Let’s be honest, renting a home can be challenging, especially if it is the first time in your life doing so. Relocating to a new area, and looking for a rental property, can be also daunting. As a real estate agent in Townsville, we have created this page to help you rent smarter.

We hope this information will give you confidence and knowledge about the renting process. Remember, if you have further questions, please contact our real estate agent office in Townsville. We will be pleased to assist.

Dealing with first time renting troubles

As a first time renter, you may not have the rental history to support your reliability as a tenant. Here at John Gribbin Realty our customers include landlords who are willing to let out their properties to first time renters, provided they have the appropriate documents to support their application.

Where do you want to live?

Things to consider when deciding where you want to live are; where you study or work, proximity to transport, location from schools and school zones.

What are you looking for in the property?

Make a list of important criteria for choosing the property – the conveniences you want, the area, the space available, whether you want it furnished or unfurnished, type of property, features, cooling, etc. This will make selecting a property stress-free.

How much can you afford?

As a rule of thumb, housing is usually considered affordable if it costs less than 30 percent of gross household income. It is essential to consider this when looking at properties as we have duty of care to the owner we are unable to exceed this amount.

For example; if the total household income per week is $750.00 than your affordability will be $750.00 x 30% = $225.00 per week.

Check the property before you apply

Try to inspect the property rather than taking it sight unseen. Most real estate agents will insist that you inspect the property before submitting your application. This way you can get a feel for the area, know the size of the property and even measure up for furniture before applying and signing the lease.

Applying for a property

You will be required to provide our agency with 100 points of Identification when applying for a property.

Identification accepted is identified below:

  • Driver’s License (40)
  • Proof of Age Card (40)
  • Passport (40)
  • Birth Certificate (30)
  • Current Wage Advice (30)
  • Previous Tenancy Reference (20) if applicable
  • Previous two rent receipts or rental ledger (20) if applicable
  • Motor Vehicle Registration (10)
  • Bank Statement (10)
  • Telephone Account (10)
  • Electricity Account (10)
  • Gas Account (10)

We accept one form of Photo I.D. only.

If approved for a property make sure you read the lease agreement in full and ask questions if there is something you do not understand. A residential tenancy agreement is a legal contract between you, as a tenant, and your landlord.


Once approved for a property you are required to sign your general tenancy agreement (lease) and pay a minimum of one week’s rent as a holding deposit. A second weeks rent is also payable on or before your lease start date.


Bond is equivalent to 4 weeks rent and is payable on or before your lease start date. If you are applying for a bond loan through The Department of Housing and Public Works. You will also need to consider the amount of time it takes to have your bond loan processed and approved when deciding on your lease start date. For more information visit https://www.blarga.communities.qld.gov.au/Home.as…


Once a lease start date is confirmed you will need to contact Ergon Energy on 13 10 46 (Open 7.00am – 6.30pm Monday to Friday).

Phone Line/ Internet

If you wish to have a phone line/ internet installed at the property it will be at your cost. You will need to contact your phone provider and arrange a date and time for this to take place. If you already have a plan in place, make sure you contact your provider to have your account connections changed to the new property.

Move in day

You will receive all keys, remotes (if applicable), a copy of your lease agreement, special conditions, a guide to renting in Queensland and your Entry condition Report.

The Entry condition report – general tenancies (Form 1a) records the condition of the premises at the start of the tenancy.

  • After completing and signing the form, the tenants must return the completed entry condition report to the agent or manager within 3 days.
  • The agent/manager then returns a copy of the signed and completed report to the tenant within 14 days.
  • The Entry condition report will be a vital tool in getting a bond refunded at the end of the tenancy.
  • Extra pages should be added if there is not enough room on the report.

Photographs and video can support what is written on the form.