Whether you’re moving out of home or arriving in Sydney from abroad, renting can be a little daunting at first. If you’re planning to live off campus, follow these tips to improve your house-hunting skills.
1. Work out what you can afford
Rent will only be one of your expenses but don’t forget gas, electricity, Internet and furniture, as many properties come unfurnished. You’ll also need to pay a bond, which is normally the equivalent of four weeks rent. If your rental isn’t near the university, figure out how much it will cost to travel there over the year.
2. Attend a workshop
At the beginning of each semester, the University run house hunting workshops for students. Find out when the next one is being will be held by contacting Student Accommodation Services.
3. Get in quick
Accommodation on campus and in surrounding suburbs is extremely popular and can be booked up fast – especially at the start of semester. Start looking at least two to three months before you want to move in. You need time to check a few places before making a decision.
4. Think outside the box
In addition to the usual flat-share in a privately-owned apartment or house, why not investigate some of the other low-cost accommodation options near campus.
Purpose-built student apartments are a great option if you’re looking to explore Sydney independently, but want to stay close to a student community. Many offer fantastic city views, and quiet places for group work and solo study. Start by checking out:
Student boarding houses are also very common around the inner west of Sydney, offering a similar collegiate experience to living on campus. Most are run by a church or humanitarian group. What’s included in your rent will vary from one place to another. Check out:
5. Don't be afraid to ask questions
Write a list of questions and ask the landlord or property manager. Does the rental include utilities or internet access? Are you allowed to have guests? What facilities are shared? (eg, laundry). What about pets, parking, bicycle lockup?
6. Know your legal rights as a tenant
Check out these resources:
7. Look before you pay
Make sure you thoroughly inspect any property before paying a deposit or signing a contract. Never pay money through a funds transfer to someone you don’t know.
To view contact information for listings you will first need to register. As part of the registration process you will also need to upload supporting documents that you are or will be a student at the University of Sydney.
Once registered, you will be able to sign in to the Off-Campus Housing Database and search for rooms or properties.
Often, real estate agents in Sydney are not able to offer a lease to someone who hasn't viewed the property. If you're moving here, you may need a temporary base while you find a longer term home.
Moving from interstate or overseas means a lot of upheaval, and finding long-term accommodation often means finding somewhere to stay short-term until your finances or long-term housing can be arranged.
There are several options available for short-term stay, such as backpackers hostels, hotels or serviced apartments. Some of the on-campus colleges also offer short-term stays during the winter and summer vacations. In all cases, you should make your own enquiries about the suitability and condition of the accommodation. Remember, book your short-term accommodation in advance as it will be popular at the start of semester.
If you need to move urgently, please contact Student Accommodation Services and we will help you with options for moving, or provide information about emergency housing and short-term housing.
When registering as a student you will be required to upload proof that you are/will be a student at the University of Sydney. Documents can include your letter of offer or proof of enrolment at the University of Sydney.