Plan well, do your research, and arrive early, and follow the advice of an OzTREKK University of Sydney student:
Tips to Help with Your Accommodation Search
Look on domain.com.au or realestate.com.au for ideas; however, these websites take their information from the actual real estate websites. Sometimes they don’t get updated as quickly as you would hope and a house might be gone. It is good to go to the real estate websites and see what they have.
See it in person
Even better, if you have figured out an area, wander around there and go in personally to see if you can talk to someone about available rental properties. My roommate and I ended up getting our house as we met with an agent; he just had confirmation that they would be the agency for this house and told us about it before it went up for grabs. I think it also helped as he got to meet us in person and see that we were sane, reliable medical students.
They will ask for references. Ask your previous landlords or even the company for reference letters. Even more important to them is your actual rental lease agreement. I would suggest getting paper copies as well as scanned versions. A lot of the real estate agencies let you apply online, which is quite easy.
Money. Have some.
All of them will ask if you have a job or how you are going to finance your apartment. If you are going to work, that is great and you can say where you are working. If you are in the “all study, no work” boat, get a letter showing how you have access to your funds. If you have a loan from your bank, ask your bank representative to say that you have a line of credit for your studies that can cover your tuition and your living situation.
Get ready to hit the ground running!
We joked that we were on “The Amazing Race: House-hunting Edition.” Be prepared to see a lot of places and keep your mind open to what area you want to live in. There are a lot of cool areas neighbouring the university and you just need to find the right fit. Most open houses happen on Saturday and most people will have their applications ready to hand in after seeing the place! Come prepared with all your documents in hand or ready to send in on the internet when you get home.
We ended up walking from house to house (which ended up with us having a few blisters), but was also a great way for us to get to know the city in our first couple of days.
From our first day searching to the day we got confirmation that we had a house, it took one week. This seemed to be quite quick compared to other people. Don’t get discouraged; you literally just need to apply to as many houses as possible and then you will get one. Most other people took about two to three weeks to get confirmation. It just depends on the area, how many people you are looking to live with, etc.
If you’re an OzTREKK student getting ready to head to Australia, keep in mind that you have the OzTREKK Boarding Pass at your fingertips. This handy site also provides detailed pre-departure information to help you obtain your student visa, research your accommodation options, book airport arrival reception, reserve a spot at an OzTREKK pre-departure seminar in Canada, and more!
We hope you find the info useful, and don’t hesitate to contact us if you don’t find an answer to a question you may have!