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Share accommodation

Living off campus with flatmates 

Share accommodation is a common and welcome reality for many university students, across Australia and the world. It allows you to experience independent life without the expense of living alone, and provides a great opportunity to not only share the burden of living out of home, but to make friends – or strengthen existing friendships – in the process.  

Why share accommodation?

If you are weighing up where to live off campus, share accommodation presents an opportunity to rent in an affordable way, and to meet new people – your future housemates! Here are just a few benefits of living in share accommodation: 

  • Meeting new people 
  • Living with close friends or acquaintances 
  • Sharing a larger space at a cheaper price 
  • Saving on rent 
  • Splitting living costs (e.g. internet, water, electricity) 
  • Sharing meals 
  • Dividing cleaning and maintenance duties 
  • Carpooling to university or work

Finding a sharehouse

Finding a share house

Once you have decided a share house is the right choice for you, you’ve got two options – finding an existing home to move into, or establishing your own share house. Each option has its pros and cons, and ultimately, comes down to how much work you want to do, whether you are comfortable with the expenses of setting up a new house, and how much control you want to have over who you live with.  

There are numerous websites out there dedicated to helping you find or create your own share house, including and Flatmate Finder.

Before you move in

When you have established all of the logistics of your new share accommodation, it is time to move in! But, before you pack your things and organise that moving van, here are a few things to keep in mind:  

  • Who’s on the lease? Ensure that, if possible, all tenants are on the lease to prevent against any legal issues if you damage the property or try to break lease. If you add a housemate mid-lease, consider drawing up an informal housemate agreement.  
  • How does it work? Who pays what, how much and when? Establish good practices with your flatmates in the first few weeks of living together to ensure that everything is recorded and feels equitable, and so that everyone is aware of their responsibilities.  
  • What is and isn’t shared? Some houses cook and eat together, purchase communal groceries, and live like a family. Others prefer to keep more to themselves and have individual items and responsibilities. Be clear with your housemates at the get-go to avoid any miscommunication or awkward run-ins… no one wants to be the food thief.  
  • What happens if something goes wrong? Above all, it’s important that in share accommodation, you know your rental and legal rights. The Rental Tenancies Authority (RTA) offers great guidelines for share homes and co-tenancies that everyone considering this option should read over.

Other accommodation options