Rental or private accommodation is a great choice if you are looking for an independent lifestyle. There are some great places to live in Wollongong that are close to the university, shops, beaches and other attractions.
The information below includes tips on what suburbs to look at and the process of applying for private accommodation. You will also find information on what costs you will need to consider when you move into a new home. We strongly suggest that you have a look through this information if you are considering private rentals.
There are several things that you will need to consider before renting a private property, these include:
- Get in early - the rental market gets very competitive by the middle of January until after the semester starts in March. While the demand does drop for the second session, it can still be very competitive.
- Be organised and ready to apply - treat the application like a job interview, take your information to the inspection, be prepared to apply on the spot.
- Protect your rights as a tenant and a consumer - everyone should read this rental information booklet. It is also important to be aware of the recent changes to the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 which commenced on 31 January 2011.
- Find the most suitable accommodation for you - with links to the best places to search for rental accommodation.
We also want you to know that we are here to help. The Housing Officer, located at Student Central at Building 17, can help you with information about how to apply, what is required and what documents you will need to take with you. They can also help if you if have questions about private rentals in Wollongong. The specific services that we offer include:
- You can book a one on one meeting with the Housing Officer to discuss your individual situation.
- Visit Student Central to get a copy of the most up to date list of private rentals in Wollongong. Found on the information board near the Accommodation Services counters.
- Visit the Accommodation Services stand on Welcome Days and International Days to discuss your options with us - these are held at the beginning of the year.
More about renting
We cannot emphasise enough how competitive the rental market is in Wollongong. It is strongly recommended that you start looking for private accommodation in January. Most people arrive and look for accommodation less than one week before their classes start. This makes it very difficult to find accommodation. Make sure you give yourself as much time as possible to get your accommodation organised before your classes start so that you are settled and ready to study.
You will not be the only applicant for a rental property in Wollongong. There may be many applicants for the one property and this means that you will have to impress the agent or landlord from the start. It is a good idea to treat your application like a job interview. You will need to ensure that you:
- Turn up on time.
- Be presented well, that is, clean and neat.
- Have all of your documents ready so you can put an application in on the spot.
The rental market may be different to what you are used to, even if you are from Australia it can be a different process. It is very important to be organised and understand your rights as a consumer. If you have any questions about the rental process in Wollongong you should contact the Housing Officer with your questions.
A part of the process of applying for a rental property in Wollongong will be the requirement to sign a lease. Be wary if you are not asked to sign a lease or contract for a private rental. The lease includes information about the length of stay at the property, how much rent is to be paid, the bond, how much notice must be given by yourself and the agent or landlord at the end of the lease and how to contact the agent or landlord. You will be required to pay a cash bond, and you will be required to complete a condition report of the premises so that all damage is noted before you move in. For more information about this please refer to the Department of Fair Trading website or contact the Housing Officer.
When you apply for a rental property through a real estate agent or landlord you will need to provide the following information:
- Proof of Identification - you need to prove who you are so take as much photo identification as possible such as passports, drivers licences and student cards, enrolment letters and credit cards or bank cards.
- Proof of Income - you will be asked to provide financial information to prove you can afford the rent. You will need to bring with you pay slips from your job or if you are an international student a statement from the bank. If your parents are paying the rent a letter from them indicating this is also useful. The information that you provide is protected by Privacy laws in Australia.
- Rental or personal references. If you have these documents in English from a previous rental property, agent or landlord they will work to your favour.
You should make sure that the place you are thinking about moving to is suitable for your needs. We have rules about what is deemed suitable living conditions in Australia. It is not acceptable to live in certain conditions in Australia. If you have any questions about what is deemed as suitable you should contact the Housing Officer.
If you want more information about what is required the Department of Fair Trading is the government agency that sets out the rules for renting in New South Wales. It is also important to be aware of the recent changes to the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 which commenced on 31 January 2011.There are very strict rules regarding renting in New South Wales.
The Department of Fair Trading has renting information that can be found here. The Tenants Union of NSW has some great facts sheets that are easy to read and cover all aspects of being a tenant including, starting a lease, bond, locks, repairs, terminating a lease, repairs and damage. All of the facts sheets can be found here.
If you are an international student there is a great guide for International Students found on the Department of Fair Trading web site.
For more information about renting in New South Wales please refer to the following web sites:
Department of Fair Trading - www.fairtrading.gov.nsw.au
Illawarra Tenants Service - www.illawarralegalcentre.org.au
Tenants Union - www.tenants.org.au
You can also refer to the Rights and Obligations of Tenants web page or you can make an appointment to see the Housing Officer if you are unsure of what your options are, if you should have a problem or if you have any questions.
It is important to realise that the University is easily accessible from several suburbs in Wollongong. The following suburbs are easily accessible by public transport, however you can expect to to pay more rent in these suburbs.
- North Wollongong
- West Wollongong
- Fairy Meadow
You will find better value for money and easy access to these suburbs also:
This map shows the approximate prices of rental properties in the Wollongong area with transport options also highlighted.
- The University has a place for private rentals on its Accommodation Services property listing web site. You can also find shared accommodation through Uniclassifieds.
- Real Estate Agent rental properties click here.
- On Fridays and Saturdays the local newspaper the Illawarra Mercury has a comprehensive list of rental properties and shared accommodation in the Wollongong area.
- Real Estate Agents located in Wollongong are found on this list: Real Estate Agents
- There are also notice boards in Student Central with the up to date listing of information that appears on the Uni Web site. We also have the lists printed from the local real estate agents.
For information about common accommodation abbreviations please see the Accommodation Services Terminology and General Information web page available here.
You will need to consider costs that you will be required to pay for before you move into the property. These include:
- Bond - usually 4 weeks in advance.
- Rent in advance - usually two weeks in advance in addition to the bond.
- Electricity - connection fee and security deposit could be required.
- Telephone - connection fee, line installation and security deposit could be required.
- Internet - connection fee.
- Gas - connection fee and security deposit could be required.
- Furniture - you may need to purchase furniture.
A very useful facility that can assist you with setting up your utilities is www.connectnow.com.au. This web site can assist with what you might need to consider when moving and can organise this for you.
Again, if you need any help with finding private accommodation or you have any problems with your private accommodation contact the Housing Officer.
Shoalhaven Campus Accommodation
For more information about rental and shared accommodation at the Shoalhaven campus please refer to this website.
Sydney rental accommodation can be more competitive than in Wollongong. If you are seeking accommodation in the Sydney area, websites such as Real Estate and Domain have many listings from local Sydney-based Real Estate agents.
If you need any assistance in securing accommodation in the Sydney or Wollongong areas, contact the Housing Officer for further information and assistance.