Private Housing

Private Rental

What is it?

A property that is owned by an individual or group which the owner leases to tenants under legislation known as ‘Residential Tenancies Act 1997’.

Who can apply?

To apply for private rental, one must be able to provide 100 pts of ID (photo ID, income statement, bank statement).

There is no strict eligibility criteria for a rental and landlords will choose most preferred applicant. Sometimes landlords may have a preference to lease property to particular types of tenants such as young professional couples, families etc., however it is illegal to reject someone on the basis of their gender, race etc. Please refer to The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission Discrimination and Renting information if you believe this is the case.

How do I apply?

To apply for a rental, a person must inspect the property. If they are not able to see the property they can nominate someone to look for them.

When applying it is mandatory to submit the following:

  • Rental application
  • 100 pts of ID

It would benefit an application to also include the following documents; Covering letter, Reference / Support letter from support.

Pros

  • Greater choice, more variety; as opposed to social housing, the applicant has greater choice about features of their property such as the location of their property because they can apply directly for the house they want.
  • There is no waitlist for private housing and a tenant may be able to move into property as soon as application is processed and payments received

Cons

  • Private rental is expensive, and while a person might have more choice about how many rooms they have, or where the house is- they are often limited by budget.
  • Not permanent; usually leases are one year, and it is possible for landlord to not extend lease if they choose to.
  • A significant sum is required upfront to secure rental. The process of sourcing bond and rent-in-advance can seem complicated and takes usually 5 days Unfortunately, a agency/landlord is legally only obliged to wait 2 days for rent-in-advance before they are allowed to offer it to another person. This is a systematic issue. A tenant to avoid this, can request a letter from a homelessness access point and Office of Housing to state they are eligible for assistance to reassure the agency that they are able to provide bond and rent in advance.
  • Please refer to Getting Rent-in-Advance around how to source payments