Starting a new life in Australia, part 2

by Chris Lang on February 14, 2009

Woman sitting on the floor

In the previous post about my new life in Australia I didn’t have a chance to tell you about renting my first house here.

Here is what happened: being an Internet junky and spending a lot of time searching for vacant rentals online I expected to find the suitable house that way, but as I said, life is full of surprises. All the properties I rang to ask about were already taken or not willing to accept pets (and I was about to get my dog released from quarantine), so the search had to go on.

One day I was going through ads in the local newspaper and saw a couple houses advertised for rent. There was one particular house that “jumped at me” because it was only a 6 month lease (normally the houses are let for a year). I called the agent, he said that the landlord didn’t mind pets, then we met and he drove us to inspect the house. It was a big, nice looking house with shiny polished floorboards and the rent was sensible.

Renting for only 6 months also made sense: on one hand we wanted to get out of the tiny hotel room, on the other we didn’t want to commit to a year-long lease in that area. The landlord had difficulty finding a tenant for only 6 months because most people don’t like the idea of moving twice a year and once we said: “we’ll take it”, the agent looked very happy.

It sure wasn’t the house of my dreams. The area wasn’t the safest or the friendliest. The street outside our windows was very busy and the noise never stopped, day or night. It was very hot in summer and freezing when the temperature was dropping. Still, the location was close to the tram, the train station, the shops, the market, and that was important. You have to start somewhere.

Another reason why I think we were lucky to find that house is that all the estate agencies expect to see a renting history. They expect references from the previous renting agency, referees to verify that you’re of good character, pay slips to see that you’re earning a stable income, bills with previous address to make sure you’re not homeless and so on.

We had none. A couple in their thirties, who have been 2 weeks in the country, don’t have even a debit card yet (because it’s still being processed), no mobile phone, no car, no job, nothing. The only thing we had was a statement from the bank with the amount we transferred into our account and lucky for us it was enough to convince our desperate landlord that we can afford the rent.

I will always remember the day we moved, because moving home has never been easier. I don’t think there are many people who can move home in a taxi 🙂 All we had to do was transporting two suitcases and that was it, for better or worse. Initially we had no bed to sleep in (or even a chair to sit on), and the first couple of nights were spent on the floor. We were sleeping on a pile of clothes and towels. I don’t know which part was worse, sleeping on the floor or being stuck with a dial up Internet before Telstra got around to connecting our landline and broadband. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have one Spartan bone in me and am used to comfortable living – but sometimes circumstances are just getting a little out of hand.

I kept on looking for a job, sending resumes and going to interviews. Three weeks in Australia and I found myself an employer. Again, it wasn’t easy because I couldn’t provide referees in the country and all my references were from overseas, but I found a company that searched for someone with my exact qualifications and experience, and after 3 interviews and a phone call to my previous boss I was hired!

To be continued – do come back for the rest of my story, or subscribe and get it to your email.

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sobia March 27, 2016 at 9:17 am

wish us luck

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