Houses, apartments, rooms, new homes, old homes – whatever rental option you’re looking for you’ll find plenty in both Melbourne and regional Victoria.
Choosing a house or apartment to rent in Melbourne is an exciting first step of building your new life here.
There are several rules and regulations that you must follow when you become a tenant (renters are called tenants). Those offering a property for rent (called landlords) also have rules and regulations.
Melbourne boasts an exciting property market with housing options to suit everyone’s needs – from beautiful, older Victorian-era and Edwardian-era homes to deluxe contemporary homes. New homes and contemporary apartments are also being constructed all the time.
Whether you’re looking to rent in Melbourne or in regional Victoria, you’ll enjoy access to properties in a number of styles and sizes.
Rent prices vary greatly, depending on property size, suburb and transport options. Visit the Department of Human Services website for up to date information about average rental prices in Melbourne.
In Victoria, real estate agents are generally responsible for renting houses and apartments to tenants on behalf of owners. But you can also rent directly from an owner. You can rent a single room in a property or share a house with a group of friends or family – the rental option you choose depends on your needs.
You can find real estate agents in your area through the Real Estate Industry of Victoria's (REIV) agency search tool. Or you can search for homes, including single rooms to rent, on websites such as:
Most rental properties do not come with furniture, but will generally include:
- hot water systems
- light fittings
- curtains or blinds
- kitchen cupboards.
Many also include air conditioning, dishwashers and built-in wardrobes. Utility costs such as water, gas and electricity can vary from property to property if they’re not included in the standard rent price. It’s a good idea to check with your real estate agent or property owner about utility costs.
Once you have decided on the area you are interested in living in, you will need to secure your rental property. These tips will help show you what you need to do.
1. Inspect the property
The first step is to inspect the property you are interested in, as real estate agents usually only accept applications from people who have seen the house or apartment. If you are unable to inspect the property yourself, you can send a representative. It is not only important for the real estate agent to meet you (or your representative), but it is also important for you to check that the property is in working condition.
There are three ways to view a property for rent:
- attend an open for inspection held at a specific time
- make an appointment with the real estate agent
- collect the key from the real estate agent's office.
If you are attending an open for inspection, you must be prepared to show identification (such as a driver licence or passport).
2. Submit an application
To secure a rental property, you will need to complete and submit an application. The application usually includes details about where you have lived and worked, including your current income. It is also common to request references, so if you have rented before it is useful to bring written references with you to Australia.
3. Sign a lease
Once all parties are happy to proceed with a lease agreement, you will need to sign the lease. This is a legally binding agreement and does not have a cooling-off period (a period of time that allows you to change your mind).
A lease records details such as:
- how long you can live in the house
- how much rent you must pay and when you must pay it
- whether there are any special conditions about your home (such as keeping pets).
Read the lease thoroughly. If you are concerned about any items or have questions, clarify them with your landlord or real estate agent. Any existing issues with the rental property should be agreed upon with your real estate agent and recorded on a rental inspection sheet before you sign a lease.
Your rental period will begin on the agreed date specified in the lease agreement.
4. Connect utility services
After signing a lease, you will officially be a tenant in the rental property. Congratulations are in order!
It is your responsibility to connect utility services such as electricity, gas, water, telephone and internet.
For more information and a list of gas, electricity and water providers, visit
5. Pay a bond
A bond is a payment made by you that acts as security for the landlord or owner against you in case you don’t meet the terms of your lease agreement. For example, if the rental property is damaged while you’re staying in the property, the landlord can withhold the bond from you to cover the cost of repairing the damage.
The cost of the bond is generally around one month to six weeks’ rent. Your bond is kept by the Residential Tenancies Bond Authority until you move out of the property. When you move out, the bond you paid will generally be refunded, less any costs incurred for cleaning or repairs that were your responsibility.
6. Complete a condition report
Before you move in, check that everything works as it should (like the oven, taps and drains, lights, heating, security systems and locks) and is in good order (like paint, floors and carpets, and glass or other window fittings).
You should note anything that needs to be fixed or replaced on the condition report, and bring it to the attention of your real estate agent or landlord, so that they are aware of it.
Visit the Consumer Affairs Victoria website for more detailed information about renting in Melbourne and Victoria.