On this page: Where to look for a rental property General advice on finding a private rental property Securing a private rental property
Where to look for a rental property
When looking for a property to rent some of the things you need to consider include:
- rent and how much can you afford to pay
- the location - do you know the area, are you close to work?
- facilities - shops, schools, parks
- supports - is it close to other family members or medical supports?
- infrastructure - is there public transport nearby, can you get connected to all the utilities you need?
- house size - how many bedrooms do you need?
- garden or yard - can you look after a large garden, do you have a pet?
- parking - do you need secure off-street parking?
The best places to find properties that are available to rent are:
- newspaper advertisements
- internet searches
- real estate agents
- word of mouth.
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General advice on finding a private rental property
Know what you can afford to pay in rent after taking into account other bills and costs associated with running a household. If you have a low income you may be eligible for help to pay bond and rent in advance
Consider what type of house you need, including the number of rooms and location. The amount of rent is generally more if the house is large or in an area of high demand.
It can take longer than you may expect to secure a private rental property. Try not to leave it to the last minute, particularly if you need to move by a certain date. Talk to your current and prospective landlords about dates for moving in and out to try to avoid paying rent on two properties at the same time.
Inspect the property
Make sure you look through the property before you sign any documentation. If any maintenance needs to be done ask the landlord if these will be repaired before you move in. Try to get this in writing.
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Securing a private rental property
Making a good first impression with the landlord or agent is important. Try to be punctual for any appointments. Be polite, introduce yourself and thank the landlord or agent for their time. Don’t bring the whole family to an inspection and try to avoid bringing small children or pets.
Research other private rental properties in the area and have an idea of local rents. Know your rights and responsibilities as a tenant. Make a list of any questions. Things to ask could include:
- what type of lease you will be expected to sign
- is there a possibility of having a lease extended
- can you negotiate the date you move in, move out and the amount of rent.
Ask the landlord for an application form and have this completed before the inspection.
- Make sure you have completed all sections of the form.
- Have copies of your identification (usually 100 points is required - you may need to provide several pieces of identification).
- Have copies of any written references, rent records and income statements and make sure all contact details are correct and up to date.
- Don’t sign anything without carefully reading it first.
- If you don’t understand something ask someone to clarify it for you
Ask the people you want to use as referees beforehand and have a good idea of what they will say. Don’t leave the reference section on an application form blank - you can include a friend, a supervisor or teacher, or a support worker if you don’t have a previous landlord.
If you have a low income and are experiencing difficulties securing a rental property, private rental liaison officers and various other organisations and agencies may be able to act as an advocate or provide information and advice.
You can find services in your area through the SA Community website.
A landlord can not refuse an application for private rental because of:
- health issues - eg physical or intellectual disabilities, mental health issues
- marital status.
If you believe you have been refused to be considered for a property for any of these reasons you can lodge a complaint within 12 months with the Equal Opportunity Commission.
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On this siteRental listing scamsAdvocacy and supportInformation for first time rentersPublic transport and travelRenting: a basic guide
Other websitesSuspicion in the rental market educational video - Equal Opportunity Commission
DownloadsWhere to look for a rental property
(PDF 147KB) Applying for a rental property
For an alternative version of these documents contact Shelter SA
Get that house - Limestone Coast
(PDF 696KB)Get that house - Murraylands
(PDF 716KB)Get that house - Port Augusta
(PDF 683KB)Get that house - Fleurieu region
(PDF 720KB)Get that house - Adelaide Hills
For an alternative version of these documents contact Housing SA
ContactHousing SASupport AgencyCBS