Long-Term Housing

Minimum Rental Periods

The minimum rental agreement period is 6 months for an apartment and 12 months for a house.

Lease Break: If you wish to break a lease before the minimum agreement period, written notice must be given and you must pay a re-letting fee equal to 1-2 week’s rent, advertising costs, and rent until a new tenant moves in. In NSW it is sometimes possible to break a lease by paying 4-6 weeks rent to move out early, but only by agreement with the landlord.

Required Documents for Signing a Lease

Typical documents required to sign a rental contract include:

• 2 forms of ID
• Proof of Visa
• Proof of income
• Proof of employment
• Two references
• Past rental references or proof of home ownership

The tenant must be approved and a holding deposit must be placed before a lease will be drawn up.

It is important to become familiar with Australia’s 100 point check. This is a personal identification system adopted by the Australian government and utilized by most landlords before renting out a residence to a new tenant.

Standard Security Deposit

The security deposit (bond) in Sydney is equivalent to 4 weeks rent. In Melbourne it is equivalent to 4 or 5 weeks. In Brisbane the deposit is usually 4 times the weekly rent.

The bond is held in trust by a government department during the tenancy. A new initiative has been implemented in NSW where the bond is paid directly online by the tenant.

Local Norm for Returning the Security Deposit

A property must be handed back fully cleaned and with no damage to ensure a full refund. If the property is not clean or is damaged, the real estate agent has the right to deduct money from the bond to pay for repairs and maintenance. A thorough inspection is completed by the real estate agent at the end of the tenancy and the bond is usually refunded 2-4 weeks after final inspection, after any work is completed.

Rental Commission

Should you choose to utilize the services of a letting agent to help you in your search, agencies usually charge a letting fee between 7% and 10% of the annual rent plus Goods and Service tax (GST).

Payment of Rental Commission

The agent’s rental commission is typically paid by the tenant.

Accepted Method of Payment

Wire transfer and check are preferred methods of payment.


School Registration

School Fees

Private schools typically require:

• Deposit – 1000 AUD or up to full cost of first term fees in advance to secure placement. Also you’ll pay a several hundred AUD
• Application fee, up to 5000 AUD
• Enrollment fee of 1000-2500 AUD
• Tuition fees payable 1 term in advance.

Government schools, depending upon on the state, could require up to 6000 AUD. Uniforms and extra curricular activities are additional.

Accepted Method of Payment

Wire transfer, check, and cash are acceptable methods of payment.


Local Requirements

Residency Requirements

Once you have arrived in Australia there is no requirement to register with any local authorities.  However, you must register for your Tax File Number. This can be initiated online.  You will need your passport and proof that you are authorized to work in Australia.

It is advisable to connect with a local expert to identify any additional requirements and support available to assist in meeting the local requirements.


Obtaining a Driver’s License


Typical documentation required to obtain a driver’s license include:

• 100 points of identification: passport, recognized credit cards, and original birth certificates.
• Proof of existing driver’s license in country of origin.

This does not apply to 457 visa holders – they may drive with their overseas licenses as long as they are in English or have been translated.

Permanent residents must apply for an Australian license within 3 months of arriving, utilizing these documents:

• Proof of address (copy of lease)
• Valid passport
• Previous license
• 1 additional form of ID

Additional Notes

Drivers may be required to take a test however, 457 visa holders do not have to complete driving or knowledge tests. If importing a vehicle, it must be checked to ensure it is roadworthy. Vehicles over 5 years of age need a roadworthy check annually for registration.


Opening a Bank Account

Required Documents

In order to open a bank account, you may be asked for 100 points identification

A bank account can be opened prior to arrival in Australia.

Time Required

Typically opening a bank account can be completed in 1 day.