Real Estate Agents
You can use the following websites to search for accommodation listed by real estate agents in the Newcastle area.
Leasing Properties through a Real Estate Agent
If the property is being leased through a Real Estate Agent, you should contact the agent directly to arrange an inspection of the property.
If a house is already vacant, you may be able to pick up a key to inspect the property during business hours, or arrange to meet the landlord at the property. If tenants are still in residence, you may need an appointment time to inspect. Other properties are viewed at "Open for Inspections". These are usually advertised times of about half an hour where people inspect the property as a group. These are usually held on the weekends and it is important to get the newspaper listings early to plan your day.
If you are dealing with a real estate agent, you may need to get the key from their office to look at the property. You will need to take identification and be prepared to pay the real estate agent a key deposit (usually $50 per property). The money will be refunded when you return the key to the agent. Remember to ask if there is a time limit for the return of the key.
If you decide to apply for the property, you may need to fill in an application form. You will be asked to provide details about your employment, your capacity to pay the rent, previous residence, and work and personal references. It can be helpful to attach copies of references and scholarship details (if applicable).
Holding deposits vs application deposits
The agent may also ask you for a holding deposit on the provision that they don't lease the property to someone else. This charge is illegal. However, the agent or landlord can ask for an application deposit. If your application is unsuccessful, the deposit must be returned to you in full within fourteen days of its receipt. If your application is successful, the deposit is put towards the bond or the first month's rent. If your application is successful but then you change your mind and decide not to move in, the agent can keep the deposit.