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Common Red Flags in a Rental Property Listing


In Australia, there are certain red flags to watch out for when browsing rental property listings. It’s important to consider these factors before committing to a rental agreement and take the time to thoroughly research any potential rental property you’re interested in. After all, nobody wants to get stuck in a bad contract with their landlord.

Low Rent Rates

While low rental rates are often seen as a good thing, one common red flag is excessively low rent rates compared with other properties in the area. This could mean the landlord is desperate or hiding something, such as structural damage or a poorly maintained property. If it doesn’t quite seem right, do some more digging and find out the real story behind the low rate.

Unusually High Security Deposit

Another concerning indicator is an unusually high security deposit. While a standard amount for rental deposits is usually around one month’s rent, some landlords charge much more than that – sometimes up to three months’ rent. This could be a sign of a difficult landlord who doesn’t want to repair or maintain the property, so they can keep all of your deposit money. If you come across a listing with an unusually high security deposit, you should do some more research to make sure that there aren’t any hidden issues.

Generic Photos

It’s not uncommon for rental listings to include generic stock photos rather than images of the actual property. While this might not be a huge red flag, it’s worth investigating further. If the photos look too good to be true, the landlord may be trying to hide basic issues with the property. Ask for more photos and see if you can physically visit the property – it’s always best to see a property for yourself.

Unclear Lease Terms

Before signing a lease, you should make sure that the terms are clearly stated and legally binding. If the rental agreement is vague or incomplete, it can be a sign that your landlord may not be reputable. Be sure to read through the lease carefully and ask questions if anything is unclear. At this point, we advocate working with an estate agent and using resources that allow you to see real estate reviews.

No Contact Information

If a rental listing doesn’t include contact information or other details about the landlord, it might be a scam or an attempt to rent out a property that the owner doesn’t actually own. This is especially true if you’re looking to rent in a city you don’t live in; if the property seems too good to be true or is priced way below market value, be careful. Take the time to research contact information for the area so you can be sure you’re dealing with a legitimate owner.

No Visiting Options

Nobody should be expected to rent an apartment without seeing it first. If a landlord or real estate agent refuses to show you the property in person or provide photos, that could be an indication of something shady. Make sure you take the time to visit the property and check it out yourself before signing a lease.

No Background Checks

Although they’re frustrating to complete, background checks are essential to ensure that the tenant is reliable and trustworthy. If a landlord doesn’t require any kind of credit check or rental history verification, that’s a major red flag.

If you’re in any doubt about whether the landlord is trustworthy, you should do your own background check on them before signing a lease (just as they will normally do on you!).

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