Finding a new home can be challenging, but 2020 has added a new dimension to the rental property search. If you need to move home during COVID-19, here are some tips to make life easier.

Search for rental properties online

The internet has a wealth of information about properties across Australia. Even if you’re used to using online property websites like rent.com.au to search for rentals, now is a good time to put your Google-fu to the task.

Property listings hold a lot of information about individual rental properties. Read them carefully to find out as much as you can about the property you like before you request to see the home in person.

Look for keywords in the advertisement which might be applicable to your situation. Things like ‘pets allowed,’ or ‘off-street parking’ could be helpful, depending on where you want to move. Are there any other must-have features you need? If this information isn’t specified in the listing, ask the property manager/landlord for extra details before you pursue the property further. It will save you a lot of time (and potential disappointment) down the track.

Rent.com.au’s lifestyle features and suburb reviews data will also help you get a feel for the neighbourhood around the rental you want.

Have tenancy questions you want answered? Ask the Rent.com.au Community

I can’t view rental properties in person. What can I do?

Lockdowns and movement restrictions in some areas around Australia have made life a little complicated. This is especially tricky when you want to show up in person for a rental viewing.

Most real estate agencies require you to show up to a property in person before you can submit an application. But COVID-19 has changed the way this works across Australia.

If you cannot make it to an inspection because you’re self-isolating or you cannot cross a state border, see if you can ask a friend or relative to inspect for you. It’s also worth asking the property manager if they can conduct a virtual inspection of the property, or if they have a video tour available. This feature has become more commonplace since COVID-19 restrictions and lockdowns began.

No matter the situation, communicate with the property manager/landlord and find out the best way to inspect a property.

Live in Victoria? New leases can still begin during Victoria’s Stage 4 restrictions, however, you cannot inspect a property one-on-one – you must do so online. If you’re accepted for the property, all paperwork for your lease must also be done online. If you rent during Stage 4, you can implement a special clause into your lease agreement that specifies your inspection was done online before you moved in.

You might also like:
- COVID-19 rental relief: Protections for Victorian tenants extended
- How do I apply for the $3,000 Rental Relief Grant?

- How do I qualify and apply for the land tax discount in Victoria?

Have your rental application ready to go

Once you’ve found a place you love and you’re keen to move into, ensure you have your rental application prepared and ready to go. It’s a good idea to have your important documents that show your ID, rental history and financial details available. This will mean you can apply for the rental property as soon as you’re able, and can improve your chances of success.

Can a removalist to help me move in Victoria?

You can use a removalist to help when moving under Stage 4 restrictions, but the curfew hours apply. Make sure you take extra steps to stay safe, including wearing a face covering, maintaining physical distancing of 1.5 metres from other people whenever possible, and practising good hygiene

You can only help someone in another household move if they need care and support due to age, infirmity, disability or because of their health.

Don’t forget your mask if you leave home

From 11:59pm on Sunday, 2 August 2020, all Victorians must wear a face mask covering when they leave home, no matter where they live. This change follows increasing evidence that wearing a face covering helps prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Lauren Vardy
Content Manager at | Website

Lauren Vardy is author behind the Rent.com.au Blog, a site built to help renters find a home and navigate their renting journey. She is the Content Manager at Rent.com.au. Outside of work, she dabbles in all things health, fitness and houseplants.