ACCOMMODATION

There are various kinds of accommodation available
Choosing Where to Live
Most students want to live within walking distance of the campus but this is not always possible and is usually determined by availability and cost. Often it is more convenient and more cost-effective to live further from the campus but closer to shops and public transport. In Australia, there are various kinds of accommodation available, such as:
  • Hostels
  • Flats, units and houses
  • Home-stays
It can take time to find permanent accommodation after you arrive in Melbourne. You should allow at least 1 month to find permanent accommodation.

While searching you should:
  • Understand what the different types of accommodation are and involve.
  • Avoid being rushed in your search so that you make a wise choice.
  • Inspect the property before accepting the terms and conditions of the lease.
  • Read the terms and conditions of the lease carefully before accepting them.
  • Decide whether this is good location to live.
  • Assess noise levels during both the day and night.
It is important that you consider the public transport connections to your campus. The site below gives you the opportunity to look at the travel distances, times and routes. www.whereis.com.au
Types of Accommodation
Homestay
This option is an opportunity for students to live in a private home, with a local family, couple or single person and learn about Australian life. The stays can be for a few weeks to many months. You may need to compromise with living arrangements as you will need to fit in with the household’s routines and expectations. You will need to think about the things that are important to you. You may need to ask about how adaptable meal times are in relation to your studies and other commitments. You may also want to consider how the other people will feel about your friends visiting, your music and the hours that you keep.

There are different types of homestay arrangements, which generally fall within one of the following categories:
- Full Board:    Usually includes a furnished room, two or three meals per day and bills (except telephone and internet). Some homestay providers may even do your laundry. The cost may be between $260 - $300 per week.
- Part Board:    Usually includes a furnished room and bills (except telephone and internet). You have the use of the cooking and laundry facilities in the house. The cost is usually around $150 - $200 per week.
- Board:    in Exchange Provides free or low cost housing in return for household duties such as weekly house cleaning and/or childcare. Make sure you establish beforehand how many hours labour you will be expected to perform. Make sure the time involved in carrying out duties will balance with the cost of renting and will fit with your other commitments to study and your social life.

If you wish AAPoly to organise the homestay for you, please refer to the following information.
Organising Homestay for AAPoly Students (PDF) 159KB
AAPoly Homestay Application Form (PDF) 17.6KB

Legal Coverage
Generally, students living in private board or homestay are not covered by the Residential Tenancies Act 1997. It can be worthwhile to have a written agreement stating the guidelines about payment of rent, bills and the amount of notice required to move out. Whilst useful, note that this may not constitute a legally enforceable document.
Academies Australasia Polytechnic has an agreement with Student Accommodation Services, a homestay provider with accommodation in transport zone one. The SAS website is www.studentaccommodation.com.au. The Academies Australasia Polytechnic Student Services Officers can assist with the application forms.

Student Housing
There are many privately run student hostels (rooming houses) nearby the Academies Australasia Polytechnic Campuses. This type of accommodation is longer term housing, usually specifically for students. It offers communal living. They offer single or shared rooms, both furnished and unfurnished. The communal aspect is the lounge, kitchen and bathroom facilities. Rent generally includes some utility costs.

Rentals
There are a number of options in the rental market. Renting an apartment, flat or house on your own offers you a chance to be self sufficient and private. It can be very expensive to live alone as you must also pay for utilities (electricity, gas, telephone and water) as well as other bills. Most students chose to share accommodation with others. This is cheaper as all the costs are shared. This can be a challenge as you may not agree about responsibilities. It is best that you agree about these rights at the beginning.
When looking for accommodation it is best if your rent is not more that 30% of your income.

Prices will vary depending on the type, size, location, and condition of the property. You should check the average prices of properties in the area which you chose to live. Prices usually increase as you get closer to the centre of the city.
You rent properties through either a real estate agent or directly from the owner. Properties are usually advertised in the real estate section of the newspaper, through real estate agents and on their websites.
When you rent a property you are called the Tenant and the lease you sign is a legal agreement. There will be conditions in the lease that you must follow. You also have rights and are covered by the Victorian Residential Tenancy Act (1987). It is important you are aware of your rights and responsibilities.
You are required to pay a security bond as well as the first month’s rent up front. The security bond is usually the same as 1 month’s rent. It is refundable when you leave the property if it is in the same condition as when you moved in.
You will also need money to pay to connect the utilities, for furniture and household items.
Where to Look for Accommodation
The following is a list of places where you can go to find advertisements for accommodation:
  • Student noticeboards around campus especially in the student lounges
  • Newspaper classifieds – The Herald Sun, The Age
  • Real Estate Agent windows & websites
  • Local shopping centre noticeboards
  • Online student accommodation services below

Types of Accommodation Web address
Homestay www.homestay-australia.com
www.studenthomestay.com.au
www.melbournehomestay.dragnet.com.au
www.student-accommodation.com.au
Houses, Flats and/or Share Accommodation www.domain.com.au
www.realestate.com.au
www.yourestate.com.au
www.flatmatefinders.com.au
www.shareaccommodation.org
www.melbourneexchange.com.au
www.easyroommate.com
Student Housing www.unilodge.com.au/UniLodge_Melbourne/
www.arrowonswanston.com.au