Generally no. The Off-Campus Accommodation database is an information service only and whilst every effort is made to assist students to find suitable accommodation, any lease or other housing arrangement entered into are at the discretion of the student and the accommodation provider. It is vital that you inspect any property you are considering renting before you move in or sign any agreements. If you find once inspecting the property that it is not like how it was described or if it is not like the pictures then UTS Housing strongly recommends the use of the feedback form. We will use this information to be able to remove any advertisement which is seen to be misleading or a potential scam. Alternatively you can contact the Housing Welfare Officer.
You should always be clear on whether the people in the house or flat are the owners or are renting as this can sometimes have an affect on the length of the lease or stay. You should also be aware that if you intend renting a vacant house or flat, the usual practice is to require you to sign a six or twelve month lease. A lease is a legally binding document and the provisions of the Residential Tenancies Act will apply. As breaking a lease can be very costly, we recommend that you decide, before signing a lease, if you are confident of staying in the property for the duration of the lease.
Providers sometimes forget to let us know their vacancy is gone. Or maybe the property has just been rented, and they haven't had a chance to tell us.
If Students come across one of these listings, please let the Housing Welfare Officer Officer know, that way we can then contact the provider and remove the listing when it is no longer available. A brief email will save all students valuable time while searching the database, especially at the start of each semester.
In a vacant flat/house, student hostel, and hotels, the law prohibits people from rejecting your application on the grounds of your cultural background, gender or religion. In a share home situation the discrimination laws do not apply and the owner can specify female only, male only, international students only etc.
You may have difficulty finding accommodation if you have pets or you are a smoker. Most landlords of vacant flats and houses prohibit keeping pets. Often the people in a household will allow smoking but only if you go outside, but other people prefer non-smokers as flat mates.
As far as food and cooking applies, every student and household will have different procedures and types of food that are prepared. There is a wide range of cooking styles and this can cause conflict. Some cultures cook using lots of strong smelling herbs and spices and create a lot of steam. You should discuss any special dietary requirements and cooking arrangements with the owners or your fellow tenants before you move in.
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 Fair Trading website (opens an external site).
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.
Bills usually include Electricity, 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.
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 in NSW should be held by the Rental Bond Board which is a government run body within Fair Trading NSW.
Once a tenancy is complete the property is assesed 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.