartment living with a dog, where here in Australia, agents think, "A dog in an apartment?" like "heaven forbid!". But if you've got a dog that you're bringing over with you who's always lived in an apartment, you just really need to make that apparent.

So, we actually have a template that we send our clients, that's our pet résumé. It's got a picture that you pop a photo in and it tells you a bit about the pet that you have. It's lifestyle, where they've come from, some references about from a landlord, neighbours, things like that. And it sounds a bit extreme, but we have so much success with this pet résumé, I think, because the agent that has a document that they can forward onto the landlord and the landlord is like, oh look at all this effort that the person's gone to, this is obviously like a family member, a lot of people now, young professionals, are having pets instead of having kids. So, we have a lot of success with the pet résumé. It's a goody. And just to be realistic about the properties.

That seem to be the difficult thing, it looked like that Real Estate agents and landlords were just saying no to pets because it was just easier, as opposed to there actually being a significant issue with animals damaging houses, right? It was just you know, it's the same, I imagine, with smokers. There's so many people applying for houses. It's just easier to say no smokers, no pets. You know, when in reality it may not necessarily be a significant issue for the house.

The other thing is when agents just say a blanket no and if they advertise the property as no pets, no smokers, whatever, people just hide it. Ok, no worries. No pets. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge. And then they get in there and have a pet. That's where agents really need to look at their practices. 'Cause there's ways around, there's there's a ways round everything. And I think every application needs to be considered on a case by case basis. We just think it's really important that you're giving as much information as you can to help your cause, because just know if they've got any questions or queries that is going to move on to the next application.

So, are there any other tips or tricks for people trying to just quickly find the best place possible for them to live? Somewhere like Melbourne? I'm sure it applies to the other cities in Australia, too. There's certain things that, whether or not it's with the application, they should try and do.

I think the first thing is you need to know where you want to live. This is a big one, and that can be determined by why you are in Melbourne. Is it for studying or is it for a job? And then you work out how long you're willing to travel to get to work, what your budget is and what your lifestyle is.

So, do you want to be by the water or is it more important for you to be where nightlife is? From there, you can kind of limit down your search because there's loads of options. And you could spend every Saturday morning, every day, you could be inspections all day, everyday. So, limiting down your choice of properties when you found a property that you like, having a quality application is the most important thing.

Sometimes the agent who's doing the open for inspection on a Saturday or midweek is not actually the person managing the property. So, we used to say things like, you know, make sure you dress well, you're polite, but a lot of times is not actually the person who's going to be processing your application. So, be polite, be courteous, but no, that that's doesn't always help because it may or may not be the person you need to be schmoozing.


I really just have to say it's that application. It's having that strong application with all the information in it that you need. Oh, actually, yes. I've got a big tip. How can I forget this? This is like gold.

And that's where we got the podcast offer today, guys!

So, when you see a property that is advertised, let's say it's $400 a week. If you go to the open and there's 50 people, let's say $10, there's ten people there. And a lot of people are showing interest in the property. Do know that if you offer slightly higher, and I'm saying $10 a week more, chances are your application goes to the top of the pile. Every time.

Both because that gets the landlord more money and the realtor, right?

Totally, totally. I mean, I mean, it's the landlord, at the end of the day, the agent processes the application and that is the landlord who gets to choose, the landlord seeing the dollar signs, he's like, great, yeah, more money, let's do it. And really, it is about anywhere between $10 and $20 a week. That's what's going to get you over the line.

So, just have a few less coffees a week. And if you do have a Great Dane and you're trying to find an apartment, you just say, you know, we'll bump it up a little bit. We'll line your pockets with a bit of cash.

I think too, maybe mention is let's say you've had your eye on a property for a while and for some reason it hasn't leased. So, it's you've seen it getting advertised week after week, you can actually put an application in slightly under as well. So, don't think that that price that you see is the price that is going to go for, but yeah, no, there's a bit of room there.

Do you think a big part of it, like buying property, is trying to take the emotion out of it as well? And not sucked in to certain locations or certain individual apartments or houses and more try and and think with your head rather than your heart.

Maybe not as much as buying. I mean, buying, I've been through that process. And you are moved in, you know where things are going when you miss out at that auction or whatever it is. It's so heartbreaking. Rentals, I don't know. I'm so confident with rentals, I was like, I mean, in one way, yes. You've got to be sensible. But another there's so much stock on the market.


That I don't think you have to compromise as much as maybe you do with with buying.


So, do you have advice for people wanting to move to Melbourne about different locations and where they should invest most of their search time? Because I imagine, depending if you're a single if you're a student, if you're a couple, if you're a family, there are going to be suburbs that are more suited to you right now or you can be closer to the city, you can be further away from the city. What sort of advice do you have for those demographics?

Well, I think I kind of touched on it briefly earlier, and that is just working out why you're in Melbourne. So, is that going to be studying or is that going to be a place of work? That's sort of the only two I can sort of think of, your budget, how far you're willing to get to work? Do you need to rely on public transport? And the kind of lifestyle that you wish to adopt.

The great thing about Melbourne, unlike other cities in the world, there are no real no go zones. So, whilst sort of my clients come to me and say, oh, we've read a little bit about this or my friend lives in this certain suburb, let's say Sunshine.

Or Broadmeadows.

No offence anyone who lives there.

And then I would say, yeah, I think we could probably do a little bit better in this price range. So, there's a couple of suburbs, I'd say, there's just not as much going on there. I think if you get a bit more bang for your buck somewhere, somewhere else, but really nine times out of ten, you can't really go wrong, as long as just depending on what everybody's needs, requirements are slightly different. But if you're a family, you want to be in a good school zone and that's a really big one, so that's going to really sway where you want to be.

Should you be within walking distance? Within driving distance?

It just depends on whether or not you've got a reliable car or you're going to be on foot. If you're going to be on foot, then you absolutely need to be near public transport, I think. I think, it would be really hard if you didn't have reliable public transport, you didn't have a car in Melbourne, everything, it's a big city, getting from one side to the other and things. It's a lot. And Ubers and taxis can be expensive.

So, if you're a family, you have to take into consider is school zones. If you're at work, you have to consider traffic. If you're going to be in traffic or if you're going to be on public transport and how long you're willing to to travel there. The fact is, you actually I'm absolutely surprised when people come from overseas, certain countries are really keen to be near a hospital.


Where Australians that's never in their search requirements.

Put that to the back of our heads, right? We're not thinking 'this weekend is going to be so big, I'll see you guys there later at the hospital'.

So, a lot of times when people are coming from overseas, one of their, we have a survey that they get sense and we know how to progressed with their search, what's important for you to be near? People say hospitals now, I think. Oh, what a surprise! How often you go to the hospital? But yeah, I guess, for some cultures that's really...

Peace of mind, right?

Peace of mind. Yeah. Perhaps if you don't have a car or...yeah, I'm not sure.

So, what are the price ranges like for rentals at the moment if you're getting, say, an apartment or a townhouse or a your own house? And comparing that to say, just getting a room. What are the sort of amounts that people should be keeping in mind when they're trying to move to Melbourne?

Sure. So, depending on, it's all variable of suburbs, but I really sort of believe that if you want your own apartment or your own space, t o get something that's quality, that's not, this is somewhere you're not going to be embarrassed to bring people back. You really need to have a three in front of it. Three hundred and something.

So, you would almost go off the price more so than the location first. You would just say, where is a 300 a week? And then you look into it as opposed to, oh, my God, 450 bucks a week. Oh, it's a crack den.

Oh, my gosh! Yeah, you totally, I mean, if you were finding anything under $300 a week in Rent for your own place, I'd be really concerned. I just think even if it looks good online, there's going to be something that we just don't see in Melbourne, things under $300 for your own place.

It's a trap.

Yeah, there's something, even if you can't tell online.

It was built on an Indian burial ground or something crazy.

Totally. Around that 350 mark for or a one better, for new builds, is you can get something decent, really decent, I'm talking city and really like the surrounds. But yeah. Anything under 300 you better off sharing and getting a room and that really just depends on where where you want to be, how many people are in the house and, yeah.

Brilliant. So, any other tips or tricks or things you want to mention before we finish up? I almost had you here for 40 minutes.


Don't apologise, don't be silly, lots of information here.

Tips and tricks with finding a rental property. If you are looking for sharing, there is the number of websites to do it from. There are scams, and this is actually even if you decide to go down the route of renting a property through a private landlord as well. And this is a trap that I think a lot of people could find if they're moving from overseas.

Is there are properties that are listed and they look really great and the price is quite reasonable. Again, this is good. And then they say if you pay your four weeks bond, then it's secured and then we go from there. And then you pay your four weeks bond and never hear from them again.

So, that's really scary. I think if you are going to rent a property, it's really advice that you rent through a traditional Real Estate agency.

For your own protection.

Especially if you just don't know exactly how it works. So, a Real Estate agent that follows the guidelines of the RTPA, which is a Residential Tenant... Oh, the Real Estate Institute of Victoria. Because you just know that it's all aboveboard. You would hate to, if you're thinking a deal's too good to be true, it probably is.

There are services like mine that are popping up more and more where you can have someone on the ground that can help you determine what area you need to be in. Help you with your application and just in the long run, save you a lot of money because you're not paying for weeks of accommodation while you look for somewhere. You're not getting those, I mean, sometimes you get calls back to see your applications are approved, just don't hear back. It's a really exhausting process. And when you're moving to a new city, there's so much more to have on your plate, so just to outsource that is probably worth the investment.

Do you want to mention what bond is too? Because I have a lot of people confused. They're like, but it's only, you know, the rent is $300 a week. Why do I need to pay a month's rent in advance?

Got you. So, a bond. If the property is $350 a week or less, legally, the agent could take a four week bond. If the rent is over $350 a week, they can take up up to a six week bond, so that the bond is separate to the rent. So, when you get approved on a property, you it can be quite like a big upfront cost. You've got to pay the rent, which is sometimes six weeks rent, and the first month's, sorry, the bond, which is offered often six six weeks rent and the first months of rent because the rent is paid a month in advance.

Yes. And normally you have to pay for a bond, it will be $2000-$3000, right? As well as the first month, which is probably the bond again.

Totally. Oh, oh, something as well. Yes. Ok. Oh my God, I'm going to keep everyone here for longer, I'm sorry.

Don't be silly, go for it.

One thing as well that I should mention that a lot of people moving from overseas don't realise is in a lot of cities around the world, When you rent a property and it's advertised unfurnished, it still includes white collar goods so that your fridge, your washing machine, your dryer. In Australia, that's not included. So, if you see unfurnished, that's really unfurnished.

It's only the things that are built in. So, a dishwasher is often built in.

And a stove, and an oven.

Yes, good thinking. But people are very surprised when they're moving to think that those things are not not included. I did do a price comparison that if you're going to rent a property for 12 months, the difference of hiring your furniture for 12 months or buying it is actually substantially cheaper to buy your furniture.

No kidding? Really? Just for a year too? Holy crap, and then what? Just sell it afterwards?

Sell it after. Depending on where you're coming from you? I think now that we've got Facebook Marketplace and so many more things, buying secondhand is so much easier. It just takes a little bit, if you've got a car, you're fine. If you don't...

Especially if you're in Melbourne, you're not going to have any trouble selling it because there's going to be loads of people in the same situation as you 12 months earlier.

You can pick up things so unbelievably cheap. And things that are good quality, really good quality. So, if you want to go down the second hand route, I mean, that's remarkably cheaper.


So, the other thing is lease terms. So, the majority of leases in Melbourne are at least a 12 months. That's just the standard. There are some every now and again, especially if they're fully furnished, they're available for six month leases. However, if you were looking for a property less than six months, there are very far few between.

Why is that?

Because every time a property is released, the owner has to pay a letting fee and there's vacancy time. So, really, the longer the better for them. Yeah.

Awesome. Well, thank you so much, Jade!

Thank you for having me.

Hopefully you'll get a whole bunch of work from this episode and you can help a bunch of them out.

We do have a discount for all of your listeners.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, so 100 per cent, I'm going to give you a link. You can maybe put in your show notes that have access to 10 percent off all of our packages. And if they purchased right through there, the discount come straight off. And Bob's your uncle.

Yeah, no worries. Where can they find you?

Oh, so our website is, we have an Instagram page which is just Melbourne Rental Search and a Facebook page also. And again, apologies for this horrible voice. It sounds like it's like definitely on its way out. So,.

No, you d, id well, you didn't even take a sip of water the whole time.

I was just chat, chat, chat. Oh, my God. I just need to relax. Goodness gracious!

Thank you so much, Jade. I really appreciate it.

Thank you for having me.

Alright, guys, that is it for today. Thank you so much, Jade, once again, for coming on to the podcast to tell us about Melbourne Rental Search. Don't forget, guys, you can check out Melbourne Rental Search at There'll be a link in the transcript for this episode and you will get a 10 percent discount if you use the link attached to this episode when you go through Melbourne Rental Search to find some way to live in Melbourne. Thanks again, guys, for joining me and our chat to you next time.

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    1. Hi Pete
      this episode was one the most useful episode that I’ve ever listen in your website however all your episode are efficient .but I’m looking for a rental apartment, and I found it very hard
      thank you for your episodes and other content.