Help to answer all your questions about student accommodation in Adelaide.
Types of student housing
There are a range of student accommodation options in Adelaide to meet a variety of needs and budgets. There are six different types of student housing options – University managed accommodation, residential colleges, managed student apartments, purpose-built student accommodation, student hostels, and private rental properties.
Owned and managed by the Universities themselves, and only open to students that attend those individual Universities. Fully furnished rooms and inclusive of rent and utilities with a simple application process. Usually located on or very close to main University campuses.
Residential colleges have a focus on community with pastoral and academic support of students. Choose from private study rooms with shared facilities to shared apartments with a lounge, kitchen and bathroom. Residential colleges include all meals, furniture and wireless internet.
Living in managed housing is like renting your own place but in a property that has been specifically designed for students. Managed student housing generally come fully furnished to save having to purchase items like in a private rental property. They often require you to sign a rental agreement, but come with the support of having a dedicated student accommodation company managing them giving you piece of mind.
Purpose-Built Student Accommodation
Think hotel for students. Accommodation that has been purpose-built specifically for students. Located close to campuses with great facilities. Meals are not included, but properties and rooms have kitchens, common areas, student facilities and more.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I apply for University-managed accommodation?
You must be a student at that university, and apply directly with them. The links to apply are:
What if I don’t get along with my roommate?
Contact your property manager in the first instance should you have any issues or problems you may experience.
Will I have to sign a contract?
All types of student accommodation will require you to sign an agreement. This protects both you and the landlord and provides guidance around the length of the agreement, rental amount and other important terms. It is important that you read your agreement and understand the terms before signing.
What is a rental contract?
Also, called a Lease or Rental Tenancy Agreement, this document explains the rights and responsibilities of you and your landlord. It includes how much rent you need to pay and how long you can stay on in the property. Before you sign a contract, make sure you understand and agree to its terms and conditions. Remember that the rental agreement is a legal document. You should get a copy of it from your landlord within 21 days.
Are there facilities available for students with a disability?
There are a range of accommodation options available for students with a disability or special needs. Get in touch with the provider you are interested in for further details.
What kind of electrical plugs does Australia use?
Power in Australia is 240 volts AC at 50 Hz and uses angled two or three pin plugs. Australia and New Zealand are the only countries that use this type of socket, so it is a safe bet you will need to bring adaptors with you or purchase them once you arrive in Australia. Adaptors cost around AUD 10-20 each.
My Mum washes my clothes, will I need to do washing myself?
Yes! One of the great things about living away from home is that you are forced to learn basic life skills which you will be able to put to use for the rest of your life! Washing, cleaning, cooking and generally being a responsible young adult will all become your own responsibility.
Managed accommodation providers will have a student welfare person or staff member that will be able to teach you about these things or point you in the right direction if you are unsure about what to do – just ask!
Are meals included?
Residential colleges such as St Mark’s, St Ann’s, Lincoln College and Aquinas College will provide three square meals a day every day for the residents that live there which is why residential colleges represent really good value. You will need to learn to cook yourself for all other types of accommodation options which can be a really valuable experience!
Is my stuff insured against loss or damage?
In most cases, you will need to organise your own insurance to cover against loss, theft or damage. Check with the provider you are interested in for further information
What security is in place?
Adelaide is an extremely safe city with most accommodation located within a close distance from campuses. Depending on the type of student accommodation property you select, there will be a range of security measures in place such as swipe card access, on-site staff, security cameras in public areas, lockable room doors and many other measures. Contact your preferred accommodation provider for specific details.
I am under 18 years of age, what accommodation options are available to me?
If you are below 18 years of age when you start your education in Adelaide, you will need to stay with a parent or guardian or go into homestay accommodation. To organise this, please contact your school or education institution.
What is a bond?
Basically, a bond covers the owner of a property in the unlikely event of damage. To ensure that your bond is returned, you must return the property at the end of your lease period in the same condition as when you first moved in. For example, making sure the bathroom is clean, the walls are not scuffed, there are
How long does it take to find accommodation?
Depending on your housing preference and budget, it typically takes between one and four weeks to secure a place to stay. It is usually faster to find accommodation through commercial purpose-built student accommodation and residential colleges rather than a private rental. If you are interested in a private rental, we always recommend you visit the property to inspect it personally before submitting the deposit.
Things to watch out for with student accommodation
The safest and best way to secure student accommodation is to use a real estate agent or managed accommodation provider that is listed on this website. Do not under any circumstances, enter into agreements with private individuals as this is the number one reason for students facing problems. If you enter into a sub-lease agreement, you have very little recourse of action if the agreement is terminated which can leave you without a home which reinforces the need to only deal with licensed real estate agents or professional accommodation providers.
How to keep your bond after checking out of student accommodation
1) Collect evidence when you move in – photograph the rooms and facilities prior to moving in so you have hard evidence of what everything looked like before you moved in. Forward those images to your agent so they have a record of them on file.
Test electrical appliances such as washing machines, dryers, heaters and air-conditioners when you first move in to make sure they are all working. This includes testing the heater in Summer when you move in, as the last thing you want to do is discover it isn’t working when Winter comes around.
2) Clean regularly – Make sure you clean regularly such as vacuuming floors, wiping down cupboards, cleaning floors, dusting furniture etc. Every couple of weeks you should do a major clean of the bathroom (bleach can be your best friend) to ensure mould and soap scum doesn’t build up in the shower. Plus it’s nice you know, to take a shower in a clean shower.
3) Report damage straight away – If you have damaged something, it is best to report it straight away. Honesty is always the best policy. For minor damage (such as a small hole in a wall), you may be able to fix it yourself, or the owner may be aware of pre-existing damage already.
4) If you have to smoke, only smoke outside – Most places are 100% smoke-free, but if you are living in private accommodation only smoke outside, and dispose of your butts in the bin (not the garden). The smell from smoke is very difficult to get out of a house, and it can also cause damage to curtains and furniture as well.
5) Limit the parties – It’s always exciting to live on your own for the first time with the freedom that it provides. You may be tempted to host a party for a bunch of friends, but be careful about how big those parties get. Small gatherings like a dinner are fine as they involve a small number of people.
6) Clean before inspections – Always, always make sure your place is as spotless as possible before inspections. Not only will you be living in a nicer environment, it also demonstrates to the landlord that you are looking after their property.
3) Seek permission before making alterations – If you get the DIY-bug, and feel like painting a wall a different colour, or install a satellite dish, check with your landlord first before proceeding.
Here are some links that can assist you with student accommodation in Adelaide including Government agencies and the accommodation services of education institutions.
Government of South Australia Consumer and Business Services
The Government of South Australia offers some pretty good information to get you started if you are looking at renting a place privately.
Institution Accommodation Services
All of the major education providers offer services that can help you find accommodation in Adelaide as well as support and advice. Assistance can usually be found through your institution’s student support services.
Can’t see your provider? Contact us (email enquiry form)
South Australian Student Accommodation Association
The South Australian Student Accommodation Association (SASAA) was established to promote the value of quality accommodation provided for the exclusive use of students to support and enhance their education experience in Adelaide, South Australia. A SASAA logo appears on property listings for properties that are members of SASAA.
Checklist for renting
Before you start renting there, are some important things you need to consider. Here are five things to consider before signing a lease or a rental agreement.
1. Ask Questions!
It is better to clarify things before signing a lease so make sure you ask lots of questions. Things you may want to ask about include:
How long is the lease for?
Who do I contact for maintenance and repair issues?
What changes (if any) can I make to the property?
When will rent be due and how do I pay it?
Does the price include utilities like water, gas and electricity?
Are there any other fees I will have to pay other than rent?
2. Get a signed copy of your lease/rental agreement.
Make sure you get a signed copy of your agreement and keep it on file for future reference. You can see some examples of rental agreements here
3. Check the house is in good condition before you move in.
If possible, ask to see the property or room before you move in to check for any damage or things that are out of place. Before you move in, it is always a good idea to photograph the property so you have a record of what everything looked like before you move in.
4. Get a signed copy of the property inspection sheet
Landlords have the right to perform inspections of properties from time to time, and it is important that you get a copy of the inspection record once completed. Remember you make a note of any issues with the property that don’t appear on the inspection sheet and confirm these with your landlord or property management agent,
5. Get receipts of payment
Always get receipts of your rent payments from the landlord to ensure you have a financial record of everything you have paid. This includes a receipt for your bond as well.
What is a lease agreement?
A lease agreement (sometimes called a tenancy agreement) covers the expectations of the property owner and the tenant. While they can be verbal or implied, always ask for a written agreement as it means there can’t be any ambiguity should a dispute arise. By law, a written lease agreement must include:
The name, address, phone number and registration number of the property agent if one is used
Details about the landlord including name, address and also a phone number of a property agent is not being used
The names of all tenants included in the agreement
The address of the property
The rental amount
How and when rent is to be paid
How long the lease agreement is for
Who pays for water supply and use
Anything excluded from the agreement such as the use of a shed
Any other terms such as rules about keeping pets
The data and signature of all parties
Check out the Government of South Australia’s website for further information about lease agreements or contact your education institution.
Is electricity, gas, water and internet included?
This depends on the type of student accommodation you select.
Things to consider when selecting student accommodation
There is a range of things to consider when selecting the right student accommodation for you, depending on your confidence living on your own. If you have never lived away from home before, then managed student accommodation options are your best option as they provide dedicated support to help you adjust living on your own. If you don’t know how to cook, then residential colleges are a good option as meals are included in the price. Remember, living away from home means you have to do everything yourself!
What is the bond I will need to pay?
Is electricity included?
Is gas included?
Is internet included?
Are meals included?
Are there laundry facilities onsite or nearby?
What support services does the accommodation provide?
What cooking facilities are available?
Is public transport close by or is my institution within easy walking distance?
What security does the facility have?
When do I have to pay?
Do I have a private ensuite bathroom or shared bathroom?
Will I be living with other people?
Is there a prayer room?
Is there a tutor onsite to assist me with my studies?
Are there activities offered to help me make friends?
Is there a safe lockup facility for my bicycle or car?
Does the facility have 24/7 access?
There are lots of things to consider, so if you have any questions or queries contact the accommodation services at your education institution to find out what is right for you.
What support is available if I have any problems?
If you run into any problems with your student accommodation, the best people to contact first is your provider who will be able to help you straight away. If the problems continue, there are a range of Government services that you can reach out to:
Consumer and Business Services
Consumer and Business Services is a Government of South Australia department that gives advice and information on contracts and lease agreements, your rights and responsibilities as a tenant, bonds and other charges, options available to help you resolve a problem with a landlord.
Office of the Training Advocate
The Office of the Training Advocate provides independent advice and guidance about all aspects of living, working or studying in South Australia as an international student. They have an office you can drop into in the city, but you can also call or email them.