Applying for a room or property

When you apply for a room or property in Victoria, it's important you know you know what to look out for and understand your tenancy rights.

Read our helpful advice on what to consider before you apply. You can also refer to our handy links for the most up-to-date information on renting in Victoria from Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) and Tenants Victoria (TUV).


Scams are schemes designed to deceive you, generally for the purpose of stealing your money or personal details. You may be particularly vulnerable if you are organising your accommodation from interstate or overseas.

Useful resources on how to avoid accommodation scams

Applying for student apartments, private rentals and share houses

Some Real Estate Agents or landlords may ask you to provide the details of a contact person at the university such as a course co-ordinator. This practice is not appropriate because:

  1. Many newly-arrived students searching for housing before semester start will neither have enrolled, nor had any contact with their lecturers/course co-ordinators.
  2. The Information Privacy Act 2000 (Vic) also means that University staff are unable to confirm a student’s enrolment with a third party (such as a real estate agent or landlord).

You could provide evidence that you will be a student at The University of Melbourne e.g. a copy of your letter of offer.

Useful resources on applying for private rentals

Types of agreements

It is important to understand what type of agreement you may be entering into, particularly when it comes to share housing.

Useful resources on tenancy agreement types

Many students often confuse a rooming house for share house accommodation. It’s important to understand the difference as there are very strict laws, standards and guidelines that a rooming house must adhere to including number of tenants, registrations, bond amounts and fire safety.

Useful resources on share houses

Deposits & guarantees

Sometimes a landlord, real estate agent or student accommodation facility may ask you for a holding deposit or a guarantee.

Useful resources on deposits & guarantees

Bonds & rent in advance

Before you move in you will need to pay a bond and rent in advance. The amount will depend on the type of accommodation, your rental agreement and weekly rent.

A bond is security deposit to be held in trust for the duration of your tenancy. You pay your bond to the landlord or their real estate agent at the start of your tenancy. The landlord can claim against the bond for the cost of repairing the damage or lost rent. If you have paid your rent and leave the property in a reasonably clean condition (and undamaged), you should expect to have your bond refunded at the end of your tenancy.

Useful resources on bonds and rent in advance

Before signing a lease

Most (not all) tenancies are covered by the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) however, tenants who live in rental properties not covered by the RTA still have rights and duties under the Fair Trading Act (1999).

You should thoroughly inspect a property/room and make sure that everything is in good working order. Ensure you are happy with the condition of the property/room before signing a tenancy agreement, as once this is signed you have accepted the property as it is.

Useful checklists for when you move in