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Laptops and weeks of free rent among incentives on offer to Brisbane renters

People looking to rent properties in Brisbane are increasingly being offered extra incentives to sign their tenancy due to a boom in the region's apartment offering.
Around 60 new apartment buildings were built in Brisbane in 2015 alone, with more following last year. As a result, the area's rental vacancy rate has risen markedly and currently stands at 4.4 per cent within five kilometres of Brisbane's central business district.
Real estate agents and buy-to-let landlords want to see these homes filled and are offering a range of incentives to renters to occupy them. Rental costs have dropped significantly - by as much as ten to 15 per cent in many cases - in order to attract tenants, while other items offered to prospective renters have included laptops, gift vouchers, TVs and iPads.
In some cases, landlords are even offering two weeks' free rent, while one was advertising the incentive of free gym membership to anyone who signed a lease for an apartment in one of the new blocks.
Speaking to ABC News, Antonia Mercorella, chief executive of the Real Estate Institute of Queensland, explained: "We've seen free laptops, rent reductions and even in some cases landlords are assisting with removal costs.
"What renters really need to do is ask the question, look around, do your research to see what is available. It won't be forever, so they should grab the opportunity while it is there."
Property experts believe that these high vacancy rates will only be a short-term issue, so tenants should take advantage of the incentives being offered while they can.
In particular, this could be a good opportunity for people coming to Australia from overseas to stay somewhere temporarily while they look for a property to invest in for the long term, picking up some extra perks along the way.
The majority of the apartments involved in these deals have never been lived in before and are equipped with luxury features, including pools, saunas and other spa facilities.

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