I have applied for AOA as well as the Meet & Greet service, for when we arrive on the Wednesday 10th February 2010, as you probably aware that this is not guaranteed and it is advisable to book alternative accommodation as a back-up. Well I have seen short term rental for our arrival available. However I have to pay at least 50% deposit on booking , which is roughly $1500-$1800 AUD - £830 - £990 and the rest of the rent on arrival. So what I have decided is to take a big gamble and not book any alternative back up accomodation and then wait until three weeks before we arrive to find out if we gain the AOA, if we do not gain it, then I will frantically search for other short term rental for our arrival. I just dont want to pay a massive deposit and then lose it due to our AOA coming through, which we are hoping for very much.
Unless someone out there has got a 3/4 bedroom rental home, ideally with a swimming pool for rent on a much more longer lease, then I would take that up instead around our arrival in Febraury 2010.