Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Five Ways to Get Cheaper Rent

Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Five Ways to Get Cheaper Rent

Article excerpt

Buying a house in Australia is becoming increasingly difficult for many people with the steady rise of property prices, particularly in our capital cities.

Unfortunately renting doesn't seem to be getting any cheaper either.

There are a few clever people in Australia not paying as much rent as you'd think and here's their advice on alternative housing options that may suit you.

1. Accept a temporary lease

Most landlords are looking for long-term and reliable renters but extenuating circumstances can leave some landlords looking for short-term renters at reduced prices. Lyndal Jones, from Melbourne, is currently paying just $120 per week for a one bedroom flat in Windsor.

"The landlady had just moved out, but her daughter wouldn't be moving in for another three months. She just wanted the apartment occupied and the basic expenses covered for a few months. It's full of her furniture but for $120 per week we get to save a tonne of money while we look for the perfect place."

2. Live 'out the back'

Some dwellings in Australia have legal structures in their backyards that are perfectly livable. Paula Dresden, from Thornbury, is paying $50 a week to live in a mobile home in her sister's backyard.

"It's cheap, cosy and really private," she says. Paula has to go inside the house to use the bathroom and kitchen, but she says she got used to that very quickly.

Liam Rankin, from Brunswick, is another 'out the back' tenant. He lives in the servant's quarters of old terrace house and pays $95 per week. Although his room is attached to the house, he still has to walk outside to get to the bathroom and kitchen in the main section of the house, which is why he pays less rent than his housemates.

If you're looking to rent an unusual structure in someone's backyard make sure you do your research. All states and territories have different rules, but the general rule is that the structure should be demountable or moveable (like a mobile home) or the structure must be attached to the main house.

There are laws against building second dwellings on blocks of land that were designed for a single dwelling so make sure the place you're renting is being leased legally. …

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