There are no multiple listing services in Australia. Subsequently, each rental agency acts independently without much cooperation or shared information between them. Obviously this means that while you are searching for your new home don't rely on just one agent. Visit several agents and check the local newspapers for private rentals to make sure you get maximum coverage. In general, the agents here do not hustle to get their clients' houses rented--they are merely property managers. Rent is normally advertised as a per week amount. A bond (refundable deposit) of one month's rent plus the first month's rent is normally due upon signature of the lease. Unlike most countries, the rental bond is held by the Australian Government for security versus the landlord or real estate agent. When you terminate the lease, you apply to the Government for the return of your deposit. The landlord/real estate agent will provide you with the appropriate paperwork at the end of your lease.
If you are going to one of the locations that are not listed, we do not have any current information concerning housing in that area. Please contact your sponsor.
An overall word of caution while you look for your home: Find a home available for the entire length of the assignment. Military members are entitled to only one move at government expense.
Air conditioning is not usually a standard feature. Insulation and double-paned windows are also scarce commodities so expect houses to be colder in the winter and hotter in the summer. Utility rates may be higher than you are accustomed.
Generally, utilities are slightly more expensive than in the States with most homes having a combination of gas and electricity. Usually most landlords provide (free-of-charge) a set amount of water with the tenant paying for use in excess of the agreed upon amount. Nominal deposits may be required for gas, electricity, and telephone service. It may also be possible to negotiate extra services--landscape service, lawn service, appliances, etc. into the lease. Again, you can generally negotiate anything--so give it a whirl. Weekly updates for housing rentals are in Wed/Sat edition of the Canberra Times newspaper and other local newspapers. The following websites provide detailed information and updates about available properties.