Keep one step ahead in rental race

Tenant Advice and Advocacy Services Mackay co-ordinator Koni Tsakonas has tips to help get your foot in the door.
Tenant Advice and Advocacy Services Mackay co-ordinator Koni Tsakonas has tips to help get your foot in the door. Tony Martin

COMPETITION is tough for rentals in Moranbah, where rents have hit record prices, but there are a few things that may help get your foot in the door.

A lack of rentals means agents and landlords can be picky about their tenants, so it's best to treat an application for a property like a job interview, says Tenant Advice and Advocacy Services Mackay co-ordinator Koni Tsakonas.

Although money could be a factor it wasn't always the deciding one when it came to securing a rental, Ms Tsakonas said.

"Because there is such a demand I guess real estate agents can be very choosy and can look at how much someone is prepared to pay for a private rental," she said.

"Because there is such a limited supply (of rentals) you can have 30 people at a property to view it.

"Unfortunately, it can come down to what someone else is prepared to pay.

"But sometimes price doesn't mean everything.

"You need to treat it like a job interview when you are making an application."

Ms Tsakonas said tenants needed to be prepared and urged them to take copies of identification and pay slips to viewings so they could make an application straight away.

"Because it's so competitive you have to be on to it quick otherwise you will miss out," she said.

A story in Wednesday's Daily Mercury revealed the extent of competition for rental properties in Moranbah, where the price of some has skyrocketed past $3000 a week.

Real estate agents said rents in the mining town had doubled over the past six to 12 months, with most rentals now ranging from $1400 to $3300 a week.

Basic three-bedroom, one-bathroom homes are fetching $1800 a week but for the same price you could get a five-bedroom, five-bathroom riverside Gold Coast mansion with a pool.

Ms Tsakonas said Moranbah tenants had contacted her office to complain about excessive rent increases.

She said tenants could take the dispute to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) if an amount of rent couldn't be agreed upon - but there was a catch.

"They have to sign the lease - that's the only catch," she said. "If they don't win they are stuck paying that amount."

Topics:  costs lease mining planning prices real estate renting

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