Monday, December 16, 2013

How to find temporary housing in Perth

Let me start with the brutal disclaimer.  In the entire process of starting our expat lives in Perth the process of finding temporary accomodation while we waited for our furniture to arrive was the most hair pulling, frustrating, non response getting goofy situation we encountered.  Ok that's now been said so here goes... paint the picture
I'm sitting 9,595 Miles or 15,442 kilometers from Perth on the 1st of May (2012) and I have the following requirements
- A three bedroom appartment 
- Somewhere central with access to public transportation
- Clean
- Safe-ish neighbourhood
- Required for approximately 3 months
- Price tba - let's figure out what our options are
- Move in approx 6 weeks from today

Sitting in Perth is my "advocate" who is going to help me find this hopefully better than mediocre place and make my life easy.

First e-mail comes:  3 different options....all fit the bill....none particularly appealing but lets pick one and go.  Selection made.

Second e-mail comes:  Sorry that property has been taken.  Can you select another from the list?  Sure thing...we'll take property #2 and if not property #3.

Third e-mail comes:  "Sorry those are gone too."

This process continues for a period of time (at all times from the same agency) until I say   "Can you please call and find out what is actually available and then give me the list."

Another e-mail comes:  "Yep, sorry they have no availability in 2 or 3 bedroom apartments currently."

At this point Angela and I decide to start "helping".  We comb the internet for services dedicated to short stay appartments.  We also take a look at rentals on 

We send countless e-mails and call countless agencies.  We find out quickly that furnished properties on as a general rule will not rent for time periods less than 6 months.  Many agencies will not return our calls and or e-mails.  Some agencies do respond but cannot guarantee that they will have availability for the dates we require.

I move to vacation rental site and start sending requests.

16 days and probably 150 emails after we start the process I get an e-mail from a guy named Steve saying "The appartment is available during the days of your request"

We did it....we found a lovely albeit small 2 bedroom, 2 bath apartment in West Perth at the gobbstoping price of 1708 Australian per week.  This would end up being our home for three months and turned out to be a great location to learn the city from.

"Come on Owen....Let's celebrate!"

What we learned:
- Time is your friend (or in our case your enemy) Book as early as you know you need the space.  Don't wait.
- There are three main websites I suggest:  Actually a vacation rental site but many properties have longer term rates  BUT I suggest you call these guys.  Their website is not updated regularly.   These guys were the most responsive but didn't have availability.
-  will be your friend when looking for longer term rentals 6 months or greater but ended up just wasting our time on this search.  Many rental agencies were fairly straight in telling us as much.
- If you are not bringing are in a much better situation as you can go directly to look for a long term furnished accommodation.  I would suggest doing this in person and if you have kids, deciding on a school first.
- Short term furniture rental is an option.  If you know where you want to live and find a long term rental of your liking you can rent furniture quite easily in Perth while you wait for yours to arrive.
- Hotel style serviced appartments do exist....BUT....they made our appartment look cheap.  For this reason we didn't spend much time looking at this option. 

***  This process occurred during a very busy time in Perth and it is my belief that the market has softened slightly since that time.  I do believe if someone tried to do the exact same process today the results would be quicker and probably end with a property closer to what was requested.

Have you gone through this?  What was your experience like?


  1. Hallo! Everytime I go back to your blog it is really helpfull....I guess I will print it out as the best guide for expat to Perth ;)
    Maybe we found a 3 weeks apt in West Perth as was quite hard as you said but prices have dropped a bit. Thanks for your info.

    1. Hi Gigio...
      Sorry for the slow response...we took a much needed vacation which I hope to write about shortly.
      West Perth is a great starting place....let me know if I can help further...I'm very excited for you and your family.

    2. Dear Mike, thanks for your reply. We are getting a bit crazy with the removal! My husband and I will be more than happy to meet you and your family once we will be in Perth. Please let me know how we can contact you. Thanks