Before you rent a house, apartment, or room make sure you understand:

  • your rights and responsibilities
  • Melbourne's cost of living and your personal budget.

To find stable accommodation during your studies, and protect your rights as a tenant, you need to understand Victoria's regulations on:

  • lease agreements
  • rental bonds
  • property inspections
  • obligations regarding repairs and maintenance.

If you need advice about renting or are having difficulties paying your rent, utility or other expenses, contact us so we can help.


For practical information to help you choose your accommodation, and understand your legal rights and responsibilities under the Residential Tenancy Act read our Student Housing Guide.

Rental costs

It is important to consider the combined cost of rent, living expenses and transport when choosing rental accommodation in Melbourne.

Rental accommodation generally becomes more expensive the closer it is located to the Melbourne CBD.

If you need extra support or information, book an appointment to see a Student Adviser.

Financial assistance & tenancy guidance

Students may be eligible for rent assistance, relief schemes, bond loans and other financial help from government and the University.

For rental advice, contact one of these agencies according to your needs:

  • Consumer Affairs Victoria, the governing body responsible for the Residential Tenancies Act.
  • Tenants Victoria, which provides information about your rights as a tenant, and how to improve your conditions.

Contact the Tenants Victoria and Consumer Affairs Victoria for information and assistance before you sign a lease or if things go wrong during the lease.

Benefits & funding schemes

Rent Assistance – Students receiving a Commonwealth Support benefit or pension and living away from home and paying rent may be eligible for Rent Assistance - contact Centrelink for more information.

Utility Relief Scheme – Australian resident students having difficulty paying a large utility bill (e.g. gas, electricity) can apply for a one-off utility relief payment. Contact the Department of Human Services to apply.

Housing Establishment Funds (HEF) - A Victorian Government initiative that addresses homelessness by providing financial assistance to individuals and families (Australian Residents) who are homeless or in a housing crisis. Funds may be provided for rent in advance (private rental) or rent in arrears (private rental) or emergency housing. An eligibility criteria applies. For further information about HEF phone 1800 825 955.


Bond Loan Scheme - Australian resident students on low income may be eligible for a Bond Loan for a rental property or as a resident in a rooming house. Contact Department of Human Services to apply.

Students living in University-operated accommodation are not eligible for a Bond Loan, but may be eligible for a VU Student Loan.


Good Insurance provides students on low incomes affordable household contents, car or home insurance.

The Good Shepherd has negotiated affordable premiums with low excess and flexible payment options specifically for people on low incomes.

Customers can also choose to pay premiums annually, monthly or fortnightly instalments and use Centrepay (Centrelink’s payment program) to manage payments.

Consumer Affairs Victoria can provide tenants with information and advice.

The Rooming houses residents guide provides a summary of rights and obligations. The landlord must give you a copy of this guide on or before the day you move in.

Tenants Victoria produces publications in multiple languages and provides free and confidential telephone, drop-in and email advice

The Equal Opportunity Act makes it illegal for Landlords to discriminate against you.

If you feel that you have been discriminated against:

Make an appointment with a Senior Adviser

The Senior Adviser can provide you with:

  • free information when looking for housing options
  • access to the student housing database
  • advice on tenancy issues
  • tips and information to improve your success in applying for housing
  • information about moving in
  • staying and moving out of your rental property.

Come and talk to us about finances, housing, welfare, Centrelink and other issues.

Book an appointment

Contact us