The Mind-Boggling Rent Prices and Practices of Australia

So, I’m in Sydney now.

After arriving in Australia without much of a plan, and certainly not a job or a home, I decided to apply to every trading firm in Australia and found a job working in Sydney!

I started my adventure down under in Melbourne and I’ve gathered that there is quite the rivalry between Australia’s 2 biggest cities. When I told my new friends in Melbourne I’d being moving to Sydney, they said I’d hate it and it’s the worst place they’ve ever seen. Also, that its people are fake and smelly. After more comments on the people of Sydney they also informed me that it was wicked expensive.

I was worried when they told me that; I already found Melbourne rents expensive to begin with, but I quickly put those fears to rest by searching for some places near the beach in Sydney, finding that they only costed about $50 more… per week.

Yes, that is how Australians charge rent. By the week.

Initially, to a vagabond like me, that sounded amazing and perfect.

“Great, I’ll take the place for the week and we will see how it goes.”

“Um, I’m afraid not mate, the minimum lease is 6 months.”

“What do you mean, it says right here, rent by the week.”

“Yea, that’s what you pay by the week.”

“Perfect, so 1 week then, please.”

“Mate, it’s 6 months minimum!”

Yes, strangely this is how it works. A weekly price, but a long-term contract… but wait! it gets worse…

“Ok, 6 months then, at $300 per week!”

“Great, you can pay the rent in-full on the 1st each month!”

Dumbfounded, I signed the lease and walked away, just happy to escape my Corona-Virus-ridden-hell-hole of a place that I had been renting (by the actual week) while I was looking for a more suitable residence. I’m not even joking about the virus either sadly, this place was disgusting. It had 3 bedrooms and 1 sheet room which took up the living room and my room mates were sick for the ENTIRE month that I was living there. I bleached everything daily.

But I digress…

Moving in (and bleaching) my new place, I sent the rent on the 1st only to receive a text a day later:

“Sorry, it seems that your rent is a bit short.”

“Pardon?”

“Yes, a bit short, you only sent $1200, it’s actually $1307.15. I’ll need you to send that extra bit at your next possible convenience.”

“1307.15?”

“Correct! The rent is by the week and months are not a tidy 4 weeks now are they??”

He/she (they’re a power landlord couple) proceeded to breakdown the math on how everything is calculated and offered the several options I had for paying my weekly rent on a monthly timetable for my 6-month lease.

“Ummm, K. I’ll just send that last bit over and be sure to send $1307.15 next month, to pay for just over 4 weeks, and continue with the last 5 months of this lease…”

Perplexed, and slightly upset after thinking my original rent was expensive, I pondered why it is that Aussies choose to quote rent by the week… and the light bulb suddenly went on!

Saying “It’s $300 per week,” sounds much better than “It will cost you one-thousand-three hundred-and-seven-dollars… and 15-cents! to rent a small room in a sharehouse with 7 other people… and laundry costs extra.”

I won’t even mention that this absurd rent price does not include maid service…

Yes, yes, it truly must all be about breaking people’s bankruptcies into tiny bite-sized morsels for them to digest easier.

Mystery solved.

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