Housing- where will I live
Don’t try and rent a property for yourself, as you would have to pay for everything such as furniture, appliances, telephone and other connections to utilities and a high price for rent. Sharing a house is easier and cheaper and you will get many chances to talk to people. Rent goes up every year and sometimes students face problems with their landlord, mainly things to do with pay or with fixing something up that they did not damage. So it’s worth making sure that the landlord fills in a condition report at the start of the tenancy. And make sure that the landlord gives you back your bond and gives you a receipt for payment of rent, if you ask. If these things are not done, you can ask for help from the Tenants Union. http://www.tuv.org.au
Make sure that your place is close to uni so that you don’t have to travel far and pay lots of money for transportation.
Check out http://melbourne.gumtree.com.au for cheap housing.
RMIT housing database
This is the RMIT housing database, which you can use to look for and search for properties. Here you can type in how much you want to pay per week and which campus you are studying at. And then it will list all the possible properties to rent
Here you can look at properties in the student lounge. Here you will need to login (with your student number and password) and this screen will come up. To the left is all the classified where you can look for accommodation.
Also the Saturday Age Paper has a housing section where properties for rent and sale are listed.
You can also try the campus noticeboards, Friends of the earth shop, Readings etc.
Homestay is also another option. It’s mainly for international students. You are living with an Australian family and you only have to pay about $220 per month for rent, some bills and maybe some food. The family will take care of the rest.
A student hostel such as Victoria University’s student hall is another really good idea as your rent includes food as well as bills. It’s normally about $300-$500 per month. Some might charge a bit more than that. http://www.vu.edu.au/housing
Swinburne also has a student hall. Check out: http://www.swin.edu.au/stuserv/residential
RMIT has RMIT village but as of now it probably is full already.
You should get renters insurance. This will insure against any loss, theft or fire damage inside the house. Then that way you can afford to replace everything that you have lost or damaged, such as a TV or house keys. You can sign up for at least $5 a week for the RACV’s renter insurance. This will insure you for about $10000- $50000 depending on how much you need.
Some of your bills will be shared, others will be included. If you’re living in a share house, all the bills will be shared. Sometimes the bills might be included with the rent. It helps to ask the landlord this when you move in.
If you are living alone, then you will need to pay all your bills (unless the bills are included in your rent payments). Check to make sure that everything adds correctly and that there are no mistakes. Make sure that the bills say how much you actually used not make up some figure.
When using the landline write down what calls you made and how long you spoke for. That way when the bill comes there are no disputes. You can save more money on your telephone bill by chatting to your friends over the internet on sites such as Facebook, where it is free to join and to chat to friends. Dodo internet has a great $9.95 per month internet offer. See in stores today.
Make sure you turn off all heating, electricity and water (such as showers and taps) when not in use. You can save plenty of money this way as well as save the environment. Use as much water as you really need and don’t waste water. Don’t use electric blankets, but use hot water bottles.
In winter use droughts on doors and windows to stop the heat getting through and make sure that you wear lots of warm clothes to save on gas, as well as keeping yourself warm. You don’t want to get a cold. Use curtains and drapes if you have them.
To do washing and drying make sure that you wash a full load to save water and if possible air dry your clothes. If you need to use a dryer make sure that you fill it up.
Turn off your computer when you’re not using it.