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New to Renting

Are you looking to rent for the first time or unfamiliar with how renting privately works? Let us take you through the process and what you need to consider.


Work out your budget

Before deciding to move into a rental, it's important to work out what you can afford.

Creating a budget can help you to work out what your current living expenses are and how much money you have left over to put towards your rent.

Consider the following ongoing and once-off costs in your calculations.




Rental bond


Connection to services (e.g. internet, gas, electricity)


Moving costs

Contents insurance

Furniture and homewares

If you don’t have much left over to pay for rent after taking care of your current living expenses, you may need to consider living in a smaller house or unit or sharing a house with other people.

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Managing on a low income

Advice to help you become more financially secure and track what's coming in and what's going out.

How to do a budget

Easy steps to plan and manage how you spend your money including a budget planner spreadsheet.

Rental bond

Many property managers will require you to pay a rental bond plus rent in advance before you move in, so you will need to factor this into your budgeting.

How much rental bond will I have to pay?

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Contents insurance

While it is the landlord’s responsibility to pay for building insurance, you will need to have your own contents insurance to cover loss and damage to the personal belongings you keep at your rental home. Some insurance companies offer contents insurance specifically for tenants, so it is a good idea to shop around to ensure you have the best coverage.

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Choosing a rental home

To find homes available for rent you can search websites such as realestate.com.au and domain.com.au, check newspapers and speak to real estate agencies with an office in the area you wish to rent.

There are several things to consider when finding a place to rent.

  • location – are you close to transport and shops?
  • inclusions – does the property include heating, cooling, internet connection?
  • size – will you and your furniture fit comfortably?
  • garden or yard – can you look after a large garden?
  • neighbours – are you close to a noisy bar or restaurant?
  • parking – is there sufficient and secure parking?
  • pets – does the landlord of this property allow you to have pets?

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Accommodation types and rental arrangements

Depending on your lifestyle and what you can afford, there are different types of rental accommodation available.

If your priority is cost effectiveness you may choose to reside in a share house or rooming house. However, if you value a community lifestyle you may enjoy living in a residential park (or caravan park).

There are also different types of rental arrangements to suit your situation, including:

  • renting a home as a head tenant (the person whose name is on the lease)
  • sub-letting a room from an existing tenant 
  • living in accommodation specifically set up for students.

The Renting section on the sa.gov.au website will give you a great overview of, and more information about, the different types of rental accommodation you can choose from.

Private Rental Assistance

You may be eligible for help from Housing SA to pay bond and rent for:

  • privately rented accommodation
  • residential parks
  • boarding houses and shelters
  • community housing
  • no premium retirement villages.

Housing SA bonds are bond guarantees that are lodged with Consumer and Business Services (CBS).

Once you've worked out your budget and reviewed your rental options, learn about the process of registering your interest in and applying for a rental.

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