Researching where to live in Australia and curious about managed student accommodation? You’re probably wondering exactly what is and what isn’t included in the rental cost.
We’ve put together a breakdown of inclusions so you can prepare and budget ahead of time.
Bills – Included
When you pay for student accommodation, most bills are included in the cost. This means all utilities such as electricity, internet, gas and water are covered by your rent.
Personal bills, such as your mobile phone bill and aren’t included and will have to be paid separately.
Furniture – Included
Your room will come furnished when you move in and usually includes a bed, study desk, chair, lamp and a wardrobe for your clothes. You might also get extra storage options or a privacy screen if you’re sharing a room with someone else.
Of course, you can usually add your own personal touch to your new bedroom. Take advantage of any bare space in the room by furnishing it with pieces you find on your travels or decorating it with items that remind you of home.
In communal areas, you’ll usually find a TV, lounges, coffee tables and other items to make your stay more comfortable. You may even find other inclusions like a barbecue, pool table or video games to chill out during study breaks.
Bed linen and towels – Depends
Some student accommodation providers offer bed linen and towels as part of the cost, but in many cases you’ll need to purchase these items as a separate bundle pack (which usually includes a quilt and cover, a fitted and flat sheet, pillow and pillowcase, bath towel, and more).
These bundles are usually priced much lower than if you purchased them individually elsewhere. Check with your provider as to whether a linen and towel pack is included in your rate.
Kitchen utensils – Depends
You can generally expect to find standard kitchen appliances in your new home, such as a fridge and freezer, oven, microwave, kettle and a toaster.
For smaller items and utensils, you may need to purchase a kitchen pack. This will include all of the essentials that you’ll need to eat and cook up a storm, including forks, spoons, knives, saucepans, frying pans, glasses, bowls and more.
Laundry – Not included
Most student accommodation providers will have a laundry room available on-site for you to wash and dry your clothes. These are usually coin-operated, open 24/7 and require you to pay the necessary amount as you need.
Cleaning – Not included
It will be up to you and your roommates to keep your apartment tidy. This can be made easier if you work to a rotating roster and divide household chores evenly. This way, each person will be equally responsible for making sure the space is clean and the task won’t unfairly fall on one person.
If you’d prefer to spend more time focusing on your studies, some providers, like Scape, offer the option of purchasing a weekly cleaning service.
As for common areas, cleaning is usually included in the rent.
Social activities – Included
One of the best things about living in student accommodation is the chance to participate in social activities. These are included in your rent and are great opportunities to get to know your roommates – plus they’re a whole lot of fun!
Social events can range from food-focused gatherings and film screenings to games nights and themed parties.
Your provider may also organise excursions to famous landmarks or other outings – these usually cost extra but are often discounted.
Food – Depends
Generally, the cost of food isn’t included in the rent. You’ll need to manage your weekly budget accordingly to include any meals that you plan on making throughout the week. Luckily, student accommodation buildings are usually very conveniently located near supermarkets, where you can stock up on groceries each week.
While everyday food isn’t included, there is often a chance to participate in themed food nights during the week where the food is provided. Check your provider’s social calendar to find out what delicious events are headed your way.
Support – Included
Most providers will have some kind of support system in place if you ever need assistance. This might be a staff member who stays on-site or a Resident Assistant (RA) who can help out with various matters.
Student accommodation providers are generally also well-equipped to handle bigger situations. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, for example, new safety and hygiene procedures have been put in place to ensure the wellbeing of residents. Many accommodation providers have nurses on-site to perform health screenings and temperature checks, and extra cleaning measures have been implemented to minimise the risk of the virus being spread.
Safety and security – Included
You’ll find that most student accommodation providers offer incredibly secure buildings, often including swipe card access and plenty of in-building security. Although, if you want to secure your belongings inside your room, you could consider purchasing a safe.
Communal amenities – Included
Most buildings have plenty of communal amenities on-site – you can expect things like outdoor terraces, gyms, cinemas, study areas, kitchens, games areas and kitchens. Gym membership is typically included in your rent and you’re free to work out and use communal amenities as much as you like.
To get an idea of how much you might be spending in Australia, make sure to check out our Cost of Living Calculator.