Guide for Providers - Where to start

You may be renting out a room, granny flat, unit or house for the first time and not know where to start. This is a brief guide on how to get started.

What facilities do students want or need?

If you are offering a furnished room, students generally require a bed, desk with a chair, a lamp and wardrobe. If you have an available internet connection that is a bonus but not a requirement. If it is within your means, you may offer 'furnished or unfurnished' as some students have their own bedroom furniture and others do not.

If you are offering a granny flat, unit or house, you can offer furnished or unfurnished. Please note that some students do not have their own furniture, therefore you may want to negotiate furnishings with the students (if available). Some students find it hard to acquire white goods like a fridge and a washing machine, due to the cost of these items, but might find it easier to purchase a second hand bed and desk.

How much rent should I charge? What should I include in the cost of rent?

If you have never rented out a room or property before, or you haven't done so in quite a while, it would be beneficial to have a look at the other listings on the UniStays website to see what others are offering and charging in your area. For more information on how to perform a search on the UniStays website, please visit the Guide for Students - Using UniStays.

Please note, majority of students are searching for rooms for under $220 per week (it is the most searched price range). Students are very price sensitive, therefore they will opt for the cheaper option and tend to stay there longer. Students may only stay short-term if rent is overpriced.

Most share-houses include the cost of electricity and water into the cost of the weekly rent, as these services cannot be separately metered per person. If internet is available, this may also be included in the cost of rent, or it can be an optional extra.

For rental properties, it is unlawful to charge utilities as an extra cost unless it is separately metered. This means that unless each tenant has separately metered electricity and/or water, the cost of the utilities needs to be incorporated into the cost of rent. When renting out a property that has separate metering, this can be the tenants responsibility.

Should I include meals?

This is optional. Not all students are interested in included meals as their schedules may change often and they might eat on the run or at uni. If you are willing to provide meals, it is better to offer it as an additional extra rather than include it in the cost of rent.

If you want to provide meals for the student, you may want to consider being a Homestay provider. For more information on becoming a Homestay provider, please see more information about Homestay.

What type of agreement will I have between myself and the tenant?

The type of agreement you use depends on the type of accommodation you are offering.

If you are renting a house, unit or flat, we strongly recommend that you use a Residential Tenancy Agreement.

If you are renting out a room in a shared house/unit, you should use a Share Housing Agreement (NSW) or a Rooming Agreement (QLD). You can use a Residential Tenancy Agreement instead if you prefer.

These Agreements are a legal contract between yourself and your tenant that sets out the terms and conditions of the tenancy. For more information on rental Agreements please see Renting in NSW or Renting in QLD.

Can I charge a bond?

You don't have to charge a bond but if you do, you are required to lodge it with NSW Fair Trading or QLD Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA). The maximum amount of bond you can charge is 4 weeks rent.

You can request up to 2 weeks of rent in advance (no more), however this is not a bond.