First consider what type of place you want to live in and where you want to live. You can rent your own apartment, flat or house or you can share with other people.
Our friendly Student Support Officers can advise you of your accommodation options, assist you in finding suitable accommodation and provide information about the legal guidelines and regulations covering accommodation tenancy in Victoria.
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Homestay means lodging with a local family, which can be a valuable experience, as it will provide you with the added opportunity to practice your English and to experience the Australian way of life. Host families are experienced in providing hospitality to foreign students, and all homes are individually selected for their ability to meet your needs. Homestay rooms are fully furnished and include all household necessities such as bed linen, towels, etc to provide students with a comfortable, friendly home environment.
Studio Apartments for Students
Purpose built studio apartments for students offer clean, safe, secure and independent living with 24/7 on-site management staff. They are fully furnished and self contained. Recreational facilities, such as the gym, swimming pool, sauna, in-house restaurant, sitting area with TV and pool table are often available at some complexes.
Renting an Apartment, Flat or House
Renting your own apartment, flat or house means you can choose who lives with you. This is a good choice for students who prefer their independence. It also means that you may need to buy or rent all your own furniture.
The real estate agent will ask you to sign a tenancy agreement or lease contract with the owner, agreeing that you will stay for a minimum period, usually of 6 or 12 months. Prices and quality of the property may very greatly in the suburban areas, but are generally cheaper than the inner city areas.
Make certain that the accommodation is suitable for your needs and that you can afford it. Contact real estate agents close to the area in which you want to live. You will also pay a bond or security deposit equal to one month’s rent. A bond is money you pay to the landlord or real estate agent in case you don’t fulfill your responsibilities. It is refundable after you move out of the flat or house, provided you leave the property in reasonable condition and fulfill your obligations under the lease.
Sharing an Apartment, Flat or House
This type of accommodation is usually arranged after you arrive in Melbourne unless you have friends or relatives already living here. Sharing means each person usually has his or her own bedroom and shares the bathroom, kitchen and living areas with other people. Costs depend on the size of the residence and the number of people sharing. Your budget should allow for food, electricity and other bills, plus transport and other personal costs. Food costs can be shared, with everyone paying an agreed amount per week, or each person buying his or her own food (approximately $75 to $100 per week).
In most households, the cost of electricity, telephone rental and other bills are shared equally (approximately $50 per week).
Hostel accommodation is often located near tourist attractions like hotels, but is less formal, and therefore cheaper. They can be a good temporary option for students before they find a more permanent option. Hostels provide small, private, furnished rooms or dormitory rooms (shared bedrooms) with access to common areas such as the kitchen, sitting rooms, laundry, and usually a computer room with internet access.
Most hostels have a friendly community atmosphere, as the common areas provide guests with the opportunity to interact with other guests who are often travellers from all over the world. It’s a fantastic way to make new friends and to gain information about other countries and the local area. Most hostels provide activities, such as guided tours of the town, language lessons, live music, barbeques, etc. for free or for a nominal charge.
Some hostels include meals in their fees, while at others you cook for yourself. Half board includes two meals – breakfast and either a lunch or a dinner – and full board includes three meals. Guests can have their own room (private rooms) at most hostels, but is more expensive than a shared room (dormitory) with other guests. There may be other charges, such as a bond (security deposit) and appliance charges.
Gas and electricity are usually covered in the overall cost. Many hostels are privately run, and as such come under the Rooming House Act. Please note, if the student signs a lease, they are covered by the Residential Tenancies Act. Guests must be careful of their own belongs when staying in a hostel, as theft can occur. Lack of privacy may also be an issue when staying in a dormitory room.
Note: Hostel can start from $100 AUD per night for a private room, and $35 AUD for a shared room. The price must be confirmed at the time of booking.
List of websites for hostels
If you choose to rent or live in shared accommodation you should be aware of your legal rights and responsibilities. You can get most of the information you need from a booklet called ‘Renting: Your Rights and Responsibilities’. This booklet will give you information about your rights as a tenant in rental accommodation and your responsibilities, such as household maintenance and paying your rent on time. You may also be responsible for paying for the cost of the reconnection of the utilities, that is, to have gas, electricity, water and telephone turned on.
When you leave a rental property it is your responsibility to notify the electricity, telephone water and gas companies that you have left and are no longer responsible for the bills. When you move into new accommodation you need to make sure that you understand all of the papers that you sign. Do not sign anything unless you are fully aware of all terms and conditions, and you are sure you understand them clearly.