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Which Accommodation Option is right for you?

Choosing your accommodation is an important step in your transition to studying at CQUniversity Sydney Campus. After you have accepted your place in your course, you should begin by preparing a budget and identifying what type of accommodation will best suit your needs. Choosing the right type of housing can be challenging, and each option is worth investigating fully before signing a lease agreement or paying any money. Take time to explore all options!

Accommodation options include:

  • Shared housing – if you are already have friends who are also studying in Australia, sharing a house or apartment may be an option.
  • Private rental – You can rent a house, apartment or studio through a real estate agent or private landlord. There are also many student apartment complexes available in Brisbane for students.
  • Homestay – Homestay accommodation aims to provide students with a family-like environment with utility costs included and the option of meals at an extra cost. This is often a good option if this is your first time living away from home.
  • Student Hostels – Student hostels are a popular accommodation option because they often offer a social atmosphere through organised social activities for residents. Some hostels offer meals, others provide kitchen facilities for self-catering. Communal areas commonly include lounge, bathroom, kitchen and laundry facilities. Utilities such as gas and electricity are often included in the overall cost.

There are also many hotels, motels, youth hostels and backpacker accommodation where you may like to stay temporarily while looking for ongoing accommodation.

Each accommodation option offers different benefits and costs. Rental prices will vary depending on which suburb you want to live in, the condition of the property and rental option you choose.

Generally, the closer the property is to the centre of Sydney, the more expensive the rent.

Please consider the following questions/suggestions when choosing a place to live

Accommodation checklist

  • Do you rely on public transport? If so, consider accommodation near train stations, bus or tram stops.
  • Will you look for part time work? Think of where you will look for work and how you will get to your workplace.
  • Will you need to connect utilities? If you rent a whole vacant property, you will need to do so.
  • Is the accommodation close to supermarkets or shopping centres?
Type of Accommodation
  • Can you afford to live alone or do you want to share with others?
  • If you are considering shared accommodation, who do you want to live with? (males/females, student/working people, etc.)
  • Are you just looking for accommodation for yourself, or yourself and other students too? If you are looking for accommodation with a friend, whole vacant properties might suit your needs.
  • What kind of space are you looking for? The layout of the house/flat etc. is important, particularly if you are sharing with others.
  • Do you want to have your own room?
  • Do you need a quiet place for study, strong light for design drawings, access to a computer, an area to practice musical instruments?
  • Are you willing to share bathroom and kitchen facilities? If not, a one bedroom apartment may be your only option. These can prove expensive.
  • Do you want meals provided? If so, do you have any special dietary requirements, such as vegetarian, halal or kosher food?
Legal questions
  • How long do you require accommodation for? If it is for less than six months you will probably have difficulty gaining a lease on a whole vacant property. You may need to look at a room in a family home or share accommodation.
  • Are you willing to sign a lease? If not, your options are limited to full board, rooms in family homes and some share accommodation.
  • Do you understand everything on the lease? If not, never sign anything you do not understand. Never transfer money without viewing the room first.
  • If your name is on a utility bill (e.g. electricity, phone, gas) you are legally responsible for its payment. It is advisable to ensure all co-tenants share the responsibility and have their names on all the bills.
  • How much is the bond and rent in advance?
  • How much is the rent?
  • How much does it cost to connect the utilities such as electricity, gas and telephone?
  • Will you need furniture?
  • When choosing accommodation, keep in mind the following helpful tips

Share accommodation is a less expensive alternative. In regards to share accommodation you usually move into an already established house. This often means living with people you don't know, which can be a little strange at first, but it is a great way to make new friends. Connection fees are already paid and the rest of the house is usually furnished.

When inquiring about shared households ask about things such as sharing of food and cooking, smoking, parties and noise, pets, small children, family and friends/partners.

In Sydney, rent tends to be more expensive the closer you are to the city centre. But you can expect to pay between AU$100 – AU$200 per week for a shared room in a house. See living costs for estimated annual costs.

Make sure there is an affordable form of heating for the cold winter months. Gas heating is generally the cheapest.

It is highly recommended that you sign the lease even when you are sharing with your friends. If you run into difficulty with rental accommodation, you have little protection without a lease.

Standard leases, condition reports and other tenancy information are available at Tenants Union of Victoria.

Choosing your roommate

The task of choosing a roommate needs to be taken very seriously. The person or persons with whom you decide to live can affect the quality and productiveness of your international student experience in Australia.

  • Do you and your roommates expect to share the costs of buying toilet paper, washing powder for clothes and dishes, cleaning supplies, etc. which is used by everyone?
  • What does the rental price cover? Does it include utilities, or are they split equally when the accounts are due? Who will pay them and how will you all know they have been paid?
  • A small notebook which is signed by everyone who hands over their share of the costs and signed by the person the money is given to, is a good idea.
  • Do you and your roommates expect to share the costs of buying food and share in the preparation?
  • Do you have specific food needs (allergies, preparation needs)? If your needs are for halal and your roommates are not, can you agree on respecting and upholding each other's needs?
  • What is the household arrangement?
  • How much privacy do you need? What hours do you and your roommate usually sleep, study or socialise?
  • Do you prefer to have a smoker or non-smoker as a roommate?
  • Clarify your stance on the use of alcohol and/or illicit substances.
  • What about overnight visitors?
  • When conflicts arise, how do you go about resolving them?
  • Please keep in mind that not everyone can be trusted! Follow your instincts and do not room with someone you do not trust.

Consider ways to overcome possible conflicts. A small notebook which is signed by everyone who hands over their share of the costs and signed by the person the money is given to, is a good idea. Create a chart or roster to assign chores or remember important dates such as when the rent is due or when rubbish is to be collected.

Where to live?

CQUniversity Sydney Campus is located at 400 Kent Street Sydney.

Below is a list of suburbs that are within 5 kilometres from the city centre of Sydney. From these suburbs below, the distance to campus is 0.5–5 kilometres. Suburbs are either within short walking distance or at most 15–20 minutes travel by tram. However, accommodation in these suburbs can be expensive, but most private hostels and student apartment complexes are located in these areas.

SUBURBS WITHIN 5 KMS of CAMPUS (Name of suburb and postcode)

Greenwich (2065)

Cremorne Point (2090)

Paddington (2021)

Rozelle (2039)

Darling Point (2027)

Waterloo (2017)

Lilyfield (2040)

Double Bay (2028)

Bellevue Hill (2023)

Leichhardt (2040)

Glebe (2037)

Kensington (2033)

Annandale (2038)

Potts point (2011)

Alexandria (2015)

Neutral Bay (2089)

Millers point (2000)

Beaconsfield (2015)

Newtown (2042)

Surry Hills (2010)

Rozelle (2039)

As well as those suburbs listed in the chart above, the suburbs below are located within 10 kilometres of the SydneyCampus. Travel time is approximately 15–30 minutes on public transport. There are very few private hostels or student apartment complexes located in these areas, however most other housing options are available.

SUBURBS WITHIN 10KMS of CAMPUS (Name of suburb and postcode)

Chatswood (2057)

Rose Bay (2029)

Mascot (2020)

Willoughby (2068)

Bondi Junction (2022)

Marrickville (2204)

Manly (2095)

Randwick (2031)

Petersham (2049)

Lane Cove (2066)

Clovelly (2031)

Summer Hill (2130)

Crows Nest (2065)

Coogee (2034)

Croydon (2132)

Mosman (2088)

Kingsford (2032)

Haberfield (2045)

Watsons Bay (2030)

Maroubra (2035)

Five Dock (2046)

Vaucluse (2030)

Matraville (2036)

Earlwood (2206)

Links to Accommodation Options

Student Apartments in Sydney
Homestay links for Sydney
Links to Private Rental Properties in Sydney
  • Domain –  offers up-to-date listings on real estate for sale and rent.
  • Gumtree – an online classifieds and community website that lists everything from rental properties, to jobs, and much more.

Other Useful Links:

The Tenants Union of Victoria aims to inform and educate tenants about their rights. They provide advice, assistance and advocacy for tenants of private and public residential properties, and residents of rooming houses in Victoria, Australia.