ECU recognises the special accommodation needs of our international students. This will likely be the first time that you have lived in another country, away from your family, and we aim to help you find a place to call home during your stay in Perth.
Students normally choose from one of three options for long-term accommodation:
- On-campus accommodation, at the ECU Student Villages at the Joondalup, Mount Lawley or South West Campus
- Homestay, where you live with a local family in their private home
- Off-campus accommodation, where you rent a house or unit close to your campus
The secret to finding the right accommodation is to shop around before you decide.
On-campus accommodation at Campus Living Villages is available on all ECU Campuses. Please visit the Campus Living Villages website for more information and application details.
ECU has teamed with the Australian Homestay Network (AHN) to give you the opportunity to be hosted by a specially trained homestay host for a safe and happy introduction to living and studying in Australia. Homestays are a wonderful opportunity for cultural exchange between local individuals or families (called a host) and visiting international students. Your homestay host will help you to settle into your new life in Perth, whilst also provide you with the useful tips and information that you need for an unforgettable experience in Australia. Short and long-term homestays are available.
Off-campus accommodation, share housing and renting
A number of off-campus accommodation options for students are listed on the Off-Campus Housing website.
The choices are endless for students wishing to find off-campus accommodation. Most students usually rent an apartment, townhouse, villa, duplex or house. You can rent by yourself, with other international students, Australian students or even a mixture of these.
Helpful tips for finding off-campus accommodation are to check the Saturday and Sunday newspapers, visit local real estate agents and check notice boards located around your home campus as there are often advertisements from fellow students looking for people to share.
Some students choose to share an apartment, house, unit or townhouse on their own or with fellow students. In general, houses are more expensive than apartments and the rent varies depending on the size, condition and location. Renting involves the signing of a lease with either a Real Estate Agency or the owner of the property, for at least six months. This is a legal arrangement regulated by Government legislation, which legalises the rights and obligations of both the tenants and landlord. These arrangements cannot easily be broken, so before you sign, it is advisable to show the contract to the Off-campus Housing Office (OCHO) The initial cost of moving into a rented property is usually made up of two weeks rent in advance, a letting fee (equivalent to one weeks rent) and a bond (normally four weeks rent). The bond is refundable at the end of the lease if the property remains in good condition.
Share houses involve sharing a property with co-renters, often other students. Students generally rent a room, either furnished or unfurnished, with the use of the other facilities in the house. Issues such as cooking, cleaning and shopping are negotiated between all members of the household. Like renting, the cost of share housing depends on the location, type of accommodation and the number of people living in the house. Renting a room in Perth can cost between AU$100 to $180 per week, but will vary depending on the location and type of accommodation. Payment of a bond is expected and again, is usually no more than four times the weekly rent.
You may utilise share housing in two ways: students may obtain accommodation and then advertise in newspapers or through the OCHO for other people to move in or students can put themselves on the shared housing register and move into an established home. If you decide to share with people you don't know, talk to them about their habits and lifestyle before moving in to see if you think you will get along with them.
It's a good idea to browse the Internet before you leave home to get an idea of what kind of rental properties/rooms are available near campus to work out the amount of money you are likely to need to spend to get what you want.
Here are some helpful websites to look at:
- ECU Off-Campus Housing Office (for information on rooms and properties currently advertised near campus)
- Real Estate Institute of Western Australia (REIWA)
- Real Estate
- My Home
Electricity and gas are billed separately and there is usually an establishment fee of AU$20 for each. Your electricity bill will come from Western Power (every two months) and your gas bill from Alinta Gas (every three months). Each bill will contain a fixed account charge and your usage charge. On average winter bills are more expensive due to the cost of heating. Typically, a single property will only hold one electricity or gas account, so you may be required to divide the costs with your house mates, or this may be included in your rent.
Water consumption is charged by the kilolitre (1,000 litres). Your rental agreement should state who is responsible for payment. Typically, a single property will only hold one water account, so you may be required to divide the costs with your house mates, or this may be included in your rent.
Due to the scarcity and reduced rainfall patterns in Perth, there are currently water restrictions in place for all Perth residents. These restrictions limit the days you are permitted to water your garden. To find out when you are allowed to water, visit the Perth and Mandurah Water Roster website. Water is a precious resource in Perth and is expensive, so please make sure you take care when using water and do not leave taps running or dripping.