Don’t hand over money or sign any kind of rental contract before physically sighting a property. Be careful with an internet scam where students have secured properties over the internet, before arriving in Australia, by paying rent in advance to alleged landlords and never hearing about the property again.
You can begin your research before you reach Melbourne.
There are a number of off-campus student accommodation providers that offer long term student accommodation. Some of these also offer temporary accommodation.
You will find rental properties advertised on real estates websites, local newspapers, and places like students associations or bookstores:
Off-campus accommodation FAQs
If I don't receive a room on-campus, where do I start looking for off-campus accommodation?
You can actually do some research before you reach Melbourne. You can find a range of information about off-campus accommodation at the La Trobe Residential Services website or check the websites listed above. You may need to stay somewhere temporarily while searching for long term accommodation.
Is off-campus accommodation more expensive than on-campus accommodation?
Many factors will influence this. Although the weekly rental price may appear a lot cheaper than the colleges, you will have to consider the cost of furniture, utility bills, transport, etc. Consult the living costs, where we have estimated annual costs, and compared different accommodation types.
Is it easy to find and organise off-campus accommodation?
This depends on how well organised you are and what you are looking for. If you arrive in Australia, you should visit the Residential Services office for advice and information on rental properties. Many students also refer to local real estate agents for rental listings. It is important for you to understand that some effort is required to find suitable accommodation.
I have never lived away from home before. What type of accommodation should I choose?
La Trobe International recommends that young students and students who have not yet lived out of home think very seriously of living on campus or in Homestay. If you choose these types of accommodation, you will have friendly people around to assist you with advice on transport, living skills and Australian culture, while you make the considerable transition to studying in an Australian university.
This is my first time in Melbourne, therefore how am I meant to find my way around to look at rental properties?
To locate the accommodation, you can use WhereIs or Google Maps or buy a Melways (a very useful street directory). If you study at the Melbourne campus, you should become familiar with Melbourne's transportation system by visiting The Public Transport Victoria website. La Trobe International staff are always happy to assist students with information on how to get about campus and its surrounds. During orientation there will also be Student Hosts available to assist new students getting an understanding of the local area and other issues.
I have found a rental property, what next?
Before signing any contract or lease, the real estate agent should give you a lot of information about your rights and obligations when renting the property. During the International Welcome Festival Orientation there is also a special information session on housing, where you can ask questions and get help. At LTI you can also collect some information leaflets about renting, bonds and tenants rights. Other excellent sources of information are the Residential Services and the Tenants Union websites.
Do I have to pay a bond?
When you rent a property, you are required to pay a bond which is equivalent to four-weeks rent (the bond is not the same as paying rent in advance). Your landlord must give you an official completed and signed 'Bond Lodgement' form to sign. Before you start a tenancy (sign a lease or pay a bond), it is advisable to know your legal rights and responsibilities as a tenant, and those of the agent/owner.
What part does La Trobe International (LTI) play in regards to finding off-campus accommodation?
LTI cannot assist students looking for off-campus accommodation. LTI is concerned about the welfare of international students and is able to provide basic tips on looking for off-campus accommodation. The Residential Services receive all advertisements for properties available to rent and have staff equipped with the knowledge of being able to assist students.