Renting something may look cheaper but it can cost more than buying it. If you have signed a contract you might not be able to get out of it.

If you need to buy something but don’t have the money, it might seem like a good idea to rent it. This kind of agreement can be called a rent-to-buy agreement or a rent-to-own consumer lease. When you rent something, paying small amounts over a long period of time can add up to a big amount. Sometimes you might end up paying more to rent something than you would have paid to buy it.

A business should not sign an agreement with you if they know you can’t pay. You can talk to a financial counsellor or a lawyer about your options. You can also talk to the Australian Securities and Investment Commission on 1300 300 630.


Who Can Help? (Service Providers)

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TEWLS Law Info TEWLS (Top End Women’s Legal Service)
Text based resources about this topic


Consumer leases (Mandarin)

This fact sheet tells you about renting things (consumer leases). This fact sheet is in Mandarin.  

Rent to buy

This fact sheet explains what rent-to-buy agreements are.

Renting Appliances

This web page explains how renting things works and how to decide if it’s a good option for you.

Rent-to-own consumer leases

This webpage explains rent-to-own consumer leases.

Leasing or Renting Goods

This factsheet tells you what you need to know about renting or leasing things.

Watch videos about this topic


Sorting out your money problems

This video talks about getting help to get on top of your bills. 


Furniture Schemes

This video is a news story about someone who rented something. She talks about the things she wished she knew before she started renting that thing.


Renting things for your home: how consumer leases work

This video shows you what to look for when you rent something.


Glossary: What these words mean

Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission makes sure that Australia’s financial markets are fair and transparent.


Rent is money that you pay to use something that belongs to someone else. You might rent a house, a car, a DVD, or household appliances.


A contract is an agreement between two or more people. People agree that they will do something in exchange for money or another favour (action). Contracts can be written down or spoken. For example, when you buy something at the store you are agreeing to pay for the things and they are agreeing to give it to you, so it is a contract.


The written agreement about the property that you are renting that you make with your landlord or agent. It’s signed by both of you.

A lease is also called a tenancy agreement.


A person who buys something from a shop or business. A consumer is also someone who pays for a service (like paying for a mechanic to fix a car).

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