Frequently asked questions

Students back to top

Does a Southern Cross University staff member check the property before approving a listing on the UniStays website?

No, none of the properties on the UniStays website have been checked by the University.

The UniStays website is an off-campus accommodation database that contains listings that have been added by members of the local community. Whilst every effort is made to assist students to find suitable accommodation, any lease or other housing arrangement entered into is at the discretion of the student and the accommodation provider. It is vital that you inspect any property that you are considering renting before you move in, sign any agreements, or pay any money. Once inspecting the property, if you find that it is the same as it was described in the listing or if it is not like the pictures listed on UniStays, please contact the UniLife Accommodation Office as soon as possible to report this.

What is the usual length of stay in a rental?

It depends, some landlords offer 3, 6, or 12 month lease terms, whereas some may prefer to have no fixed term and go month-to-month. If you intend to rent a vacant house or flat through a realestate, it is common for you to have a 6-12 month lease. A lease is a legally binding document and the provisions of the Residential Tenancies Act will apply. Breaking a lease can be very costly, therefore before signing a lease we recommend that you decide if you are confident of staying in the property for the duration of the lease. In some instances, you may be able to negotiate a shorter lease term with the landlord.

Why are listings still displayed when the accommodation providers tells me the vacancy has been rented?

Listings remain live on the UniStays website for 2 weeks, if in this time the listing has been taken it is the responsibility of the accommodation provider to close their listing. Sometimes accommodation providers forget to close their listing when they find a tenant, or maybe the property has just been rented, and they haven't had a chance to close it yet.

If students come across a listing that should be taken down as it is no longer available, please let the UniLife Accommodation Officer know. We can then contact the provider and remove the listing.

What utilities am I required to pay for?

Bills usually include Electricity, Water, Gas (if available at the property), Internet, pay TV & fixed home phone. Payment for utilities are mostly exclusive of the advertised rental amount unless otherwise specified. If payment of bills is exclusive of the weekly rental amount make sure to inspect each bill as it comes in to ensure you are paying the correct amount.

I have found a listing or a few listings that I like, how do I make contact to say that I am interested?

First, you must register or sign in to the UniStays website. Once you have done this, you will be able to see the accommodation providers contact phone number or a 'message' button which will allow you to send a message directly to the provider.

We recommend that you provide a little bit of information about yourself, ask any questions that you might have, and to arrange an inspection date and time.

Please note that all of the listings on the UniStays website are not owned or managed by Southern Cross University, they are offered by private providers from the community. Therefore if you are interested in a number of different listings, you will need to contact each provider separately.

How much notice do I have to give to move out? And how much notice does the landlord/owner have to give me to move out?

This issue should be made clear before you move in and can depend on the tenancy agreement. If you are covered under the Residential Tenancies Act 1987 you will be required to give 21 days notice to the landlord if the fixed term period of the agreement has expried (or in continuation). Likewise the landlord can only ask you to vacate the property once the fixed term period has expired and must issue a notice of termination in which 60 days notice must be provided. If you want to move out before the end of your lease be aware that breaking a lease can be very costly. For further information on notice periods please go to NSW Department of Fair Trading and QLD Residential Tenancys Authority websites.

In an owner occupied situation both parties should discuss their expectations before the student moves in and put any agreement in writing. Two weeks is often agreed upon as the length of notice to vacate required by both parties.

What is a bond? How much is a bond?

A bond is a type of security deposit for a property that is held until the completion of the tenancy agreement. All bonds on rental properties should be held by the Rental Bond Board which is a government run body within NSW Department of Fair Trading and QLD Residential Tenancys Authority.

Once a tenancy is complete the property is assessed for any damage or outstanding monies, deductions would be taken from the bond to cover this. If the property is in good condition with no outstanding monies then the bond should be refunded in full. All deductions must be agreed upon by both parties (landlord and tenant) before any deductions can be made. If there can be no agreement met then the matter would have to be heard before a tribunal and the presiding member would make a decision on the disbursement of the bond subject to evidenced provided by both parties.

A bond on a rental property is typically 4 weeks rent on an unfurnished property, 6 weeks rent on a furnished property up to $300 per week and unlimited for furnished properties with a weekly rental of more than $300 per week.

Why was my student UniStays registration refused?

Using your SCU student email address, you registration will be automatically confirmed. If you receive a message or email otherwise, you may have made an error in either your SCU email address or password. Retry and if still unsuccessful, contact one of our Accommodation Assistants.

I am not an SCU student, but am considering studying at SCU. Can I register as a student?

Once you enrol or pre-enrol and receive an SCU student identification number and email, you are eligible to register and will then have access to provider contact details. If you have not yet received your SCU email address, you can register as a Future Student with your personal email address. Please note we will then need to confirm your registration by checking the status of your enrolment. 

Why can’t I see the Provider’s contact details?

You need to be registered and logged in with your SCU student email address in order to see Provider contact details.

Why is my search not returning any listings?

There are no listings that suit your ticked selections. Try leaving your search more open by ticking less and less boxes, until you get results.

How do I make a complaint about a Provider?

UniStays values your feedback at any time. Please note that UniStays is an accommodation service to put students and providers in touch. For more information read Terms and Conditions – Students .

Providers back to top

I have never rented my property/room before, what do I need to know to get started?

Please see the Guide for Providers on information on 'Where to start' and the different legislation information in both NSW and QLD. You can also contact one of the UniLife Accommodation Officers if you have any further questions.

How do I list my property?

  1. You will need to register with UniStays as an accommodation provider (see the link on the Home page)
  2. Once registered, you will see a button to "+ add a listing"
  3. Complete all property details for your available accommodation.
  4. Add some interesting information about your property in the "Details" section at the bottom.
  5. Upload photos of your property by dragging them into the photo section or "click to choose" from your pictures
  6. Preview your listing (you have the option to make changes, if necessary)
  7. Once you are happy with the listing, click on the “Submit this listing” button. It will then be sent to the UniStays staff for approval.
  8. Once your listing has been approved by a UniLife Accommodation Officer (generally within 48hrs), you will receive an email confirmation.

(Please note, your listing will remain live on the UniStays website for 1 month (4 weeks). Once your listing is taken/no longer available, please remember to log into UniStays and close the listing. This will prevent any other students from contacting you about the property/room)

I have previously registered but I can't remember my password

  1. Select the 'Forgot your password?' hyperlink.
  2. Enter the email address that you initially signed up with, then click 'send me reset instructions'. You will then be sent a link to your email address to reset your password

If you don't receive the email containing reset instructions, please contact the UniLife Accommodation Officer and we'll reset your password manually for you.

How long does it take for my listing to go live on the website?

All listings require review by the UniLife Accommodation Officer prior to being published. Generally the service will be updated each business day during business hours (9am - 5pm), however it may take up to two business days during peak times.

Why does my listing only stay live for 2 weeks? I want to leave it up until it is rented

We have set the default listing expiry to 2 weeks, however you can extend your listing every 2 weeks for as long as you need to. You will receive an email a few days prior to your listing's expiry date with a link to relist. Simply click on this to extend your listing for another 2 weeks. If you forget, your listing will be automatically removed from the UniStays website once expired. You are welcome to log in and relist again at any time.

The reason it is set for 2 weeks is a lot of providers would find a tenant for their listing but forget to close it on the UniStays website. This can be very frustrating for students that are looking for accommodation only to be repeatedly told that the listing is no longer available.

Remember, if you lease your room/property, please ensure to log into the UniStays website as soon as possible to close the listing.

I have submitted my listing for approval but I want to make some changes, how do I do this?

Once you have submitted your listing, it will go to a UniLife Accommodation Officer for approval. Until the listing is approved (up to two business days), you are not able to make any changes. Once you receive an email to notify you that we have approved your listing, you can sign into UniStays and edit your listing.

My listing has been approved but I want to make some changes, how do I edit my listing?

  1. Sign into UniStays with your email address and password
  2. Click on the listing that you want to change/add to.
  3. Once your listing has opened, click on the 'Make changes' button on the right side bar.
  4. You can edit your listing, including adding photos, and then 'save changes' once you have finished.
  5. Your changes will be submitted to the UniLife Accommodation team for approval.

I have found someone to fill my listing, how do I remove it from the website?

Once your listing is no longer available, log on to UniStays with your email address and password. Click on the current listing you would like to remove, then click 'close now' in the right side bar.

If your listing becomes available in the future, you can simply relist and make any changes needed.

I want to put up a listing but it won't be available for a few months, what should I do?

You are more than welcome to put up a listing that is not yet available as long as you know how much rent you will be charging along with what will be included (eg. electricity, furnished, includes internet, etc). Once you have registered and selected to add a new listing, fill out the form as usual indicating when the listing will be available. You might want to also add a line in the details section stating that the listing won't be available until the specified date.

Please note that your listing will remain live on the website for 1 month (4 weeks), you will receive an email prior to the expiry of your listing asking if you would like to extend the listing for another month. Ensure that you keep your listing live on the website so students can view your listing.

Does Southern Cross University manage my property?

The UniStays website is a service that allows private providers to advertise accommodation for students. Southern Cross University does not manage any properties/accommodation, it is up to the provider to manage their rental property. If you need some guidance on renting to students for the first time, please have a look at the Guide for Providers page for more information, or contact a UniLife Accommodation Officer.