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Navigating Queensland's Rental Market: A Guide for International Students

If you're an international student planning to study in Queensland, Australia, one of the most crucial steps in your preparation is securing suitable accommodation. The rental market in Queensland - and Australia in general - can be quite competitive, and as an international student, you may face additional challenges.


This blog post is a general guide for international students (like yourself), that walk you through the necessary steps to find a rental property in Queensland, drawing from my own experiences as an international student.


1. Researching the Queensland Rental Market

Start by understanding the Queensland rental market.


Colorful terraced apartments.

The Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA) provides comprehensive information about rental prices in different areas of Queensland. Queensland's rental market can vary significantly from city to city; for example, rental prices in Brisbane, the capital, can be higher than in other cities like Townsville or Cairns.





2. Understand Your Rights and Responsibilities

As a tenant in Queensland, it's important to understand your rights and responsibilities. The RTA provides a wealth of information on this topic.

Apartment living space

In Queensland, tenants have rights, such as the right to quiet enjoyment of the property and the right to privacy.


On the other hand, tenant responsibilities include paying rent on time, keeping the property clean, and informing the landlord of any damages.


You can find more information on this here.


3. Budgeting for Your Rental

The cost of living in Queensland can be higher than in other parts of the country. Therefore, it is important to budget accurately for your rental expenses.


The Australian Government Department of Home Affairs recommends that students budget at least AUD$21,041 per year for living costs, including rent. However, this amount can vary depending on your lifestyle and the location of your rental property.

Calculator and pen and paper
A general rule of thumb when calculating what you can spend on rent, is capping it at 30% of your income. But if you're completely unsure, I have blogs on budgeting as well here.


4. Finding a Rental Property

There are several resources to help you find a rental property in Queensland.

Woman drinking coffee and working

Real estate websites like Realestate.com.au and Domain.com.au for example, list properties available for rent throughout Queensland. You can filter results based on your preferred location, budget, and property type.



5. Applying for a Rental Property

Once you've found a property you're interested in, the next step is to apply.

Three female students

Most property managers in Queensland use the 1Form online application system. On there, you'll need to provide identification, proof of income, and rental references.


As an international student, you may not have Australian rental references. In this case, you can use references from your home country or a letter from your university as evidence of your reliability.


6. Signing a Lease

Before signing a lease, make sure you understand all its terms and conditions.


For Lease sign

In Queensland, leases must be written and clearly state the rent amount, lease duration, and the responsibilities of both the tenant and the landlord as per the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008.


If you're uncertain about any terms, seek advice from a legal professional or the RTA.


7. Paying a Bond

Upon signing a lease, you'll typically need to pay a bond. According to the RTA, this bond is often equivalent to four weeks' rent but can vary with landlords.

Calculator and pen

This payment serves as a security deposit, which the landlord or agent can claim for unpaid rent or property damage.


Ensure that your bond is lodged with the RTA, as it is a legal requirement in Queensland.


8. Moving In

Family unpacking after moving

Before moving in, make sure you complete an Entry Condition Report and send it back to your real estate manager.


This crucial document details the property's initial condition and can help avoid disputes about property damage when you move out.


Be thorough and take photos as evidence if necessary.


9. Living in Your Rental

While living in your rental, communicate openly with your landlord or property manager.

Tenants shaking hand with real estate manager

If you encounter any issues with the property, report them promptly.


Some real estate companies do inspections regularly as well. Ensure your rental is clean and ready for inspection ahead of time.


And as ever, remember to pay your rent on time and maintain the property's cleanliness.




bath salts and bath

Securing rental accommodation in Queensland as an international student can be a challenging task. But with the right information, preparation, and guidance, you can navigate the rental market successfully. Be sure to utilise the resources provided by the RTA and other organisations to help ensure a smooth and enjoyable stay in Queensland.

Remember, this is just a guide for international students, and as such, is a general overview, and individual circumstances may vary. Always seek professional advice if necessary.


Happy house hunting in Queensland!

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