Student Accommodation in Australia
- Types of student accommodation
- Tips for choosing accommodation
- Rental accommodation
- Know your rights
- List of available accommodations
1. Types of student accommodation
- On-Campus housing
Another term for on-campus housing is the dormitory, which means that you will live together with other students in the university’s accommodation. Nowadays, many universities have developed a range of different residential options on-campus for the student to choose from. The common option is a private apartment with shared kitchens, bathrooms, and lounges.
One of the main benefits of living on campus is being just a short walk away from your classes, together with easy access to university services and facilities. Usually, bills are covered so you don’t have to worry about paying the bills on time. However, some dormitories have strict policies that may limit you from gathering friends or organizing a home party. And the fees may vary drastically from University to University,
- Off-Campus hostel
Hostel and guest house accommodation options happen to be the hot choice for newcomers, first-year students, and those who exchange to Australia just for a short-term.
Living in a hostel is a cheaper option for students. It is more flexible in term of location or
One pitfall of the hostel is that you will have to share all amenities such as bathrooms and kitchen with other people.
Homestay is when you live with a local family in their home. It usually includes a furnished room and meals, and access to cooking and laundry facilities. Bathroom, living, and dining areas are shared spaces. A homestay is a good choice for international students who wish to learn and imbibe Australian culture.
One disadvantage of homestay is privacy. As you live with a family, you may feel it uncomfortable with calling friends over or partying at home.
If you look for living independently, you can rent or ‘lease’ a property by yourself or with friends. Many options like share-house, private apartment, studio, … for you to choose.
However, rental accommodation can be expensive and complex since you are responsible for organizing the tenancy, connection to utilities, depositing bonds, paying monthly rent and ongoing bills. Moreover, you may be bound to a fixed-term contract which is usually from six months to one year term.
- International house
2. Tips for choosing accommodation
- Distance from your place and access to reliable public transport?
- Is the place comfortable and quiet to sleep and study?
- Is the apartment furnished or unfurnished?
- Level of security
3. Rental accommodation
If you decide to rent accommodation, you can follow this guide to help you with what you need to do.
4. Know your rights
- Lease agreement
The lease agreement is a legal contract between tenants and landlords. It is very important that you understand the content of the agreement as it can be very difficult to end your tenancy before the lease end date.
A bond is a payment made at the start of your lease as a security deposit, in case of property damage, and is usually equal to a month’s rent. You and the accommodation provider or agent must complete a bond lodgment form from the Residential Tenancy Bond Authority (RTBA). This form must be lodged by your accommodation provider, with your bond money within 10 business days, for which you’ll receive official confirmation from the RTBA in the mail.
- Condition report
The condition report is important because it can be used as evidence if there is a dispute about who should pay for cleaning or damage, particularly at the end of a tenancy.
- Repairs and maintenance
All repairs are the landlord or accommodation provider’s responsibility, but if the tenant or resident caused the damage, the landlord or provider can ask them to arrange or pay for repairs.
- Ending a lease
You can end your tenancy agreement during the fixed term for certain legally specified reasons:
- Undue hardship
- The premises become uninhabitable
- Breach (or repeated breach) of an agreement by the landlord
If you are not eligible for the legally specified reasons, you can consider:
- Transferring your tenancy to someone else
- Breaking your tenancy agreement (you may have to pay the break fee)
- Need more advice or help