How to find a place to live when starting university
For many students, starting university means moving out of home for the first time and organising rental accommodation.
Many universities offer accommodation on campus, and several have services that assist students looking for private rentals.
But before sending off all those applications, there’s a lot to be considered and research required to find the right home for you.
University accommodation options
According to our own private research on guide to living costs for students, the average costs around the country are:
- Shared rental –
- On-campus accommodation –
- Private rental –
The number of people you choose to live with will come down to personal preference, but generally, the more people you share with, the cheaper the rent.
The price for rental properties varies significantly, depending on the neighbourhood and its desirability, proximity to the university or city and the age and amenities of the home.
Finding a rental can be quite competitive, particularly around January and February before the semester begins.
Some landlords might be hesitant to take on a sharehouse full of students, but according to an industry expert, there’s no reason for landlords to be wary.
How to find accommodation and share houses
The most common ways to find homes to rent are online, noticeboards in public or on campus, roommate finding websites, local community groups on social media.
It is essential to have your wits about you and only pursue legitimate ads. If it looks too good to be true, it might be.
How to set rules in a share house
An industry expert says, it’s essential to set up concrete expectations between flatmates.
Different rules apply depending on the location, but students should – at a bare minimum – have a written agreement that clearly states the price, duration, and written house rules.
He said rules should cover cleaning, guests, noise, use of common areas, drug and alcohol use, security, people staying over, partners staying over and even furniture arrangements.
Red flags to avoid in a share house
Typically established areas, especially near tertiary education facilities, have a large number of illegal and non-compliant shared rental properties, which can present safety risks to occupants.
Ideally they would be able to obtain a safety assessment of the building, but this is extremely difficult for a normal person.
Unfortunately, these unregulated markets represent a potential risk to occupants and operators and students need to be very careful of the risks that prevails.
Also, be aware of scammers who creates false ads, and don’t transfer money to anybody you haven’t met.
How to save money renting while at university
The most obvious ways to save money are to team up with friends or compromise on a smaller space.
Studio or one-bedroom apartments can be good for students and people on a low income, and there are often many located near universities. But it works out much cheaper in a long run for people to share a larger property and split the costs.
Other compromises can include living further away from campus or finding an older property.