Property 101: Teaching international students how to RentRight

Property 101: Teaching international students how to RentRight
Property 101: Teaching international students how to RentRight

Consumer Affairs Victoria is increasing efforts to educate international students about their rights as renters, to help combat the problems new arrivals face as they set up their lives in Australia.

Students will receive information on arrival, with rental advice included, in a free welcome pack and international student guide at Melbourne Airport’s Welcome Desk. 

The information covers types of accommodation, general tenancy issues and rooming house standards. To support students in the early stages of their tenancy, further rental advice is available through their higher education providers’ online and social media channels, and educational presentations by Consumer Affairs Victoria.

Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria Simon Cohen said although most property managers and landlords do the right thing, it’s important that international students understand the terms of their rental agreement to protect themselves from any unscrupulous conduct.

International students report experiencing problems such as misleading advertising, landlords unlawfully keeping deposits and bonds, and unsafe or unhealthy conditions in rooming houses. 

“International students unfamiliar with Victoria’s renting laws can sometimes be vulnerable to landlords and accommodation providers who don’t follow the rules,” Mr Cohen said.

“By helping newly arrived students understand their renting rights, we are giving them the tools to help ensure they can live in a harmonious environment while completing their studies in Australia.

“As an international student, you have the same renting rights as local residents. This includes the right to ask your landlord to meet their obligations, without any effect on your visa.”

International students are advised to:

  • book temporary accommodation before arriving and look for longer-term accommodation once in Victoria
  • only sign a lease or contract after viewing a property in person
  • check the property is clean and safe. Ask the landlord or owner to fix any problems before paying money or signing any agreements
  • record any existing property damage in a condition report, and
  • check your landlord has lodged the bond with the Residential Tenancies Bond Authority.

For more information, view the International student renting rights - News alert

The free RentRight app, available for iPhone and Android, contains information and tools to help tenants understand their rights and how to best manage their tenancies. Download it at the RentRight smartphone app page.

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International Students

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