Frequently asked questions
Students back to top
How do I find a vacant room or property?
To gain access to the contact details of the accommodation Providers, you will need to register as a student on the Melbourne Polytechnic Off-Campus Accommodation database.
Here’s how to register.
It should only take you a minute or two.
- Current Students:
- Register using your Melbourne Polytechnic email address.
- You’ll receive an email with a link to activate your account.
- Once your account is activated you can start searching- for a room or a property and will get access to all the contact details.
- Future Students:
- Register using your best email address.
- You’ll receive an email with a request to send in some further information.
- Once you’ve sent the requested info, your request will be assessed.
- You will be notified once your account has been activated.
- Once your account is activated you can start searching- for a room or a property- and you will get access to all the contact details.
What do I do if I’ve forgotten my password?
You can recover your own password by clicking “Forget your password?” on the sign in page. This will send an email to your registered email address with a link. Once you click this link, you'll be taken to a page on the site where you can choose a new password.
What do I do if I want to advertise a room for rent in a share house?
- Simply sign in using your log-in details (You’ll need to register if you haven’t already)
- Click the "Add a listing" tab
- If it’s your first advertisement you'll be prompted to add some extra contact details.
- Then you’ll be able to advertise your room.
What are my off-campus accommodation options?
You can choose from a range of off-campus accommodation options:
Sharing a rented house or flat with other people is generally the most economical, flexible and popular form of off-campus accommodation. You might choose to move into an existing share-house, or organise a group to establish a new share house.
Usually, each person in a share house has their own bedroom and contributes to the cost of household goods, the bond (security deposit), gas, electricity, water and telephone charges. In most cases you will be expected to provide your own bedroom furniture. The bathroom, kitchen and living room are for everyone to share and maintain.
Some considerations prior to moving into a shared household:
- Current lease agreement
- Household expectations and rules (cooking, cleaning, system for paying bills)
- People who may be moving out or moving in to the household
- Your room (privacy, size and furnishings)
- Safety inside and outside the property
Tip: The Residential Tenancies Act (1997) does not differentiate between the rights and obligations of co-tenants in relation to each other. If you find yourself in a dispute with another tenant, the Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria (DSCV) provides a free dispute mediation service.
If you live in a house or property where there’s one or more rooms available for rent and the total number of people occupying these rooms are four or more it may be classified as a rooming house. Bedrooms are usually furnished and you can rent your own locked bedroom (single room) or share a bedroom with others (dorm room). You also share the house common facilities such as kitchen, laundry, bathroom and living areas. Rooming houses are a good option if you enjoy living in a communal environment.
Tip: Rooming house operators are required to comply with minimum standards which relate to privacy, security, safety and amenities. You can view the minimum standards at Consumer Affairs Victoria.
Private rental vacancies
This option includes units, flats, houses, self-contained bungalows and apartments. By living in a private rental you have the opportunity to live independently and to be responsible for all aspects of your tenancy. This can be one of the more expensive options as you are solely responsible for meeting costs such as the bond, rent in advance, gas, electricity, water, moving expenses and furnishings.
Tip: Ensure you fully understand the terms and conditions of a lease agreement before you sign. It can be expensive to break a lease if you change your mind.
Commercially operated student apartments
If you are interested in living independently with access to common facilities this may be a good option. Rooms come fully furnished and (if you are not sharing with others) you may have your own bathroom and kitchen facilities. There are different types of accommodation within apartments you can choose from such as; studio room, one bedroom, two bedroom and twin share.
Tip: As with private rentals, ensure you fully understand the terms and conditions of an agreement for a student apartment before you sign.
In a boarding arrangement, you live with the owner/occupier of a home. Meals and other support may be provided and your room is usually fully furnished. This option can be appealing as it gives you the opportunity to be supported in a home environment.
Tip: It is a good idea to discuss any house expectations prior to moving in.
What On-Campus Student Accommodation is provided at Melbourne Polytechnic?
Yarra House is operated by Campus Living Villages.
What is a lease and why do I need to sign one?
A tenancy agreement, also called a lease, can be in writing or verbal. A lease can apply for a fixed term (for example 6 or 12 months) or be periodic (generally month to month).
Applying for a residential tenancy agreement:
- Carefully read and understand the tenancy agreement before you sign
- Ensure you are given contact details for the landlord or real estate agent
- Pay rent in advance and obtain a receipt.
- Fill out and keep a copy of the 'Condition Report'.
- If you are required to pay a bond, the landlord or agent must complete and sign a Bond Lodgement Form and give you the form to sign.
The bond is then lodged with the Residential Tenancies Bond Authority (RTBA). Ensure you keep a copy of the receipt from the bond authority. For more information contact Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV), or the Tenants Union of Victoria (TUV).
What is a bond?
A bond is a security deposit (usually equal to one month’s rent) that you pay to the landlord at the start of your tenancy. When you pay a bond the landlord should sign a Bond Lodgement Form and give you the form to sign. The form should then be lodged with the Residential Tenancies Bond Authority within 10 days.
If, at the end of your tenancy the landlord believes you damaged the property or if you have unpaid rent they make a claim for all or a part of your bond as compensation.
Tip: Check that you receive a receipt for the bond and all other payments.
How much is my bond?
If the rent for your property is less than $350 per week, you can only be asked to pay the equivalent of one month's rent as bond.
There is no maximum amount of bond payable if the rent for your property is more than $350 per week, however 6 weeks rent might be a reasonable amount to expect to pay.
What is a condition report?
The condition report provides evidence of the condition of the property when you moved in. It documents cleanliness, fixtures and fittings and existing damage.
The report is essential as it may help you defend a bond claim or compensation claim for damage or cleaning costs at the conclusion of your tenancy.
Ensure you go through the property room by room and make comments on the condition report if you find any damage (such as marks on the walls, carpet stains etc.). Once the form is completed and signed return it to the landlord within three business days of moving into the premises.
Tip: We recommend you take photos of the property, this will help to support your comments on the condition report.
What is the average price of accommodation?
Rental prices vary considerably depending on the type of housing, the amenities available, and the location.
How long does it take to find accommodation?
Securing your accommodation after arriving in Melbourne can take up to one month, or possibly longer, depending on your requirements. Try to arrive early so that you don't miss out on important orientation or enrolment activities.
Is there a real estate agent I can go to who will find an apartment or house for me?
In Melbourne, real estate agents don't escort prospective tenants to different apartments or houses. The prospective tenant (you) does all the work, and you need to find your own way to the properties, often at set times (open for inspection times are usually a 15 minute window of opportunity for prospective tenants to inspect the premises).
Where can I get tenancy information or advice?
Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) is responsible for the administration of the Residential Tenancies Act.
You can obtain copies of Renting a Home: A Guide for Tenants or Rooming Houses: A guide for Residents and other relevant information and forms from Consumer Affairs Victoria - phone 1300 558181 or call into their office at 113 Exhibition Street, Melbourne.
CAV publications are also available in many other languages.
Tenants Union Victoria also provide information, support and advice to tenants. The TUV web page has an excellent range tenancy issue sheets and step by step guides in a broad range of languages. Or you can get phone advice 9.00am to 4.00pm Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 1.00pm to 8.00pm Wednesday on (03) 9416 2577. (Closed on public holidays)
Providers back to top
How does the Melbourne Polytechnic Off-Campus Accommodation database work?
The Melbourne Polytechnic Off-Campus Accommodation database operates as a listing agent. Providers can list their accommodation offer at no cost.
Offers of accommodation must comply with relevant statutory acts and regulations including the Equal Opportunity Act.
Students looking for housing can access the database for free.
Melbourne Polytechnic staff do not inspect properties or recommend one provider over another and does not match or place students with offers of accommodation.
Students must contact the providers and all negotiations are between the student and the provider.
How do I advertise a vacant room or property?
How do I relist a previous offer?
- Locate the listing to be reactivated from your dashboard.
- Click on the 'relist' link.
- Click on 'available from' box and enter the date the property is available from.
- Select the 'preview' box and make any changes that you want.
- Select the 'OK, submit this listing' button.
- Once approved by Melbourne Polytechnic you will receive a notification email.
Please note: Relisting may not always be approved, depending on availability of advertising space.
What is the approval process for listing on the database?
All advertisements are reviewed by Student Services prior to being approved for the database. We aim to check and approve listings within 72 hours of the accommodation being offered.
How long will my listing remain live on the website?
Each listing will be live on the Melbourne Polytechnic Off-Campus Accommodation Database for up to 28 days. Melbourne Polytechnic reserves the right to remove advertisements if the database is at capacity.
You will receive an email prior to the listing’s expiry date, at which stage you will have the option to relist the offer of accommodation. (Please note: relisting may not always be approved- depending on current availability of advertising space.)
If you lease the room or property prior to the expiry of advertisement please log back into the service to remove the listing. Updating listings helps to ensure the database retains only current listings.
How do I remove my listing once I've filled my vacancy?
Please remember to close your listing once you have found a tenant/flatmate. You must remove your listing within 72 hours of filling your advertised vacancy.
If listings are not closed and left open, you may still receive many calls and emails about your property. During our peak period, when there are many students seeking accommodation, this can be quite disheartening for them as it gives them false hope of available accommodation.
To remove your listing simply:
- Log in to your Dashboard.
- Once in your Dashboard, you should see your listings. Click on the listing you wish to close
- On the heading (it should read something like 'House, Test Road'), you will see two links: Edit and Close. Click on the Close link.
I've previously advertised a property, how do I add another property?
What do I do if I’ve forgotten my password?
You can recover their own password by clicking “Forget your password?” on the sign in page. This will send an email to your registered address with a link. Once you click this link, you'll be taken to a page on the site where you can choose a new password.
What are students looking for?
Most students seek accommodation that
is close to their campus, or that has good access to
public transport. Offers from surrounding suburbs are usually popular, but some
students do choose to live further away from campus if they have their own
Price is often a big factor for students, so cheap accommodation is generally popular. Offers that are considered to be expensive for the area might not generate many student enquiries.
Types of housing students may look for include:
- Share House - for singles and couples - room with use of household facilities
- Rooming Houses - (where four or more individuals rent room or share a room) and share the common facilities
- Vacant properties to rent - houses, flats, units, self-contained bungalows and apartments
- Commercially operated Student Apartments and Hostels - furnished apartments & serviced hostels
When do Melbourne Polytechnic students look for housing?
The peak times are the months leading up to the commencement of the academic year – January and February and for the mid-year intake in June and July and there are always students looking to change their housing at any given time.
Where are students looking for housing?
Students look for housing in areas close to these campuses:
- Melbourne Polytechnic - Preston Campus
- Melbourne Polytechnic - Epping Campus
- Melbourne Polytechnic - Fairfield Campus
- Melbourne Polytechnic - Heidelberg Campus
- Melbourne Polytechnic - Prahran Campus
- Melbourne Polytechnic - Collingwood Campus
How can I make my listing appealing to students?
Preparing your listing -
- Include photos. Our database has a minimum requirement of one photo for each listing, but you can include more photos. Photos will give students a visual preview which can help to promote particular features.
- Provide the option of furnishings. Generally, students prefer a furnished room.
- Use your preferred and most available contact details. E.g. phone and/or email.
What to include under details -
- Description of others that live at the residence (e.g. would be sharing with student, family, couple etc.).
- Details about the culture. e.g. whether it is a quiet or noisy house etc.
- Description about whether pets are allowed and if there any pets currently at the property.
- Special features (such as large backyard, own bathroom, wi-fi, large bedroom, undercover parking etc.)
- Arrangement for expenses (e.g. cost of electricity, gas and water included in rent)
- The location in relation to public transport and the campus.
How much should I charge for rent?
Melbourne Polytechnic is unable to provide advice on the pricing of individual listings. We do recommend that you have a look at similar listings on the off-campus accommodation database and external rental websites. This will help you to assess the features in your accommodation against other comparable properties.
If you find you are receiving a low number of enquiries you may like to reassess your rental price.
How much Bond can I charge?
If you charge a Bond, you must complete a Bond Lodgement Form and lodge it with the Residential Tenancies Bond Authority within 10 working days of receiving the bond. You must also provide the tenant a Condition Report on the state of the property or the room they are renting.
Rental properties - usually a maximum equal to one month rent
Residents on a Rooming House Agreement - a maximum equal to two weeks rent.
Tenants, co-tenants and sub-tenants on fixed term leases - a maximum equal to portion of one month rent.
Visit the Consumer Affairs website for more information.
Do I need to enter into a lease agreement with the tenant?
A tenancy agreement, also called a lease, can be in writing or verbal. If a tenancy agreement is in writing it should be in proper legal form. Free Residential Tenancy Agreements are available from Consumer Affairs Victoria.
Where can I get a copy of tenancy forms and publications?
Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) is responsible for administering the Residential Tenancies Act (1997).
Visit Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) online, phone 1300 558181 or visit CAV at 113 Exhibition Street, Melbourne.
What is a Rooming House?
A Rooming House is a building in which one or more rooms are used by four or more people who are on an individual agreement (written or oral) and paying individual rent for a room (or shared room) in that building.
Rooming Houses must be registered with the Local Government authority and meet health, building and safety regulations.
Rooming Houses must have prescribed amenities and meet prescribed standards under the Residential Tenancies (Rooming House Standards) Regulations 2012.
The premises must be administered and residents afforded their rights and obligations under the Residential Tenancies Act 1997.
For more information regarding Registration of a Rooming Housing, contact the Local Government authority where the building is located.
See Consumer Affairs Victoria for information for Rooming House operators and copies of prescribed forms and guides.