Off Campus Accommodation

Information for students

To make sure your house hunting experience is as positive as possible, check out these helpful tips:

  • Be aware of your rights. We recommend that students obtain all available information from NSW Fair Trading by calling 133 220 or visiting their website. You could also contact your local Tenants Advice and Advocacy Service for further information.
  • Never give anyone any money or sign any documents for a property you haven't inspected (inside and out). It is your responsibility to verify the suitability of a room/property before entering into an agreement.
  • It's good to take a friend to inspect a property to get a second opinion, but you should not ask friends to secure accommodation on your behalf.
  • Any rental agreements that you are offered must be on a standard NSW Residential Tenancy Agreement Form.
    If this is not the case,ask why.
  • If the property is a boarding house, then a Standard Occupancy Agreement should be used, as recommended by NSW Fair Trading.
  • Before selecting a boarding house, make sure it is registrable so that you are covered by the Boarding Houses Act 2012 (NSW). If a property is a registrable boarding house (a property that accommodation five or more paying residents), then it must be registered on the Boarding House Register on NSW Fair Trading’s website. It must also comply with the Boarding Houses Act 2012 (NSW) and other applicable laws.
  • If you are coming from overseas, interstate or rural/regional NSW, we recommend that you arrange temporary accommodation before arriving in Newcastle or the Central Coast. It could take some time for you to arrange accommodation and having somewhere to stay prior to your arrival will take away any unneeded stress once you arrive.

Campus information

  • The distance between Callaghan and City Campus is approximately 10 kilometres.
  • The Central Coast Campus is approximately 80 kilometres south of Newcastle and the Port Macquarie Campus is approximately 240 kilometres north of Newcastle.

Off campus accommodation options

Accommodation support officers

  • Student Living has an appointed Accommodation Support Officer who can help with the sourcing and securing of safe and appropriate short and long-term off campus accommodation.
  • This service is offered to both international and domestic future or current students studying at all University of Newcastle campuses.
  • Should you like to be supported in your search for off campus accommodation, please contact the Accommodation Support Officer at

Useful links

Disclaimer: Information provided is for general guidance only and does not address all aspects an individual should consider when applying for accommodation. The University of Newcastle is not responsible for any aspect of an agreement between a student and an accommodation provider.


When choosing accommodation there are a few things you should think about, including how many people you want to live with, how long you need the accommodation for and whether or want to live on-campus or off.

The University of Newcastle offers on-campus accommodation for just under 1800 residents. You can choose from 8 different residences that have a variety of room configurations, catering options and living environments. You can also live off-campus either with other students or independently depending on what you're looking for.

You can also look for short term/temporary accommodation here.

The amount you can afford will depend on the amount of income you have. Some students receive Austudy/Youth Allowance/ scholarships and some may also get assistance from their families and friends or have savings in the bank to fall back on. Others may derive income from part-time jobs.

A general budgeting rule of thumb is that you spend no more than 30-50% of your income on rent as you may find it too difficult to cover other living expenses. However, this is a guide only.

To minimise the risk of things going wrong, you should try to do as much research as possible about your rights and responsibilities before you sign lease agreements and related documents. Students should familiarise themselves with information available from NSW Office of Fair Trading.

However, if you are having issues regarding tenancies or accommodation, we will happily refer you the appropriate organisations listed below:

These organisations can help you with information about starting or ending a tenancy and your rights and obligations as a tenant. They can also assist tenants in matters relating to tenancies in NSW where there is an issue with the landlord about rents, bonds and tenants rights.

You should always be clear on whether the people in the house or flat are the owners or are renting as this can sometimes have an affect on the length of the lease or stay. You should also be aware that if you intend on renting a vacant house or flat, the usual practice is to require you to sign a six or twelve month lease although you should negotiate a length that suits you.

A lease is a legally binding document and the provisions of the Residential Tenancies Act will apply. As breaking a lease can be very costly, we recommend that you decide before signing a lease whether or not you are confident of staying in the property for the duration of the lease.

Some properties may have internet ports for connecting to the internet and some may not have any access to the internet so it is important to ask the provider. There are many alternatives available to both PC and Laptop users for broadband connections, including:

  • Wireless USB
  • Wireless PC Card/Laptop Card

This issue should be made clear before you move in and can depend on the tenancy agreement. In an owner-occupied situation both parties should discuss their expectations before the student moves in and put any agreement in writing. Two weeks is often agreed upon as the length of notice to vacate required by both parties.

Please refer to the fact sheet for more information.

In a vacant flat/house, student hostel, and hotels, the law prohibits people from rejecting your application on the grounds of your cultural background, gender or religion. In a share home situation the discrimination laws do not apply and the owner can specify female only, male only, international students only etc.

Before you move in, some clear guidelines should be established about visitors with any roommates/housemates. For example:

  • Is it okay to have friends over regularly for social or study groups?
  • Can you have your boyfriend/girlfriend over?
  • Can he/she stay the night?
  • If so, how many times per week is reasonable?

You may be asked to contribute extra money for the cost of food and bills if you have friends stay overnight or for a length of time at your invitation.

You may have difficulty finding accommodation if you have pets as most landlords of vacant flats and houses prohibit keeping pets. It is entirely up to the landlord to allow or not allow pets, so it's best to check to see what their policy is.

Some landlords do not allow smoking at their properties. Often the people in a household will allow smoking but only if you go outside but other people prefer non-smokers as flat mates.

Every student and household will have different procedures and types of food that are prepared. Newcastle is a cosmopolitan city and has food outlets that sell cooking ingredients originating from overseas countries. The Central Coast Region has similar outlets to cater for an expanding population. There is a wide range of cooking styles and this can cause conflict. Some cultures cook using lots of strong smelling herbs and spices and create a lot of steam. You should discuss any special dietary requirements and cooking arrangements with the owners or your fellow tenants before you move in.

Many students now use their own mobile telephone (prepaid or contract), so there is less need of the landline telephone arrangements at many rental properties.

However, it is normal to pay for every telephone call you make and you should make arrangements to record your telephone calls to be paid for when the bill arrives. The major telephone companies have a range of services to help manage the telephone charges in a house with independent tenants.

If you are from a country or overseas location, you should respect the landlord or owner’s wishes and negotiate arrangements about the length of time you may spend on the telephone. Some landlords and owners prefer no interstate or international telephone calls to be made from their telephone and may have a lock or bar on long distance calls being made.

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.