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The most common types of accommodation for international students in Queensland include homestays with an Australian family or rental accommodation.

Homestays

Living with a Queensland family is a great opportunity to immerse yourself in Aussie culture. This is a great option for younger students who want to spend quality time with a host family and have all their meals provided. Your homestay family will provide you with a furnished bedroom and a desk, daily meals, and a safe environment to socialise and improve your English skills. 

Most education providers can also help to arrange homestays upon request, but some well-known homestay providers include:

Student accommodation 

Living in student accommodation is a great way to socialise with others. Most student accommodation buildings are centrally located, usually just a short distance from public transport, university campuses, shopping centres, entertainment, and dining precincts. This also makes it convenient to find employment nearby. You can choose from a variety of shared rooms or private rooms within a student accommodation building.

Some student accommodation providers in Queensland include:

Your institution may also have on-campus accommodation options. Costs will vary depending on whether you find accommodation on or off campus.

Renting in Queensland

Another popular option for international students is renting or ‘leasing’ a property by yourself or with others. You can do this through a real estate agent or check out several rental and share boards online.

Rental accommodation can range from small studio apartments to large share houses. If you rent a property, you are known as a tenant, and the homeowner is known as a landlord. Others who rent with you are known as housemates or flatmates, and the house is known as a ‘sharehouse’.

How to apply for a rental property

To apply for a rental property, you need to provide documentation to the real estate agent or landlord that proves your ability to pay rent, as well as your ability to take care of the property. 

If your application is successful, you will need to sign a document called a lease agreement, which is a legally binding contract between you and your landlord. 

You will also be required to pay an amount of money known as a bond, which is usually four weeks of rent. This bond is a security measure for the landlord in case of cleaning or damages to the property. When your lease agreement ends and you vacate the property, the bond is paid back to you if there are no issues.

Bond payments are held by the Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA), a Queensland Government authority that handles any disputes made by homeowners and tenants. 

Shared rental with other students

Living with others is a convenient and affordable way to rent a property. If you have friends that want to move into the same house, you can apply for a rental property together. Another option is to join an existing sharehouse. To look for a housemate, check out websites such as:

Private rental

Renting privately is a more expensive option, but if you prefer to live alone and have a car space or a spare room for visiting friends and family, then this is something you might consider. It just depends on what is important to you and your budget. The costs will vary depending on where you want to live and the type of accommodation you choose. 

To look for a rental property, check out websites such as:

The average cost of sharehouses and private rentals varies greatly, depending on whether you are renting a house or an apartment, as well as in what area you live in. Studio apartments are small but affordable, while 2 and 3-bedroom apartments are spacious but more expensive. 

According to the RTA, in December 2019 the average weekly rent in Queensland was:

Brisbane City

  • 2-bedroom apartment – AUD $425
  • 2-bedroom house – AUD $400

Sunshine Coast

  • 2-bedroom apartment – AUD $410
  • 2-bedroom house – AUD $430

Gold Coast

  • 2-bedroom apartment – AUD $450
  • 2-bedroom house – AUD $420

Moreton Bay

  • 2-bedroom apartment – AUD $295
  • 2-bedroom house – AUD $310

Logan

  • 2-bedroom apartment – AUD $295
  • 2-bedroom house – AUD $300

Ipswich

  • 2-bedroom apartment – AUD $270
  • 2-bedroom house – AUD $287.50

Redlands

  • 2-bedroom apartment – AUD $360
  • 2-bedroom house – AUD $270

Central Queensland

  • 2-bedroom apartment – AUD $250
  • 2-bedroom house – AUD $280

Townsville

  • 2-bedroom apartment – AUD $210
  • 2-bedroom house – AUD $310

Cairns

  • 2-bedroom apartment – AUD $330
  • 2-bedroom house – AUD $300

Your rights and obligations as a tenant

Before you decide to apply for a rental property, it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with your rights and responsibilities as a tenant. The Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA) is the governing body that looks after the rights of tenants, landlords and real estate agents. Their website has lots of great information about moving out, getting your rental bond back and resolving disputes.

Generally, if you pay your rent on time, take good care of the property and do not disturb your neighbours, you will be on track to avoid any problems. It’s also a good idea to keep a record of all documents about the tenancy (entry condition report, lease agreement, rent receipts etc).

Unable to pay rent

If you are unable to pay your rent due to loss of income, talk to your landlord or real estate agent as soon as possible to see what options are available to you. You can also get in touch with the Student Support Officers on the Queensland Student Hub to discuss your options. 

Breaking your lease agreement 

If you need to break your lease agreement for any reason, such as deciding to return home early, speak with your landlord or real estate agent immediately. There are usually break lease costs involved that may be the equivalent of one week’s rent plus a marketing fee, but this should all be outlined in your lease agreement.  

More information is available in the Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA) “Pocket guide for tenants - houses and units” booklet.

Handling rental disputes

If you and your landlord or real estate agent cannot reach an agreement, you can request a free dispute resolution service from the RTA. The RTA have also produced a video series on dispute resolution which helps tenants navigate the processes. The RTA have also prepared the below video guide for students about Renting in Queensland.

Renting in Queensland: A guide for students

You can find more information about renting a house in Queensland on the RTA website, the Queensland Statewide Tenant Advice & Referral Service (QSTARS) or ask your education provider about accommodation assistance. You can also get in touch with the Queensland Student Hub student support officers.