On the application we had to list work and personnel references. I know that they followed up on Gavin's work reference. We also have never rented and we put on the application that we owned and still own (well have a mortgage!!) our house in the UK.
The rental process is very different from Uk. For a start you can only view properties via home opens and they are generally on week days. I was unable to go as Jack was poorly so Gavin went and he said there were a number of other people looking around. He asked if i could go and view it and they said no only on home opens and the time was up. He picked up an application anyway and on his feedback and because there wasn't anything else around at the time we applied for it. He's worried i might not like it but its only for 6 months initially.
To lodge the application you need to give a weeks rent in cash ($410) and if we were unsuccesfull we would of got that back but if we were offered the place and declined then we would forfeit the cash. Its very much in the favour of landlord and agent. Because Gavin had secured a job so quickly we were lucky. The landlord and agent choose the best candidate. Don't worry though nobody i have spoke to have had problems. The system is different in other areas. In Butler you don't have to put down cash deposits.