Managing Expectations and Avoiding Nasty Surprises

PLEASE NOTE: The below information is general advice and a guide only.
Bedssi does not assume any liability for the content provided in this page.
Make sure you check other sources as well before making any decision.



Most properties will ask for a "holding deposit". This deposit will only be taken once your agreement has been signed and returned to the property managers.

The amount is usually equivalent to 10% of the total amount.

Your deposit will secure the property until the day you check-in (move in).
Important: Holding deposits are normally not refunded if you change your mind (check this specific point before making any payment).


This are specified in the agreement you sign when confirming the rooms for your group. These agreements contain details of the trip, and also all the Terms and Conditions and policies. Some of the terms are Payment policy and schedules, Cancelation policies, Rooming release dates, check-in and check-out details, taxes and levis, acceptance of the policies and documents required at check-in, and responsibilities among others.




Ensure your tenancy agreement is documented in the form of a lease agreement. This will protect both you and your landlord in the event of a legal issue, and means you mutually understand what’s expected from one another. Agreements and other helpful documents are typically found on the state or territory’s Department of Commerce website.

Your lease agreement will formalise important aspects like monthly rent, bond amount, inspections and damage reporting, to name a few. You’ll also have the opportunity to clarify what’s OK and not OK for your renter, such as whether pets are allowed or whether repainting the walls is permitted. And of course, you can spell out the consequences of breaking the agreement. You can also confirm if the rent you pay includes bills, internet, etc. Please note that the only bill that has to be paid by the landlord is the water bill.

You can find lease agreement and damage report forms in the different state government websites:


There are a number of set ways to end a tenancy agreement and these methods vary slightly from state to state.
Even if an agreement has a fixed end date, both you and the landlord/host will need to give written notice to end the tenancy.

Always check:

You can terminate the Residential Tenancy Agreement in the following ways:

Lease Break - Breaking your lease will normally incur penalty fees.
This should be specified in the agreement (normally several weeks of rent).
Clarify this specific point when checking in (move-in day).



Hosts/landlords may ask for a bond
This is normally paid at the time of checking-in and it is done directly between the student and the host/landlord.

In the event that you (the tenant) fail to keep the premises clean, damage the property or don’t pay rent, the landlord can claim some or all of their bond/security deposit to cover these expenses at the end of the tenancy.

It is legally required that the bond is forwarded to the state’s residential tenancies bond authority.*
They will hold the bond on behalf of the tenant and landlord during the tenancy.

In most cases, the bond is equivalent to 2 to 4 weeks rent.

Occasionally hosts/landlords believe they can claim the bond because the property is not in the same condition as it was at the beginning of the tenancy.
Remember that the costs of “fair wear and tear” can’t be claimed (clarify this point at the time of moving in).

However, the landlord can make a claim on the bond for:


A clear process needs to be followed in relation to the rent.
The installment amounts needs to be paid in full on the specified date with no delays.
Make sure that the agreement is clear regarding amounts and frequency of payments.

It is the landlord’s choice to have the rent paid weekly or fortnightly (2 weeks).

Please note that the landlord can NOT increase your rent until the end of the fixed term unless your agreement states otherwise.
Rent cannot be increased more than once every six months and the landlord must give you at least 60 days notice of any proposed rent increase.

Please note: even if the rent increases, the amount of bond can’t be increased.
We created a rental guide for all Aussie cities (this was done last year so please add 5-10% more for rent)


No reasons or excuses are accepted for delays on rent. Take this into account.

Please ensure your rent is always paid in advance.
Some tenants find this concept hard to understand, and some mistakenly believe that the first 2 weeks rent paid is held in trust for use at the end of tenancy, like a bond. It is important to note the first 2 weeks rent paid is for your first 2 weeks of tenancy, so at the end of the first week, you are only 1 week in advance. It is always important to maintain your rent in advance, therefore after moving in your next rent payment should be made within the following week.

For example:

  1. You are moving in to a place on Saturday 4 February.
  2. Both you and the host agree that rent is to be paid every fortnight.
  3. The first 2 weeks of rent will need to be paid in advance. This means that when you move in, rent will be paid until Saturday 18 February.
  4. The next 2 weeks of rent need to be in the host/landlord's nominated account on Saturday 18 February.
  5. Take into account that transfers between banks can take up to 3 working days which means you should make the deposit on Wednesday 15 February.
  6. Rent is paid the same way every 2 weeks until the end of your stay.


The landlord must pay all installation and initial connection costs for electricity, gas and water supply.

In many cases your will be responsible for paying all services (except water). Make sure you clarify this specific point before making the booking or on arrival.


You must honour the House Rules and instructions from the Host.

It is important that you sit down and discuss these within the first 2 days after your arrival.
This is your opportunity to ask questions to the hosts and to clarify all the issues/points you may have.
Some examples are:

It is your responsibility to maintain and leave the Bed/Room in the same condition as it was when you arrived.
It's also the polite thing to do. Remember you are a guest in somebody’s home.

Different places/Rooms have different rules. For example:

If at the time of leaving (checking out) you left the Bed/Room dirty or untidy or in poor condition, you may not receive your bond or deposit back.
It is very likely that the host will have to use it to clean and bring the room back to its original condition.

Always remember that other guests will come after you.
They also deserve to arrive to a good, clean Bed/Room.

Important Note: Make sure you arrange this type of specific arrangements directly with the host.


Your landlord needs to respond to requests for urgent repairs without delay.

If the landlord doesn’t anything , you have the right to arrange for these repairs to be completed up to the value of $1,000 – at the landlord's expense.

Non-urgent repairs must be carried out within 3 weeks (time varies depending on your state's legislation). If non-urgent repairs are not attended to, you may apply to the tribunal for an inspection and subsequent report.

Please note: You cannot withhold rent while waiting for repairs to be done.



There are several signs for a room to be illegal. Check this guide for details.

Learn how to identify illegal providers (guide).


Scams are unfortunately common. Please be vigilant.

The basic sign for a scam is that the room you want to rent is too good to be true.
Always compare prices with similar rooms located in the same suburb. Prices are normally consistently similar.

Learn how to identify housing scams (guide).


Be Open Minded:
Keep your opinions flexible and receptive to new environments. Remember things will be different from home.
The reality is that Australian cities are very expensive thus you need to have realistic expectations of you will be able to afford as a student.

Take things lightly:
You're new and living in a new culture. There are plenty of things which can and will go wrong.
Focus on solutions and the problems.

Flexibility and Adaptability:
Responding to or tolerating the ambiguity of new situations is important to intercultural success.
Keep options open and judgmental behaviour to a minimum. Try to be an adaptable or flexible person.

This skill or personality trait is important for learning the many things you need to adapt to a new environment.
Get to know new people, get to see new places, experience new way of doing things, try new food, etc.

Realistic Expectations:
There are strong correlations between positive expectations for an intercultural experience and successful adjustment overseas and at home.
You need to have realistic expectations. For example: You will not have help in house chores, you will be very likely have to work as a team.

Tolerance for Differences:
A sympathetic understanding for beliefs or practices differing from your own is very important.
The ability to express warmth, empathy, respect and positive regard for other people is a key component of effective intercultural relations.
Remember that Australia is a multicultural society.
This is what makes it so culturally rich and interesting.

Ability to Cope with Failure
People who go overseas have often been the most successful in their home environments and have rarely experienced failure. In many occasions this will be the first time you will live away from home. Things will not go as planned sometimes.

*Important note:

This document is general advice and a guide only. Bedssi does not assume any liability for the content provided in this document. Information in this publication is correct at time of publishing/printing (December 2017) but is subject to change. Bedssi reserves the right to amend, cancel or modify without notice, the content of any matter in this publication. Information related to third parties and services provided by others will be updated directly by them and we do not accept responsibility on any changes of information, policies or procedures they have.