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Student accomodation in Australia

Australia is a popular destination for international students, thanks to its high-quality education system, friendly culture, and stunning natural surroundings. Everyone’s study abroad journey involves numerous steps, one of the most critical being able to find a suitable student accommodation in Australia. In this article we will guide you through the process of finding a room in Australia, types of student housing and insights on how to facilitate your search. 

Student accomodation in Australia

 

Types of Accommodation in Australia

Managed Student Accommodation

Managed student accommodation, also known as purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA), is a popular choice among international students. Prices can be on the higher end, but these are fully furnished apartments or studios, usually located close to university campuses and equipped with amenities like Wi-Fi, laundry facilities, and common spaces for socialising. 

Advantages

  • Proximity to the university campus.
  • All-inclusive rent (utilities and internet).
  • Access to a community of fellow students.

Disadvantages

  • Can be more expensive compared to other options.
  • Limited privacy due to shared living spaces.

Residential Colleges

Residential colleges are another on-campus housing option, providing fully furnished rooms, meals, cleaning services, and access to amenities like gyms and laundry facilities. On-campus housing is an ideal option for those who prefer proximity to their institution. Costs typically range from AU$80-250 per week. Normally, you can apply for student dorm accommodation once you get accepted into the university but be quick! Securing a spot on campus can be competitive, so apply early to increase your chances. 

Advantages

  • Proximity to the university campus.
  • All-inclusive services (meals, cleaning, utilities, and internet).
  • Access to a supportive academic and social community.

Disadvantages

  • Higher cost compared to other accommodation types.
  • Limited privacy.

Private Rentals

Private rentals involve renting a house or apartment from a landlord or real estate agent. Off-campus rentals or “shared houses” are popular among both local and international students. Students can choose to live alone or share the space with other students or professionals. This option allows for more independence and freedom as you can select your preferred location and type of housing. While this may be a more daunting choice, especially for those new to the country, there are numerous resources available to assist in the process.

Advantages

  • More independence and freedom.
  • Flexibility in choosing the location and type of accommodation.
  • Potential for lower living costs when sharing with others.

Disadvantages

  • Additional costs for utilities and internet.
  • Responsibility for maintenance and repairs.

Homestay

A homestay involves living with a local Australian family, offering a unique cultural exchange experience. This option often includes meals and cleaning services, with costs averaging AU$110-270 per week. While this arrangement may be less social as you will be living with a family instead of other students, it provides an excellent opportunity to immerse yourself in the Australian lifestyle.

Advantages

  • Cultural immersion and language practice.
  • Supportive and family-like environment.
  • Meals usually included.

Disadvantages

  • Limited independence and privacy.
  • May be located farther from the university campus.

The best flat finder platforms in Australia 

is an exclusive platform created specifically for internationals who want to secure student housing in Australia before the arrival. Here you can search, filter and browse rooms from trusted providers. Book your new place instantly and don’t worry about the bills – they are already included in the price!

Flatmatefinders.com.au is another widely used platform for finding shared houses and off-campus rentals. It provides listings for shared housing and private rental vacancies, allowing students to inspect the accommodation and make their own assessment. 

Link2 Student Living is a platform that offers off-campus rental options for students. It provides various accommodation options managed by private student accommodation providers off-campus. 

SemesterinAustralia is a platform that offers housing solutions for students studying in Australia. It provides listings for off-campus rentals and shared houses, catering to the accommodation needs of international students. 

Amber Student is a one-click platform with a significant catalogue of properties to choose from, including shared en-suites, private studios, and various single and dual occupancy rooms near major educational institutions in Australia. It offers a hassle-free, 24/7 end-to-end service and a free cancellation policy designed to assist students during the Covid-19 situation. 

Tips on Finding Accommodation in Australia

  1. Start Your Search Early: Start researching your options as soon as you receive your acceptance letter. The earlier you begin, the better your chances of finding a suitable place within your budget.
  2. Utilise Reliable Platforms: Use reputable platforms to search for accommodation. Top options for student housing Australia include Flatmates, Gumtree, and Student Housing Australia. You can also check your university’s student services for recommendations.
  3. Inspect the Property: Before signing a contract, be sure to inspect the property in person. Look for any potential issues with the property and clarify any questions regarding the lease agreement. If you can’t physically inspect the property, consider asking someone you trust to do it on your behalf.
  4. Understand Your Rights and Responsibilities: It’s crucial to be aware of your rights and responsibilities as a tenant. Familiarise yourself with local renting laws and regulations to avoid any potential pitfalls or misunderstandings.

Tips for Avoiding Scammers

Unfortunately, rental scams are a reality in the housing market. Here are some tips to help you avoid falling victim to such scams:

  1. Beware of Too-Good-to-Be-True Offers: If a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Be wary of properties advertised at significantly lower prices than similar ones in the area.
  2. Never Pay in Advance: Avoid paying rent or a deposit before you’ve viewed the property and signed a contract.
  3. Verify the Landlord’s Identity: Ensure you are dealing with the real property owner or a legitimate property management company. Ask for identification and do some online research if you have any doubts.
  4. Trust Your Instincts: If something feels off, it probably is. Trust your instincts and don’t rush into any agreement that makes you uncomfortable.

It’s also a good idea to look into the tenant rights body in your state or territory:

 

How to apply for student housing in Australia 

Preparing for Viewings

When looking for a rental property, it’s important to inspect the property in person or request a virtual tour. This allows you to assess the condition of the property, check the facilities, and get a feel for the area. Here are some tips for optimising your viewing experience:

  1. Schedule Multiple Viewings: If possible, try to view several properties in one day. This will save you time and provide a basis for comparison.
  2. Take Notes and Photos: Taking notes and photos during the viewing can help you remember important details later.
  3. Ask Questions: Don’t be afraid to ask questions about the property, the lease terms, and the local area.

Applying for Accommodation

Once you’ve found a property you like, the next step is to apply for it. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Fill Out the Application Form: The application form will ask for information about yourself, your financial situation, and your rental history. 
  2. Provide Supporting Documents: You may be asked to provide supporting documents such as proof of identity, proof of income, and references from previous landlords. When filling out applications, you will typically be required to provide information regarding your contact details, current employment situation, personal and professional references, as well as your rental history. It can be advantageous to have this information readily available prior to commencing your search, particularly if you are seeking recommendations from previous landlords in a different country. Rental opportunities can sometimes be highly competitive, depending on the location, so having a well-prepared application is crucial. Additionally, making a positive impression during an in-person viewing can greatly increase your chances of securing a rental.
  3. Pay a Holding Deposit: If your application is successful, you may be asked to pay a holding deposit. This is usually equivalent to one week’s rent and is used to secure the property while the lease is being finalised.

Finalising Your Accommodation Choice

Once your application has been accepted, there are a few more steps to take before you can move into your new home:

  1. Sign the Lease: The lease is a legally binding contract between you and the landlord. It sets out the terms and conditions of your tenancy, including the rent, the length of the tenancy, and the responsibilities of both parties.
  2. Pay the Bond and Advance Rent: In addition to the holding deposit, you will usually need to pay a bond (security deposit) and one or two weeks’ rent in advance. The bond is held as security against any damage to the property or unpaid rent.
  3. Inspect the Property: It’s important to inspect the property before you move in and note any existing damage. This is known as a condition report and can help protect you against unfair claims on your bond when you move out.

Setting Up Your New Home

Once you’ve moved into your new home, there are a few things you need to do to get settled:

  1. Connect the Utilities: If your rent does not include utilities, you will need to arrange for the electricity, gas, and water to be connected. You may also need to arrange for internet access.
  2. Buy Furniture and Household Items: If your property is not fully furnished, you may need to buy furniture and other household items. Many students choose to buy second-hand items to save money.
  3. Set Up a Bank Account: If you haven’t already done so, you should set up a bank account. This will make it easier to manage your finances and pay your rent and bills.
  4. Register with a Doctor: It’s a good idea to register with a local doctor as soon as you can. This will make it easier to get medical care if you need it.

Managing a Share House

Living in a shared house can be a great experience, but it also requires good communication and cooperation among housemates. Here are some tips for managing a share house:

  1. Set Up a Cleaning Roster: To keep the house clean and tidy, it can be helpful to set up a cleaning roster. This ensures that everyone contributes to the cleaning tasks.
  2. Share the Cost of Groceries: To save money, you might decide to share the cost of groceries and cook meals together. Just make sure everyone agrees on this arrangement.
  3. Respect Each Other’s Privacy: Even though you’re living together, it’s important to respect each other’s privacy. Try to keep noise levels down and avoid going into each other’s rooms without permission.
  4. Communicate Openly: If issues or conflicts arise, it’s important to communicate openly and honestly. This can help to resolve problems before they escalate.

Last but not least… 

Finding the right accommodation in Australia can take some time and effort, but with the right approach and resources, you can secure a comfortable and affordable place to live while studying in Australia. Whether you choose managed student accommodation, a private rental, a homestay, or even decide to buy a house, make sure to do your research, understand your rights and responsibilities, and seek advice when needed. Remember, the perfect home is out there waiting for you – all you need to do is find it!

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