Frequently asked questions


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 .