Finding a place to live

Accommodation options

  • Before you move in...
    Look carefully at your accommodation options before you make a decision. There are a variety of options available, for example, share accommodation with friends or others, board situations, renting alone, rooming houses/hostels and in some cases deciding to stay at home with your family and commute to TAFE.
  • Look at what you can afford. Moving in itself can be quite costly, for example, removal costs, rent in advance, bond, utility connections and furniture.
    Look at your expenses and decide a reasonable amount that you could afford on rent, often this will dictate the type of accommodation you require. As a general rule of thumb, budget for about 30% of your weekly income to be spent on rent.
  • Think about where you would like to live, how long it will take for you to travel to TAFE and the cost of the travel. You may find that housing is cheaper further away from TAFE, but consider the costs in travelling to attend classes.
  • Consider your needs, who you want to live with and how many people you want to live with. Do you want a lot of privacy? Are you keen to share expenses, cooking, cleaning and living space with others? Do you have a pet to accommodate also or do you mind sharing where there is a pet? Do you want to live with others to share social activities and study support?

Where do you find accommodation?

Once you have decided the type of accommodation you want and who you want to share with, your next step is to find a place. This is often not as easy as it sounds, particularly without references.

Instructions: Select each tab for more information.


If you are looking to board/share with someone else in their home, you may contact the Welfare Officer at Student Life (G 83 Nelson Campus, 9286 9902). Alternatively, see the Accommodation Available page to see a list of people wanting to lease out accommodation to students.

Contact real estate agent

You should contact real estate agents in the area you wish to live (appendix 1), these may also be found on the web and in the phone book. Be sure to look in local papers and on Wednesdays and Sundays, The Age advertises rental accommodation. Other accommodations such as share accommodation house sitting and board arrangements are sometimes advertised also.

Competitive market

Remember that private rental is a competitive market. Don’t be disheartened if you are refused several times for properties, keep trying and be positive. Applying for a property is like applying for a job. Present yourself well and sell yourself on the application.

Real estate jargon

Be aware that the real estate industry has a language all to there own - there is an abbreviation to everything! See appendix 2.

Accommodation at other providers

Although Box Hill Institute does not have their own accommodation, other tertiary institutions do, and sometimes they will accept external applicants, especially mid-term.

Private accommodation

Private accommodation providers also operate student accommodation. The prices vary considerably and it is wise to physically look at the accommodation before you apply. These options are particularly good if you are new to Melbourne and wish to make friends with other students before moving into a share rental situation. Often student residences are a cheaper way of living as their prices usually include utilities, but remember, consider the costs of travelling to class, as there are not many student residences situated around Box Hill. See appendix 3.

Temporary accommodation

If you need some time to look and need some temporary accommodation for the meantime, or if you only need accommodation for a few days or weeks, you may want to contact a local motel. See appendix 3.

Last modified: Friday, 2 September 2016, 1:06 PM