I thought I'd write a little piece on renting a place in Kalgoorlie because we found the experience confusing with many differences from the eastern states of Australia.
First thing to be aware of if you are thinking of making the move is that you are not allowed to put through an application for a rental over the internet. This we found unfortunate as we would have like to line up a place to move into before moving over. You are not allowed because there is a rule that you must have pysically sighted the property. We found that real estates would not deal with us via email either.
A thing to note is that motels, hotels and caravan parks need to be booked in advanced they are mostly full year round and expensive the caravan park only took weekly bookings not by the day and cost $600 per week. The renatal vacancy rate is very low here less than 1% (most cities fluxuate between 20%~16%) which essentially means there are not enough renal properties to accomodate the population. As this is a mining town a vast majority of the people here are not from here and are only here tempararily for a few years. This makes the rental market one of the most competetive in the nation.
Being such a highly competitive market seems to make a big difference in the way the real estate agents work. The whole vibe is different- its hard to discribe I'll start by saying that the level of cusotmer service is poor. I guess it really is true when they dont need your business!
Be aware that you need to have a weeks rent to put as a down payment with every application you submit. All the real estates that we encountered wont let you put through mulitple applications at a time. The applicaton form however will let you put 1st and 2nd preferences. This first weeks rent is not a bond you will have to pay the usual bond of one months rent when you are successful. You need to pay in cash and if you are unsuccessful they will move it to the next application that you submit. You may need to pay the difference in balance. If you are successful this is taken as your first week rent paid. If you want your money back they will write you a cheque, which is very annoying because you need to wait for it clear back into your account. We had the added step of needing to post a cheque on to our own banks in another state as they dont have a branch in Kalgoorlie.
When you attend an inspection (they will never give you keys to look at a place yourself or show you a place outside these inspection times) there will be many people that come through- so its a good idea to set yourself above the pack and present yourself well look neat and tidy. Chat to the real estate agent make a lasting impression. Remember she might only submit her top three (or less) candidates to the land lord for approval. They will look more kindly on you if you dont smoke and dont have pets (I'm not saying to lie....but we did).
Rent here can be paid weekly which was a surprise to me as I have never known a real estate or land lord to accept less than a month at a time. Unfortunatly you have to pay in cash they do not have eftpos or bpay facilities.
Also they have many more inspections than in my past renting experience, I have even lived in places for years and not had one. We have had 2 in 5 months so far and they are very very thorough and tough.