Australia Student Accommodation
Make sure to research rental prices in the area you will be living in, whilst in Australia. This will give you an idea of rental options and prices. There are many things to think of when looking for a accommodation. In Australia there is a shortage of rentals, this is making it difficult particularly for students as they do not have permanent full time employment.
Leave your options open, if the student can not organise or afford on campus or university accommodation then they will need to research permanent rental accommodation whether it be shared or not. It is best to organise as much as possible before arriving in Australia, how ever a real estate agent will not let a prospective tenant sign a tenancy agreement without seeing the property first. There are many places to research rental accommodation.
There are various websites available where agencies advertise all their listings these include, www.realestate.com.au and www.domain.com.au. Once in Australia students can look in the local newspapers, weekend newspapers on Saturdays and Sundays will have the most listings in them.
To apply for a rental property, applicants will require certain documentation. Along with the application form applicants will need to show proof of identification, proof of income in the way of a bank statement, as well as references from previous agencies. As mentioned earlier there are many types of affordable accommodation available for students.
Homestay accommodation is popular for students, here a student will stay with a government approved Australian family. A homestay is usually organised by the students educational provider. Students will need to help pay utilities, and will be required to pay a bond and deposit at the beginning of their stay to help pay for any damages which may occur. Meals are usually provided by the host family. Rent is payable to the host family and is generally between AU $110 and $270 per week.
Hostels and Guest houses are good for short term accommodation, there are many youth hostels available throughout Australia. To stay at a hostel students will need to pay AU $80 to $135 per week. Most international secondary school students will stay at an on campus boarding school. Usually paid up front by the parents in conjunction with the school fees. Here students will stay in same sex dormitories, meals and utilities are all provided. Boarding schools will cost the family between AU $8,000 and $11,000 per year. A lot of tertiary education students will look for on campus accommodation. This accommodation is located close to the university. Usually in the way of a unit, a students will be provided with some meals as well as cleaning services. On campus accommodation must be organised through the educational provider, rent for on campus accommodation will be between AU $100 to $250 per week.
Rentals and Tenancy Agreements
Many International and Australian students will go into shared accommodation. This is off campus accommodation. Here students will need to apply through a real estate agency, send in an application, pay a bond and sign a tenancy agreement. Usually there will be 3 or 4 students staying in the same house, this brings the price of rent and utilities down.
Shared Accommodation will cost a student between AU $50 and $160 per week. Once a student has found a property in an advertisement the next step is to contact the listing agency and organise to inspect the property. During the inspections the applicant can decide whether or not the property will meet their needs, if it does they can get an application form off the real estate agent. When attending an inspection dress appropriately and make a good impression.
Applicants are allowed to ask the real estate agent questions. If the applicant decides the property is good for them then the application form needs to be filled out and returned to the agency with an application fee of one week rent. If the application is denied this fee will be returned to the applicant. The real estate agent will contact all applicants letting them know if they are successful or not. If you are successful the next step will be to sign a tenancy agreement and pay the bond. The tenancy agreement is signed by three parties, the owner, tenant and agent. Here they will decide on the period of tenancy (usually 6 or 12 months, however a periodic tenancy may be chosen which has no given time frame), move in date, any maintenance which needs to be attended to, dates of inspections, changes of rent (at the end of a lease, owners are allowed to increase the rent of a property), the agreement will also state any conditions which must be met at the end of a tenancy (usually this means carpets professionally cleaned, house cleaned, yard tidy.
Receipts of services must be given to the estate agent). A bond is payable once the agreement is signed, this amounts to four weeks rent. It covers any damages which may be found at the end of a tenancy. If there are no damages made then the bond will be returned. Any maintenance issues must be raised immediately with the estate agent as this should be at the owners expenses, and should not come from the tenants bond at the end of tenancy.
Along with the tenancy agreement, the tenant will be handed a condition report. This has pictures in it and shows how the property was before the tenant moved in. This agreement will help to protect a tenant upon vacation of the property. Rent is payable usually fortnightly, it is paid in advance. If a tenant falls behind in payments they will be sent a reminder from the real estate agent. If the money still hasn't been paid after a certain amount of time the tenant could face eviction. Rent can be paid either in cash through the agency or via direct debit straight into the estate agencies bank account. Each three months the real estate agent is allowed to inspect the property, they are required to give the tenant 2 weeks written notice of any inspection. Here the agent will check that the property is being looked after and they can discuss any maintenance issues with the tenant. If the property is not in acceptable condition the real estate will return in a further 2 weeks at the tenants expense. All utilities including phone, gas and electricity must be organised and connected by the tenant. It will be at the tenants expense also.
At the end of the period of tenancy the owner and tenant can either choose to extend the lease or for the tenant to leave the property. If a tenant plans to leave the property they must give 28 days written notice to the agency. If a owner decides they do not want to extend the tenancy they will give the tenant 6 weeks notice. In this time the tenant must organise to vacate and have the property cleaned. All receipts of professional carpet cleaners and cleaning services must be returned to the estate agent with the keys. If there are any disputes between tenant, agency and owner they need to either be resolved through the agency. If there is still an unresolved problem the tenant can contact the Residential Tenancy Tribunal in their state.