International guide to sharing a house in Brisbane
We’ve tried and tested the city’s share house websites and forums to help you find the perfect room for your stay in Brisbane.
Share housing is popular in Brisbane and a great way to meet new people. One of the benefits of share housing in Brisbane is that you may avoid going on the lease. This is useful if you don’t have rental references in the country, which can often be a barrier to having leases approved through official rental companies. Another benefit is that the house or unit is often furnished and the kitchen pre-stocked with utensils and appliances, meaning you can arrive with your suitcase and settle on in.
Share houses also provide you with a group of local, friendly, young people with invaluable knowledge of the city’s best restaurants, bars, markets and anything else you might need to know. So what are you waiting for?
Find a room
There are a couple of places where you can find a room to rent in Brisbane. First, sign up to your institution’s student news or notice board where you can find out about local students renting rooms. You may find a study buddy and a roommate in one! Once you’ve checked that off your list, you can start your search on-line.
Flatmates is a website specifically for finding a room/roommates. Rooms start from $100 and are spread across Brisbane, including locations close to major Brisbane university campuses. Bond and contract information is provided on the listing and you can see when the room is available.
Australia’s own ‘Craigslist’, Gumtree is a one-stop shop for buy, swap and sell. It may be a less official way to find roommates, but it’s certainly popular and it’s free. The rooms advertised on Gumtree start from $130 and are usually available straight away. Depending on the household, you most likely won’t have to go on a lease. Bond can range from two to four weeks’ rent.
For something more official (like a lease or bond receipt) get a group of friends together and find a place through Brisbane Student Housing. This website brings together most of Brisbane’s official student accommodation including on-campus rooms and student specific accommodation providers.
Also a student residence service, The Pad, offers clean, affordable rooms. The Pad apartments open mid-2016 but Pad Rooms are available now from $150 per week.
Still haven’t found a room you like? Head to Facebook as a last but not least resort. Add yourself to one of the share house groups like West End Share Houses or Inner City Share Houses where pages are updated hourly with new rooms. You have to be quick to snag a room on here, so don’t hold back if you see something you like.
Some local tips
Make sure that the place you move into is close to public transport. Trains, buses and ferries are the most popular and cheapest way to get around Brisbane, so keep this in mind when you’re looking for a room.
Not all rooms are furnished but don’t let that turn you off. Gumtree also has cheap and sometimes free furniture to furnish your new room. If you would prefer the convenience of an already furnished room, make sure you check that in your search for a share house.
If you do end up on a rental lease, make sure you know the terms and conditions. The RTA governs rental contracts in Brisbane and can help you with any questions or information about joining or starting a lease.
Lastly, meet the people you plan to move in with a few times before you make the decision. While it’s great to have a nice room, air-conditioning and great views of the city, you want to know that the people you’re going to live with are friendly, fun and outgoing. Meet them out for a coffee as an excuse to check out the city and welcome the opportunity to meet new people.
Have fun, and good luck finding your new share house in Brisbane this semester!