Tips for starting a search

There are things that you can do to prepare yourself before diving into the realm of renting. Here are our suggestions.

1. Research. Find out which suburbs suit your needs. Have a budget and identify areas where the rent fits into your expenses. Remember it’s not all about rent; you often have to be responsible for other charges such as utilities, setting up a phone line and/or furniture. Have a look at the Study in Australia website for an idea of expenses.

2. Attend workshops. Student Accommodation Services run workshops at the beginning of each semester. The workshop ‘New to Sydney’ is targeted at international student and students who are moving to Sydney from another state or rural/regional Australia. The presentations will help equip you with information that will assist in your house-hunt.

Check out the Orientation Website for information on when the next presentation will be held. If you miss the presentation, contact Student Accommodation Service and we will be happy to provide assistance.

3. Be prepared. Accommodation on-campus and near campus are extremely popular. The start of semester is the busiest period. To prepare for this you should start looking for accommodation at least 2 to 3 months before you intend to arrive in Sydney.

If you’re planning on living on campus, make sure you check out the application deadlines because applications close as early as September for consideration in the following year. Plan to secure accommodation as early as you can.

4. Patience and vigilance. Finding a place to live can be time consuming. We encourage you to look over a few places before making a decision on where to live. Don't be disheartened if you don’t get your first option, keep looking and applying. Always keep an eye out for scams – if you’re planning on living off-campus, ensure you inspect the property before paying a deposit.

For any off-campus accommodation, we strongly recommend that you do not pay any money prior to viewing the accommodation. Never pay money through a funds transfer to someone you don’t know and never pay a deposit for accommodation that you have not viewed unless it’s temporary accommodation such motels, hostels and hotels. Never to sign a contract for off-campus accommodation that you have not inspected.

Visit NSW Fair Trading for information on current scams and how to avoid them.

5. Contact us. If you’re struggling with your search or if you have any questions about accommodation in Sydney, contact Student Accommodation Services.

If you are currently facing issues with your landlord and require legal advice, please contact the Student Representatives Council or Sydney University Postgraduate Representative Association.