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Posts Tagged ‘finding accommodation’

Tuesday, March 12th, 2019

OzTREKK Ambassadors: Moving to Brisbane

“Housing” the big move

I think I can speak not only for myself, but the vast majority of others when I say that your home should be your own personal oasis. A place where you can come home from a long day of studying/working and be able to sit back and relax. With that being said, as a student your home should also be close to bus stops, places to eat and entertainment.

The first thing you should do (while in Canada) is try to find an Airbnb or a place that would be cheap for the first couple weeks when you arrive.  I was lucky and had a friends’ parents put me up for three weeks before I could actually get my lease to my condo.

Once you are in Brisbane, you can actually see the houses/condos in person and get a better feel for what is around them as well.  This is the best way to find a good place to live.  Accommodation in Brisbane can be a bit of a tricky situation. Considering the town itself is built around a river that flows throughout the city, you need to take that into account when you are looking for a place. So, with that being said I have made a list of the top seven suburbs to live in Brisbane with a little description of each and what you will expect to pay per week.

1. St. Lucia

This would be a good option if you want to live right beside/on the University of Queensland campus. Its major plus is that it is close to campus, grocery stores and a gym. Other than that, there is not really any entertainment/nightlife. If you aren’t looking to live by a very loud and busy place and be walkable to classes, this is your area. Accommodation here can go anywhere between $180 –$250 for shared accommodation.

2. Toowong / Taringa

I’m going to be a little biased with this one because this is the area where I live.  It’s really close to campus and Toowong village. Buses come every five minutes in the morning, and takes only seven minutes to get to campus. Toowong village has a grocery store, gym, Kmart (it’s big here still) and a post office. There are also a couple little food shops around the village. There isn’t much for entertainment: no movie theatre, sports venues or bars really (minus the Royal Exchange). Shared accommodation can be around $260 – $300 per week.

3. Bowen Hills

If you don’t want all the fast-paced aspect of downtown and tall buildings, Bowen Hills would be your option. This area has a lot of modern apartments that can start at $250 per week. The only downside is that it is quite far away from campus and doesn’t have a great entertainment aspect.

4. South Brisbane

South Brisbane is right in the heart of South Bank: a busy riverfront stretch with cultural and science exhibits at the Queensland Museum, as well as art galleries and a giant Ferris wheel. Other major entertainment venues are the cineplex, brewpubs and uptown tapas bars. This would be a great place if you want to experience Brisbane culture and are a true foodie. You can find shared accommodation from around $250 per week, or a one-bedroom apartment from around $350 per week.

5. West End

West End is a good place to look if you are looking for cool cafés, weekend markets, and a big artsy vibe. Shared accommodation can be around $300 per week, or if you want to go up to around $500 for a really nice place if you have a bigger rent budget.

6. Highgate Hill

If you are on the lower end of the budget scale, Highgate hill is a good option. It’s close to transportation and tons of shops but does not offer very much for entertainment. If you just want a place to live to live this is a good place to look. Shared accommodation can start at $140 per week.

8. Woolloongabba

This is one of the main hubs for transportation to and from UQ. Woolloongabba is also home to the Brisbane Cricket Ground, also known as the Gabba, a vast sports stadium that hosts professional Aussie Rules football and cricket matches (a lot of fun to go!). There are a ton of great restaurants and vintage fashion shops. You can find shared accommodation from around $180 per week, or a one-bedroom apartment from around $300 per week.

Figuring out your housing arrangements

With all of these areas, the prices are just a guideline.  If you search hard enough, you can find some really good places at really good prices. It all depends on where you want to live and what you want to be around you. Do you want to live right in the thick of downtown with all the bars? Maybe a happy medium with food marketplaces and an art vibe? Once you have the area mapped out, you can start to look to getting all of your utilities and all that sorted.  Below, I’ve provided five tips to remember when figuring out your final housing arrangements.

  • Rent in your contract is due weekly rather than monthly. This seems like it’s a cheaper option when you look at the price initially but you have to remember that there are 52 weeks in a year and that you will be paying an “extra” four weeks of rent this way. Just something to think about when you are planning your budget.
  • If you get an apartment or condo, it doesn’t come furnished at all. My roommate and I were lucky enough that the two girls who lived there before us sold us everything in the apartment when we moved in. I mean everything: beds, desks, chairs, tables, washer, dryer, dishwasher, etc. When you look at the ad, be sure to check if it is furnished or comes with beds because it would be a nightmare to get all that settled.
  • Use Facebook marketplace or Gumtree (the Australian Kijiji) to find couches, TVs, and other appliances. If you are looking for a TV or a couch, Facebook marketplace usually has people giving them away for free as long as you come pick them up.
  • The price for rent is almost always without utilities. Sometimes back in Canada you have your utilities paid by the owner and included in the price. Here, it almost always doesn’t include utilities so you will need to set that up yourself as well as internet.
  • Don’t cheap out on the internet. Home truly is where the WiFi connects automatically. Get unlimited Wifi for your place, because after studying you’ll want to relax and binge watch Netflix. Trust me.

Before I end this blog I’m going to list a couple websites you can use to find your accommodation! As always, may the odds be ever in your favour.  😉

Anthony out.
@ac_mpt

First-year UQ physiotherapy student

Links

Thursday, October 18th, 2018

How to Get from Eh to Oz: Accommodation

So, are you ready to go apartment hunting?

If you’re a little nervous, that’s completely understandable. But hundreds of former OzTREKK students have done it—and so can you! We have assisted thousands of students understand the steps required to securing accommodation in Australia—and we haven’t lost a student yet.

OzTREKK Student Tips: understanding accommodation in Australia

Don’t let finding accommodation stress you out!

First, do your best to arrive a few weeks before Orientation gets going. This will give you enough time to find suitable accommodation and settle in before classes commence. Many OzTREKK students have told us that it takes 2–3 weeks to find accommodation (sometimes longer), especially in Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane. And keep in mind that if you arrive just after Christmas, you can bet real estate agents are still on holidays!

Things to consider…

  • Ensure you have temporary accommodation arranged.
  • Be prepared financially for the time you may need to spend in temporary accommodation.
  • Make housing your first priority.
  • Avoid rushing your house hunting. Feeling rushed can hinder your ability to make wise choices.
  • Be informed. Before you arrive, read as much as you can about the various housing options and how to arrange them. Then you can get straight into house hunting after you arrive, rather than trying to figure out where to go and what to do.
  • Have a bank account set up before you get to Australia—you usually cannot pay bonds and deposits in cash!
  • It’s okay to choose on-campus accommodation for the first semester/year! Lots of OzTREKK students do this. Easy-peasy!

“Be prepared for it to take over one month to find a place—this is something a lot of people have told me they experienced. Try and find an airbnb close to your school. Look on Facebook Marketplace. Check out the place before you make a commitment. Check how often public transport runs in that area, preferably trams and trains.” OzTREKK student Yewande A

1. Think about your needs and budget.

Like most of the decisions you are making as you prepare to become an international student, there are many issues to consider. Your accommodation options in Australia are varied, and when searching for off-campus housing, you will need to contemplate location, public transportation accessibility, proximity to campus and shopping, lifestyle, your study habits, and cost, among other factors.

2. Understand your rights and responsibilities as a tenant in Australia.

As an international student, it is important for you to review and understand your rights and responsibilities for renting property in the Australian state in which you are planning to rent. Visit Australian Government: Buying, selling or renting property for more info.

3. Research your long-term accommodation options.

To begin your research for accommodation, you need to know how to find and view rental properties. Generally, most Australians would view private rental listings via the internet (e.g., realestate.com.au, or craigslist), in their local newspaper or through a local real estate agent, who will provide a listing of local rental properties currently available. Most Australians rent an apartment or house through a real estate agent, who acts as the landlord for the property owner.

Take the time to explore your Australian university’s “Accommodation” website. Most universities have extensive information about where to look, which suburbs you should consider, and outline your choices for on-campus and off-campus housing. For off-campus accommodation, most Australian universities have private rental databases for students to explore options before they arrive in Australia. So many tips!

It is recommended that you do not pre-book rental accommodation (unless it’s student housing), but use the private rental database to become familiar with your options before arriving in Australia.

“Start looking at realestate.com.au before you come. Make sure to have previous landlord references. Give yourself more time than you think you need to get into a place (there’s more paperwork and waiting involved than in Canada). Start getting to know the area where your university is early (like how close grocery stores are/other common places you would go). Google Maps is your friend!” OzTREKK student Devon L.

4. Know how to secure off-campus accommodation.

Here is a general overview of the process to secure a private rental apartment or house in Australia:

Complete a Rental Application: This application will have to be approved in order for you to begin your tenancy. It’s a good idea to prepare an “accommodation folder” with copies of everything you may need. We highly recommend you bring the following documents with you from Canada, as you may be asked for these when applying for a rental property:

  • receipts from previous landlords
  • reference letters from previous landlords
  • passport/visa
  • driver’s licence
  • student card
  • health card
  • bank statement / evidence of money to pay your rent and bond deposit

Sign a Tenancy Agreement: Once your application is approved, the real estate agent or landlord will give you the tenancy agreement to read, understand and sign. Any questions should be directed to the real estate agent or landlord for clarification. Keep a signed copy of this.

“Pair up with an Australian; it’s easy to stick to what you know, but it’s great experiencing more of the Aussie culture. Real estate also goes very quick, so what you see two weeks before probably won’t be available when you get there. Use flatmates.com and post in the uni Facebook groups to find someone you are compatible with.” OzTREKK student Kleopatra M

Pay a Bond and Rent Advance: Most properties require a bond, or security deposit, to be placed on the property when a rental application is accepted. This is usually the cost of one month’s rental. The security deposit is paid into the Residential Tenancy Bond Authority (RTBA)—a government body—and it remains in this trust account until you vacate the property.

The bond will be refunded at the end of your lease if you return the property in the same condition (excluding reasonable wear and tear) as when your tenancy began. You will also need to pay your landlord a rental advance (usually the first month’s rent) up front to secure the property. These funds go to the landlord as part of his rental earnings.

To complete this phase, you pay the bond and the amount of rent required in advance. The real estate agent or landlord will give you a bond lodgement form to complete and sign. Keep a signed copy of this. You will then receive a receipt from the RTBA within seven days of receiving the bond. Keep this receipt as you will need to access your bond money at the end of your tenancy!

Complete a Condition Report: The real estate agent or landlord then fills in a property condition report and marks down what he/she believes to be the condition of the premises. You can then make comments on what you believe to be the condition of the premises and hand in the condition report within seven days.

How to protect yourself

  • Never pay a deposit on a private rental until you’ve seen it in person.
  • Always inspect a property in person. If the landlord doesn’t let you, move on.
  • Search the property online and find out where it is and if it suits your needs.
  • Ask about all the terms and conditions of your stay.
  • Try to look for accommodation through official channels and websites rather than through forums and social media.
  • Keep copies of all correspondence with the people you’re renting from.
  • When you find a place you like, take your time going through it when you’re filling out your condition report. Take photos if you think you should!

Consider on-campus or managed student housing

Offered at all our universities, on-campus residences can be individual bedrooms or shared bedrooms with shared facilities. These on-campus residences are called “colleges.” Some have everything included, like meals, furniture, internet, etc. OzTREKK recommends on-campus accommodation for all high-school leavers or if you would prefer the convenience of “just getting it over with!” Many OzTREKK student choose this as the first step, then meet new people (future roommates!) and decide to get an apartment.

“Living on campus is a great option. It’s fully furnished and can be organised before you even arrive in Australia. I haven’t had any issues with my accommodations and it’s so close to campus. Living in a private rental would be a cheaper option, but finding roommates and a place to stay beforehand may be challenging.” OzTREKK student Aaron E

Managed student housing is sometimes off campus. These are similar to on-campus colleges and are student-purposed apartments. These are usually fully furnished and either managed by the university or through a private company. Students living in these apartments are usually self-sufficient, although it may be possible to purchase meal plans. Students are usually responsible for connecting and paying for utilities such as water, telephone, electricity and gas in their own name and at their own cost. They can be booked in advance, from home.

*

We’re here to help! Please reach out to us if you have questions about securing accommodation and getting settled to study in Australia! Contact your admissions officer or call us at 1-866-698-7355.

Thursday, November 23rd, 2017

OzTREKK Student Tips: understanding accommodation in Australia

You’re going to study in Australia. So, are you ready to go apartment hunting? If you’re a little nervous, that’s completely understandable. But hundreds of former OzTREKK students have done it… and so can you! We have assisted thousands of students understand the steps required to securing accommodation in Australia—and we haven’t lost a student yet!

First, do your best to arrive a few weeks before Orientation. This will give you enough time to find suitable accommodation and settle in before classes commence.  Former OzTREKK students have told us that it takes 2–3 weeks to find accommodation, especially in Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane. Keep in mind that if you arrive just after Christmas, you can bet real estate agents are still on holidays!

OzTREKK Student Tips: understanding accommodation in Australia

Is finding accommodation stressing you out?

Consider the following:

  • Ensure you have temporary accommodation arranged.
  • Be prepared financially for the time you may need to spend in temporary accommodation.
  • Make housing your first priority.
  • Avoid rushing your house hunting. Feeling rushed can hinder your ability to make wise choices.
  • Be informed. Before you arrive, read as much as you can about the various housing options and how to arrange them. Then you can get straight into house hunting after you arrive, rather than trying to figure out where to go and what to do.
  • Have a bank account set up before you get to Australia—you usually cannot pay bonds and deposits in cash!
  • It’s okay to choose on-campus accommodation for the first semester/year! Lots of OzTREKK students do this.

“Residences on campus are a good place to get your feet on the ground in Australia, but they fill up fast, so apply as soon as you get your offer.” OzTREKK student

1. Think about your needs and budget.

Like most of the decisions you are making as you prepare to become an international student, there are many issues to consider. Your accommodation options in Australia are varied, and when searching for off-campus housing, you will need to contemplate location, public transportation accessibility, proximity to campus and shopping, lifestyle, your study habits, and cost, among other factors.

2. Understand your rights and responsibilities as a tenant in Australia.

As an international student, it is important for you to review and understand your rights and responsibilities for renting property in the Australian state in which you are planning to rent. Visit Australian Government: Buying, selling or renting property for more info.

3. Research your long-term accommodation options.

To begin your research for accommodation, you need to know how to find and view rental properties. Generally, most Australians would view private rental listings via the internet (e.g., realestate.com.au, or craigslist), in their local newspaper or through a local real estate agent, who will provide a listing of local rental properties currently available. Most Australians rent an apartment or house through a real estate agent, who acts as the landlord for the property owner.

Take the time to explore your Australian university’s “Accommodation/Housing” website. Most universities have extensive information about where to look, which suburbs you should consider, and outline your choices for on-campus and off-campus housing. For off-campus accommodation, most Australian universities have private rental databases for students to explore options before they arrive in Australia.

It is recommended that you do not pre-book rental accommodation, but use the private rental database to become familiar with your options before arriving in Australia.

“DON’T arrange accommodation before arrival—it’s much wiser to live in an airbnb while looking for a roommate/permanent place to stay. You’ll want to explore all your options and what’s most convenient for you. Places may not appear as advertised and climate makes a big difference (i.e., places without A/C and good ventilation make living difficult).” OzTREKK student

4. Know how to secure off-campus accommodation.

Here is a general overview of the process to secure a private rental apartment or house in Australia:

Complete a Rental Application: This application will have to be approved in order for you to begin your tenancy. It’s a good idea to prepare an “accommodation folder” with copies of everything you may need. We highly recommend you bring the following documents with you from Canada, as you may be asked for these when applying for a rental property:

  • receipts from previous landlords
  • reference letters from previous landlords
  • passport/visa
  • driver’s licence
  • student card
  • health card
  • bank statement / evidence of money to pay your rent and bond deposit

Sign a Tenancy Agreement: Once your application is approved, the real estate agent or landlord will give you the tenancy agreement to read, understand and sign. Any questions should be directed to the real estate agent or landlord for clarification. Keep a signed copy of this.

Pay a Bond and Rent Advance: Most properties require a bond, or security deposit, to be placed on the property when a rental application is accepted. This is usually the cost of one month’s rental. The security deposit is paid into the Residential Tenancy Bond Authority (RTBA)—a government body—and it remains in this trust account until you vacate the property.

The bond will be refunded at the end of your lease if you return the property in the same condition (excluding reasonable wear and tear) as when your tenancy began. You will also need to pay your landlord a rental advance (usually the first month’s rent) up front to secure the property. These funds go to the landlord as part of his rental earnings.

To complete this phase, you pay the bond and the amount of rent required in advance. The real estate agent or landlord will give you a bond lodgement form to complete and sign. Keep a signed copy of this. You will then receive a receipt from the RTBA within seven days of receiving the bond. Keep this receipt as you will need to access your bond money at the end of your tenancy!

Complete a Condition Report: The real estate agent or landlord then fills in a property condition report and marks down what he/she believes to be the condition of the premises. You can then make comments on what you believe to be the condition of the premises and hand in the condition report within seven days.

“Come early and bring documents showing rental history, proof of financing/bank statements, references, etc, to increase your chances of winning a bid on a place.” OzTREKK student

How to protect yourself

  • Never pay a deposit on a private rental until you’ve seen it in person.
  • Always inspect a property in person. If the landlord doesn’t let you, move on.
  • Search the property online and find out where it is and if it suits your needs.
  • Ask about all the terms and conditions of your stay.
  • Try to look for accommodation through official channels and websites rather than through forums and social media.
  • Keep copies of all correspondence with the people you’re renting from.
  • When you find a place you like, take your time going through it when you’re filling out your condition report. Take photos if you think you should!

*

Don’t forget, we’re here to support you. If you have questions about accommodation, please feel free to contact your admissions officer!