house rent

Understanding real estate ads

by Chris Lang on February 28, 2012
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Not very long ago, reading property listings of houses advertised for sale / for rent to me felt like reading in a different language. Property ads, especially the ones in newspapers, have so many abbreviations – no wonder a person new to real estate (or new to Australia) needs a dictionary to understand them. Some […]

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A Step-by-step Guide to Finding a Rental Home Quickly and Easily (Part 3)

by Chris Lang on October 28, 2011
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Today you are getting the final steps (7 to 11) of my system to find a rental home with no hassle. If you’ve missed the beginning, steps 1 – 3 are here, and steps 4 – 6 are here. Step 7. Organize your information. To be efficient in your search for a rental house you […]

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A Step-by-step Guide to Finding a Rental Home Quickly and Easily (Part 2)

by Chris Lang on October 24, 2011
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Today we are moving on to the next steps of my system to find a rental home with no hassle. Steps 1 to 3 are here. Step 4. Take stock of current rental listings. This is my own term that you probably won’t find anywhere else. When I say “take stock of current rental listings” […]

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A Step-by-step Guide to Finding a Rental Home Quickly and Easily (Part 1)

by Chris Lang on October 19, 2011
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Did you know that on average a person spends 6 weeks to find a rental home? Seems like a very long time, doesn’t it. Just think – 6 weeks of looking, searching the internet, considering different properties, going to inspections, applying, being turned down, etc. Yes, that IS a lot of hassle. But it doesn’t […]

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How to rent a unit that you will enjoy living in

by Chris Lang on January 22, 2011
How to rent a unit that you will enjoy living in

The reasons why people would rent a unit and not a house are numerous. Some don’t need a lot of room and don’t want to rent a house for that reason, some are looking to save on rent, some like the low maintenance garden better than mowing the lawn every other weekend, etc. In many […]

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Subletting A Spare Room In Your House

by Chris Lang on January 20, 2011
Subletting A Spare Room In Your House

Subletting one or more of your spare rooms is an excellent way to bring in extra income. However, before you start running advertisements you need to consider all the potential risks and benefits of letting a room. The last thing that you want to do is wind up in a sticky situation with a tenant […]

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Using your rental history to get a home loan

by Chris Lang on January 7, 2011
Using your rental history to get a home loan

If you’ve ever applied for a home loan, you know that the lender always requires evidence of genuine savings. Which means that people, who are unable to save, often will be turned down. The turning down part is not limited to just the big spenders or shopaholics, but includes everyday folk struggling to make the […]

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The easiest way to rent your first home

by Chris Lang on September 21, 2010
The easiest way to rent your first home

Almost always finding your first rental house is the hardest. Whether you are moving out of your parents’ place or have just arrived in Australia from overseas, the absence of rental history makes things tougher. Recently I’ve had a situation on my hands that helped me find a solution to this problem. A close relative […]

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Renters still finding it tough to find a place

by Chris Lang on August 28, 2010
Renters still finding it tough to find a place

Potential renters in Australia are still finding it tough to find a rental property a recent survey has found. The survey conducted by, gathered the thoughts and feelings of 1400 people who had either recently found a rental property or were still in the process of looking for one. Alarmingly when asked how long […]

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Property and money: 20 tips any married woman must read (part 2).

by Chris Lang on October 29, 2009
Property and money: 20 tips any married woman must read (part 2).

Angry coupleIf you’ve just stumbled upon Homeiown, let me fill you in: a couple of days ago I posted my new friend’s tips on managing money and especially property in a marriage (or any de-facto relationship, for that matter). Now it’s time for the second part of Rachel’s tips – what to do when there’s trouble in a marriage.

Life Tips in a failing Marriage

9. If you gave up your job to rear babies years ago, now is the time to put as much cash into your nest egg as possible, and assume the worst is going to happen. If it doesn’t, then that is a bonus.

10. Keep a diary, they make Affidavits very easy.

11. Find a solicitor who has a lot of experience in Family Law. The best way to start is to ask at your local Magistrates Court. Make an appointment with the Chamber Registrar and ask his/her for advice on who to choose. They have years of experience to draw on and will know far more about your situation than you realise merely from the fact that you are there. If you are far too nervous to do this, get in touch with the Women’s Domestic Violence Court Assistance Scheme (WDVCAS). (Even if domestic violence is not present in your relationship, this wonderful group of volunteers can supply you with more information than you will ever need). .

12. NEVER listen to what I call ‘pub talk’. Legal advice from friends and relatives may lift your spirits, but it may not always be the law. ALWAYS stay within in the boundaries of the law in everything you do. If you are unsure of anything, no matter how small you may think it is, run it by your solicitor first.

13. Try to stay in the family home for as long as possible. If you have to, move into a spare room and put a keyed lock on the door. Your partner may try to make this as unbearable for you as possible. It is important that you ignore them. Ear plugs help! Draw the line in the sand and if your partner becomes abusive in any way, call the Police and ask for an AVO (Apprehended Violence Order).

14. GET YOUR PROPERTY SETTLEMENT STARTED ASAP. This can take years in some circumstances but can be achieved in 12 – 18 months. Whatever happens, NEVER settle for less because your partner is harassing you to do so. At this point your partner may try to cut off your finances to force you into an early settlement. This is why you will need a nest egg.

15. Go to Centrelink and explain your circumstances. Take with you all the documentation you can get your hands on i.e., birth certificates, marriage certificates, bank account statements, tax returns, medicare cards etc. They will even give you counselling if you want it.


17. Start looking for a job. Mission Australia is fantastic and will help you organise a CV and even cover new work wear.

18. The Child Support Agency can do nothing if your ex quits his job or moves overseas. You have to be proactive with the CSA, as they do not automatically chase payers unless you ask them to. Treat any CSA payments as a bonus and NEVER bank on them.

19. You may have to live with rellies after settlement, or even rent, but try and buy a new property as soon as you can after settlement. You’ll be able to cut a good deal as you’ll be a cash buyer. Be prepared to down-size and/or move out of area – a townhouse is perfect if you have children.

20. Make a new Will.

Take the reins of your life and move forward . . . onwards and upwards!!!!

And now, my dear readers, I’d love to hear from you – what tips do you have on managing property in a failing marriage?

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Things estate agents can’t get away with

by Chris Lang on August 29, 2009
Things estate agents can't get away with

Real Estate Agents

I don’t know about you, but most of the estate agents I’ve seen looked intimidatingly authoritative. As a direct consequence of this appearance, when they speak – you listen, when they demand – you sign, when they say “jump”, you ask “how high?”.

But there are certain things even Estate Agents can’t get away with :)


They can’t raise your bond, even though they have raised the rent. If your rent has been increased and you’re paying more than $350 per week, it doesn’t mean that your bond will be “topped up” and you won’t have to pay an additional bond. If they try to pull that on you, contact Consumer Affairs of Victoria (or your respective organization in another state).


They can’t neglect checking references or not verify the information on tenant’s applications. They also can’t choose a tenant without your approval. If they do, this is a breach of property management agreement you’ve signed.

If they don’t have an “authority to manage” – a signed document which makes them your appointed Property Managers – they can’t claim or charge you any commissions or expenses.

Home buyers

If you’ve made an offer on a house, they can’t call you and say “Congratulations, the house is yours!”, and the next day call you with “Sorry, the vendors change their minds the last moment”. It is illegal for agent to mislead you regarding the status of your offer and in case you incur expenses because of such incident, you have a case.

One example of such misleading was John (not his real name). He submitted an offer on a house, subject to financing, and was notified by the estate agent that his offer was accepted. John was excited and contacted his lender immediately to arrange for property valuation – a standard procedure. What he didn’t know was that on the same day 2 offers were submitted to the vendor, his and another person’s, and in the end the vendor signed the other purchaser’s offer. John filed a complaint and the agent, with his tail between the legs, refunded the valuation fee John had to pay.

Do you have a story of your own to share about what estate agents can and can not do?

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