Renting accomodation: Common issues and how international students can overcome them

DECIDING on rented accommodation is a big choice for students and can come with a few obstacles. Trinity College Foundation Studies students Carol Yang, Nikki Mei and Liv Pu look at the common issues students face when it comes to renting property and how they can better manage it. 


For Trinity College Foundation Studies students who decide to move out of their home-stay to stay in rented accommodation with other students sometimes  don’t take into consideration the problems that come with it.

Rental issues are a common problem amongst overseas students but these issues can be avoided if you follow a few simple precautions, understand your rights and how to defend them.

Disputes between landlords and tenants is one of the major areas of concern. The biggest issue to arise is generally the landlord’s refusal to return a bond. So how can this situation be avoided?

Most rental accommodations require the deposit of a bond. A Bond Lodgement Form must be filled out and the landlord is required to provide you with a copy which you should keep in a safe place as your payment invoice. If you can prove your payment of the bond, you can save hassles in the future if the landlord disputes returning the bond.

One way of learning more about your rental rights and obligations is by downloading the RentRight app, which offers comprehensive information for first-time and current renters.

Another important decision is choosing a roommate. It might be tempting to live with someone from your own country who shares your culture, but living with someone who doesn’t share a native language with you means you will both get a lot more practice at speaking English.

Jennifer Walsh, Trinity College’s Housing and Accommodation Manager, also highly recommends students choose accommodation with good access to school and grocery shops.

Renting in Australia can be a rewarding experience and many common issues that plague overseas students can generally be avoided simply by following the above steps. With a bit of planning and a sound knowledge of your rental rights, students can look forward to a smoother transition from home-stay to rented accommodation.

This story was produced by Media and Communication students at Trinity College Foundation Studies as part of Meld’s community newsroom collab. Education institutions, student clubs/societies and community groups interested in being involved can get in touch us via

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Meld Magazine was incorporated as an independent not-for-profit media outlet in September 2008 to reach out to international students in Melbourne, and provide students the opportunity to gain real work experience.

Many international students live in or around the city because of the proximity to their colleges and universities, and that was where we decided to focus our efforts first. Many of us live, work and study locally too. Our editorial team is made of both local and international students, and it has worked to our advantage in providing local content in every sense of the word.

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