Information for new students
Students seeking to enter the rental market for the first time, whether international or domestic students, should be aware of these tips and tricks for renting prior to their arrival in Wollongong/Australia.
Be aware of scams
Importantly, be careful when you are looking for accommodation as there are scammers about and there have been recent reports of students who have fallen victim to these scammers! Some important things to remember to help you on your way are:
Do not pay any money for any property that you have not physically inspected
Do not sign contracts for accommodation you have not inspected yourself
Do not provide bank account details and always get a receipt for your money
Only search for accommodation on websites that are reputable.
There have been fraudulent scams reported that involve people being asked to place money in a bank account before they have seen the property. Students have lost thousands of dollars. They are very sophisticated and can even provide you an address and photos of the property. These are scams. Please do not pay anyone any money prior to inspecting the property. If you need further advice, please contact the Housing Services Coordinator. More information about scams can be found at the NSW Fair Trading: Report a Scam website.
You will need to make arrangements for temporary accommodation when you arrive so that you will be able to search for a suitable property. Temporary accommodation is typically accommodation sought for up to two weeks in duration.
Please do not arrange for permanent private accommodation prior to physically inspecting the property. If you can, arrange to stay with friends for a week or book into the temporary accommodation that is available through the properties found at the Short Stays section of our website.
Looking for accommodation
You should only contact the people that are advertising through the UOW Study Stays website or other reputable websites (contact the Housing Services Coordinator for more information), preferably when you are in Wollongong and ready to look at the property.
If you have any specific questions about the property then you can ask these questions either over the phone or via e-mail. The reason why it is so important to view the property and meet your prospective flat mates is that you will be making a decision to live at the property and you will need to physically inspect the property to make sure that you are happy with the premises.
There are a lot of different types of houses in Wollongong and they vary between being very old and very new. You will need to make sure that you are happy with the condition of the property. Most people will not conduct business with you unless they have met you in person.
If you do not have the ability to be able to come to Wollongong to look for a rental property, you should arrange for temporary accommodation for when you arrive (see above Temporary Accommodation information). You should make a reservation for at least 2 weeks, as this will give you time to arrive, adjust to the time if you are from overseas and also organise to make appointments to see properties.
You should contact the Housing Services Coordinator with any questions that you may have regarding finding private rental accommodation in Wollongong. They are there to assist you with information about how to search and what to be careful of when looking for rental properties in Wollongong.