Frequently asked questions

Students back to top

What’s the difference between vacant, share or board accommodation?

Vacant is when a property is currently vacant and you start a lease on the property. Share is when someone already is living in a property and they have a vacant room they want to fill. If you have some friends who you want to live with then you may look at the rentals together and find something that suits your needs. Otherwise if you are by yourself and happy to share with someone then you would look at the Shared advertisements.

Board usually involves staying in a room of a private home, often with a family. Rooms are usually full or part furnished and sometimes meals are included in your boarding fee. If the provider has not given these details in their listing, you will need to confirm what they are providing for their specified fee.
 

What costs should I expect?

Bond: Approx 4 – 6 times the weekly rent

Rent in advance: this is usually 2 weeks rent

If you are moving into a property that is not currently occupied you will have extra connection charges on your first utility bills for electricity, gas and phones.
 

What is a lease?

It is a requirement of the Act that landlords or their agents must offer the tenant a written tenancy agreement (lease) before the start of a tenancy. The lease sets out the rights and obligations of all parties. A tenant should always insist on being given a copy of the lease. In the event that the law is broken and a tenancy exists without a written lease the Act protects the tenant in the same manner as if a written agreement had been signed.
 

The tenancy agreement comes in two parts:
Part 1 – sets out the terms of the agreement between the landlord/agent and the tenant.
Part 2 – is the condition report that describes the condition of the property at the time the tenant moves in.


Fixed-term agreement
The fixed-term agreement is a defined period of the tenancy which is written into the lease.
This is usually 6 or 12 months but the parties can agree to have a tenancy agreement for any length of time.
When the fixed-term period ends the tenancy agreement does not end unless it is terminated by the tenant or the landlord.


Condition report
The tenant and landlord report the condition of the property at the start of the tenancy in the condition report.
The landlord/agent generally completes the condition report first and then gives two copies to the tenant to record their assessment of the property. The tenant has 7 days to fill in both copies and return one to the landlord/agent. The tenant keeps the other copy.
 

What should I expect when sharing accommodation?

Useful information about share housing can be found on the Redfern Legal Centres Share Housing Survival Guide - http://www.rlc.org.au/sharehousing/living.html.

When should I start looking for accommodation?

As soon as you get an offer. If your first preference is to live on-campus you will need to wait for the ballot to be done before you know whether you will need to find other alternative accommodation. You will find the date out for this by looking at the on-campus accommodation website

I have contacted a few places and they are already taken?

We do ask that the providers of the accommodation make their own amendments to their property listings. This involves indicating when it is fully occupied, so that it can be made inactive. Both your time and theirs will not be wasted with inquiries. If you ring a provider and they tell you it is currently occupied please politely let them know it would be good idea update the accommodation details on the website.

What happens if I want to end the tenancy early?

If you want to end the tenancy agreement early you should give as much notice as possible, preferably in writing. Keep a copy of the letter. Breaking an agreement can be costly to you. A landlord can claim compensation for any loss suffered as a result of you ending a tenancy agreement early, so try and come to an agreement with the landlord/agent.
 

Notice periods: In the last 14 days of the fixed-term period of the agreement, either party can give 14 days notice to end the tenancy. This notice can be served up to and including the last day of the fixed term.
Once the fixed-term period has ended you are required to give at least 21 days notice. The landlord or agent must give you at least 60 days notice.

Where can I find out about my rights as a tenant and what my landlord expects?

Tenants NSW is a useful website, which includes an on-line copy of the "Tenants Rights Manual" as well as Tenancy Fact Sheets, covering topics such as starting a tenancy, bond, boarders & lodgers, sharehousing, repairs, how to give notice, etc. They also offer a free advisory service.

The NSW Office of Fair Trading handles matters relating to the "Residential Tenancies Act" - the act covering tenancy law. It also publishes "The renting guide, your basic rights and responsibilities as a tenant". Their website includes a section for tenants.

In Victoria for free confidential advice, assistance and advocacy visit the Tenants Union of Victoria website.

How do I know if the accommodation is safe?

It is important you to check the property will be suitable for your needs and that you will feel safe there. The Off Campus Accommodation website is an information service only.

CSU does not check the property or the landlord. However, CSU reserves the right to withdraw providers from the website at any time if complaints regarding providers are received.

Am I able to have pets?

On the accommodation listings we do ask if pets are allowed. There will only be a limited number of properties which allow pets, so please take notice of this when you are searching if this is important to you.

Furniture?

Advertisements on the website will specify if they are not, part or fully furnished. You may need to contact the accommodation provider to confirm what furniture is included and what you are expected to supply.

Providers back to top

What are my responsibilities and rights as a landlord?

In NSW for the most accurate information about your rights and responsibilities as a landlord go to the NSW Office of Fair trading Website. http://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/Tenants_and_home_owners/Being_a_landlord.html

For providers in Victoria please check Consumer Affairs Victoria. http://www.consumer.vic.gov.au/housing-and-accommodation

Under the law, landlords must provide a copy of the New Tenant Checklist to tenants prior to signing a residential lease. Fines can be imposed if this is not done. Copies of the checklist are available from the Fair Trading website. http://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/Tenants_and_home_owners/Renting_a_home/New_tenant_checklist.html

What must I do when my property is no longer vacant?

When your property has been filled we require you to indicate the property has been filled by going into Modify. This will ensure you property is inactive so students cannot view the listing and you will no longer receive phone calls. Your property details will be kept in an archive on the system for up to 2 years. So in 2 months time or 12 months time if your property becomes vacant you can go back into the website, as long as you remember your username, password & property ID number and reinstate the property, this will bring all the details up again automatically. You can make changes before submitting again or leave as is.

What are students looking for when they are searching for accommodation?

When we surveyed students last year about what the most important things were when they were seeking accommodation the top 5 things were:


1. Affordable rent
2. The location of the property in relation to the campus
3. Internet access
4. Utilities included in the cost of the rent
5. Property has air-conditioning & heating
 

I have forgotten my password, what do I do?

Please use the  Password Assistance link to reset your password.

How do I edit my listing?

Log in to view your property. Click on the address of the listing you want to edit and your listing will open.

On the right hand side of the listing there are two grey buttons, Make Changes and Close Now. Click on Make Changes.

*Important! Changes are not approved automatically. Please allow up to 48 hours for your changes to be approved or more over weekends and public holiday periods.

How do I close my listing?

Log into your Dashboard. Click on the address of the listing you wish to close. Once your accommodation opens you will see two grey buttons on the right hand side, Make Changes and Close Now. Click on Close Now.

Your listing will now be closed and is not visible to students. If you want to relist in the future log in to your Dashboard and click on the relist link next to the accommodation address.

How do I relist a closed listing?

Listings are automatically archived after 3 months. A generic email will be sent advising you that your listing will soon close.

To relist your accommodation, log in to your Dashboard and click on the 'relist' link to the right hand side of your accommodation address.

There is no need to make duplicate listings for the same address. Duplicate listings may be deleted from the system. 

How long will my listing stay active?

All listings are automatically closed after a period of 3 months. You will be sent a generic email informing you that your listing is about to close prior to this time. 

You can relist your property at any time, even if it has already closed.

How do I update my contact details?

Log in to your Dashboard and below your address listings click on the Edit My Provider Details link. Make any changes to the Provider Details page and then click on the Save button at the bottom of the page.

What about email scams?

We recommend all students must see the accommodation in person before paying any rent or a deposit. For this reason no accommodation provider should accept money, cheques or wire transfers from overseas. The student should be in Australia and able to look at the accommodation before any money is exchanged. 

If you think you have been approached by a scam please cease all contact and detail the incident by sending an email to offcampusaccommodation@csu.edu.au.

Alternatively you can check with Scamwatch.

What if I have forgotten my password?

http://csu.studystays.com/Users/PasswordAssistance