Relocating to a new city will naturally include tracking down a place to stay – somewhere close to your place of study with convenient transport links. There are a variety of different accommodation options on offer to suit individual needs and budgets.
Renting in a brand new city can have its challenges. One international student reported not understanding the rental laws, resulting in his first landlord keeping the bond, which the student was entitled to have returned to him. Another said they paid for accommodation upfront online, which turned out to look a lot different in real life than it did online.
Reports of landlords taking advantage of international students are not common, however it is important that international students know their rights, and are aware of how to exercise them.
Consumer Affairs Victoria, the state’s authority that provides information to consumers on renting, has a few handy tips to newly arrived students looking for accommodation:
- Yes, you are an international student – but you have the same renting rights as all Victorians.
- You have travelled to Victoria to study, so why not learn more about your renting rights and responsibilities at: consumer.vic.gov.au/internationalstudents
- Got a smart phone? Check out the free RentRight app for more information and help to avoid renting problems.
Having an understanding of renting rights and responsibilities can help to ensure you have a smooth transition to life in Victoria and successfully find a suitable place to live. If you need personal assistance to understand better of your renting rights, the International Student Services team or Accommodation Services team from La Trobe is here to help as well.