Benefits of living independently

Many students enjoy living independently and renting or house-sharing with friends. The UTS Housing Service provides information about available private properties, which includes house-shares, apartments, studios and rooms. The service is free of charge.

You can choose from a range of options to suit your lifestyle and budget and how close to campus you would like to live. You also have the option to live in student accommodation which is close to the UTS Insearch campus and facilities. The benefits include being a part of a lively student community with easy access to the CBD and local public transport. Your neighbours are likely to be fellow students from any of the universities or colleges in the area.

Living independently can be an adventure and you will have all sorts of new experiences. House-sharing with friends may be new and also take some adjustment. Cooking for yourself or sharing cooking with your flatmates can be a great learning experience and a big help to your budget.

Not available to students under 18

International students under 18 need to live in UTS Insearch approved accommodation and welfare arrangements or have welfare arrangements approved by the Department of Home Affairs. The two UTS Insearch approved accommodation and welfare arrangements for international students under 18 are Homestay or Urbanest. If you are applying for a student visa and you are under 18, you cannot live in independent housing and need to have welfare arrangements in place.

How much will it cost me?

The cost of accommodation depends largely on where you want to live in Sydney. As a general rule, the further you move out from the Sydney Central Business District (CBD), the less you will pay in rent.

A private room in shared accommodation will usually cost between $300 and $400 per week, especially if you want to be close to the city. A one bedroom apartment in Sydney's CBD has a median cost of $580 per week. Source of this data: www.housing.nsw.gov.au/home.

Of course, prices will depend on the popularity of the suburb you choose, its transport connections and amenities. Another consideration is the type of home you pick, with luxury adding to the price of your room.

Student accommodation providers

Urbanest and other student accommodation providers are listed below. Note that Urbanest UTS Insearch's approved student residential accommodation providers for international students under 18.
 
Urbanest Sydney Central483 Wattle Street, Sydney
Urbanest Quay Street83 Quay Street, Haymarket
Urbanest Darling Square41 Darling Drive, Sydney
Urbanest Darling House39 Darling Drive, Sydney
Iglu Sydney Central Student Accommodation1 Regent Street, Chippendale
Link2 Student Living783 George Street, Sydney
Unilodge on Broadway185 – 211 Broadway, Ultimo
Furnished PropertySuite 111, The Manning Building, 451 Pitt St, Haymarket (Office only)
Sydney Student Living38 Burton Street, Concord

Backpackers/youth hostels

Backpacker and youth hostels are budget accommodation options, mainly for young travellers. Most hostels have shared rooms and dormitories, so might not be suitable as long term accommodation for students. Hostels close to UTS Insearch are listed below.
 
Sydney Central YHA11 Rawson Place Sydney
790 on George Backpackers790 George Street Haymarket
Wake Up! Sydney509 Pitt Street Sydney
Sydney Railway Square YHA8/10 Lee Street Sydney
Bounce Sydney28 Chalmers Street Surry Hills
Big Hostel212 Elizabeth Street Surry Hills
Maze Backpackers417 Pitt Street Haymarket

Hotels/serviced apartments

Hotels and serviced apartments are usually the most expensive accommodation option but may be suitable for a short stay. Hotels and serviced apartments close to UTS Insearch are listed below.
 
Novotel Sydney Central169 – 179 Thomas Street Sydney
Adina Apartment Hotel Sydney Central2 Lee Street Haymarket
Mercure Sydney818 – 820 George Street Ultimo
The Ultimo37 Ultimo Road Sydney
Metro Hotel Marlow Sydney Central431 – 439 Pitt Street Sydney
Meriton Suites Campbell Street6 Campbell Street Haymarket
Veriu Central Hotel Sydney75 Wentworth Avenue Sydney
Rydges Sydney Central28 Albion Street Surry Hills

Private rentals

There are also lots of other housing options in the private rental market. UTS also has a private listings service – Study Stays – that will also make searching for an apartment or a room easier.
 
UTS Accommodation is also able to assist UTS Insearch students in their search for suitable accommodation.
 
You can also visit www.study.sydney/live/accommodation for more information on finding a place to live in Sydney.
 
If you're looking for this kind of accommodation, there are also many websites advertising shared accommodation in Sydney.

How to find a property

As a UTS Insearch student, you can access the UTS Study Stays listing, but you'll need to register using your student number and other details. The listing shows rooms and properties available and tells you the distance from these to our city campuses.

You can check out the UTS Accommodation website. Please note, some accommodation options may be available only to UTS students.

If you use websites advertising shared accommodation in Sydney, make sure you go to inspect the property before making any payments.

Things to check before you sign a lease

If you want to rent one of the rooms listed, you should call the contact person and make time to view the room or apartment you want to rent, to ensure it's as shown in the photos. You can also make sure it will suit your needs before deciding, signing a lease and making payment. Remember to familiarise yourself with our Staying safe in Sydney page. especially when viewing privately rented accommodation.

If you're thinking about booking a room in a student residence, most will be happy to show you around their premises and a display room.

Bond payments

A bond is an amount of money you pay at the start of a lease in addition to your rent. Most rental lease agreements you enter into will require you to leave a bond. It's a one-off payment and is usually equivalent to four weeks of rent.
 
You pay this amount to your landlord, but it is held by the NSW Department of Fair Trading. You must pay the bond as a guarantee to the landlord against any damage you may cause to their property, or in case you miss any rent payments.
 
If you don't cause any damage to the property and you've paid all your rent on time, you will get your bond money back.

If disputes arise over getting your bond refunded, you can speak to the UTS Legal Service. This is a free service open to UTS and Insearch students.

Tenancy rights and responsibilities

Before you move in
  • Most lease agreements will have a minimum notice period, which you must meet.
  • For private rentals, you need to check the terms of your lease. This will tell you how much notice you need to give your landlord or agent that you're moving out.
  • Some lease agreements will require you to find substitute tenants before you can end your lease and move out.
  • In any case, you need to know what's in your lease agreement. If you have any doubts or would like your lease agreement reviewed before you sign it, you can take it to the UTS Student Legal Service. As a UTS Insearch student, you have access to UTS services, including the Student Legal Service. The legal professionals in this office will be happy to review, clarify and advise you on your rental agreement.
 
Before you move out
  • You should leave your previous accommodation in the same condition that you leased it in. Then, you can receive a full refund of your bond money. You need to make sure that you've paid all your rent and returned any sets of keys issued to you. Do not keep copies of keys.
  • You'll need to change your address with UTS Insearch within 7 days of moving. You can log on to eStudent to update your personal details.
  • You should also change your address with all other organisations you're registered with, for example, your bank, employer, doctor or health insurance provider. Then, they can send your mail to the correct address.

Tips for independent living

Safety

UTS Insearch takes your safety very seriously. During Orientation and Academic Preparation Week, you will be given a STAYSAFE card which gives you telephone numbers to call in case of an emergency or you are concerned for your safety.
 
UTS Insearch and UTS have security guards located in all buildings. After business hours, when UTS Insearch is closed, you can call UTS Security on 1800 249 559.
 
The emergency number in Australia is 'Triple Zero' for police, fire or ambulance emergencies. Calls to 000 (triple zero) are free of charge.
 

Cooking

One of the biggest hurdles some students have to overcome is adapting to cooking for themselves.
 
Learning to cook is essential for making your living allowances go further. Many ingredients and sauces that you are used to at home are readily available in local supermarkets and specialty shops. And some ingredients such as meat may be cheaper here than where you are from.
 

Internet

International students often spend many hours online, on their computers and/or mobile phone. However, the use of online devices carries risks and it is important for all students to protect themselves online. Australia is a world leader in identifying online abuse, with its eSafety Commissioner website established to protect students and young people online.
 
When using the internet, like anywhere in the world, you should protect yourself against spam, online scams like 'phishing', online bullying and identity theft. You can find resources and more information about protecting yourself online and reporting abuse at Australia.gov.au and www.esafety.gov.au. Many Australian internet service providers also offer guidance so check their website as well
 

Staying connected

It is important to stay connected with your family and friends at home. Let them know how you are settling into student life in Sydney. Ask for advice about dealing with new situations or problems you face.
 
Your computer and mobile phone are essential tools for staying connected with your family and friends at home (as well as new friends. If you’re an international student make sure that you have a mobile phone plan or a phone card that will allow lower cost calls to your home country. It is also important for you to have wifi access, at a reasonable price, where you are living.

Where to get help

For further assistance please contact the Accommodation Team on accommodation@insearch.edu.au or the Welfare Team: welfare@insearch.edu.au.