Frequently asked questions

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What if there is a dispute or complaint ?

GUIDELINES/PROCEDURES ON ADMINISTERING COMPLAINTS ABOUT ADVERTISERS  THROUGH GRIFFITH ACCOMMODATION OPERATED BY CAMPUS LIFE (“CLF”) AND DECISIONS TO REMOVE ADVERTISEMENTS .

Introduction

The following paragraphs set out the procedures to be followed when receiving complaints from students about Privately advertised properties,displayed on the University Website  

The general principles are that:

§ contemporaneous written records should be kept of all complaints received from students or agents;

§ a decision should not be made as to whether to continue placing students until the family has been notified that a decision is being considered and is given details of the nature of the complaints and an opportunity to provide submissions in response to the complaints;

§ the owner of the property should be advised as soon as possible after receiving the complaint/s that CLF is considering whether or not to refuse to continue to place students or move a student and should be advised as soon as possible of the decision once the decision has been made.

Procedures

1. If a complaint is received from a student concerning a Private Advertiser  the person who receives the complaint must:

1.1 At the time of receiving the complaint, make a written file note of the details of the complaint, the date of the complaint and the name of the student complaining;

1.2 Ask the student whether they have any objection to the complaint being notified to the landlord or property owner and keep a written note of the student's response to that question.  If the student advises that they do not want the complaint notified to the family the student should be advised that their confidentiality will be respected;

1.3 Request that the student put the complaint in writing and, if they have no objection to the complaint being notified to the owner, confirm that in writing also;

2. Within 24 hours of the complaint being received CLF must consider the complaint and decide whether the complaint is sufficiently serious to warrant consideration of a decision

3. If CLF decides that a complaint is not sufficiently serious to warrant consideration of a decision to CLF need not take any further action at that stage other than keeping the record of the complaint on file.

4. If CLF decides that a complaint (either alone or in conjunction with previous complaints) is sufficiently serious to warrant consideration of a decision as to whether to refuse to advertise the owner's property/ies CLF:

(a) may undertake further enquiries itself in relation to the complaint/s for example, following up the students who have complained (where practicable) for further details of the complaint, including the outcome of any referral of the complaint to the Residential Tenancy Authority or Small Claims Tribunal;

(b) must, after obtaining sign off on the notice from the Legal Services Unit, provide the owner of the property with written notice stating:

(i) that CLF is considering making a decision not to continue advertising/not to re-advertise the owner's property;

(ii) that CLF has received complaints from a student(s) concerning rental of the property and provide details of each complaint received from students who have advised that they have no objections to notifying the owner of the complaint;

(iii) any other reason for which CLF is considering a decision not to continue to advertise/re-advertise the property including a negative finding from the Retail Tenancy Authority;

(iv) that the owner should provide any response it wishes to make to the notice in writing and within the date specified in the notice.  The date specified in the notice is to be calculated as the date which is 16 days after the date of posting the notice to the owner;

(v) that CLF will make a decision in relation to advertising the property/ies after the end of the period specified in the notice.

(c) must refer the notice referred to in paragraph 7(b) above to the Legal Services Unit for sign off before sending the notice to the owner of the property.  CLF must advise the Legal Services Unit of any issues raised by the student as to treating the complaint on a confidential basis so that the Legal Services Unit can ensure that the notice is appropriately framed to maintain confidentiality in those circumstances.

5. CLF must make a decision as to whether to continue to advertise or re-advertise the owner's property/ies within 14 days of receiving the owner's response, or if no response is received, within 7 days of the expiry of the period specified in the notice as the time within which the owner was to provide their response.

6. CLF must notify the owner in writing of its decision with 7 days after making the decision.  There is no requirement to give reasons for the decision.

7. If a request for reasons for the decision is made by the owner refer the matter to the Legal Services Unit.


What if I want to know about Bonds ?

Visit the Residential Tenancy Authority website 

What are my rights and responsibiilties when renting ?

All tenants and lessors/agents must comply with the law .It is important to understand your rights and responsibilities  from the start of the tenancy 

What is a Share House ?

Share houses consist of two or more tenants sharing the costs associated with renting a property. More information about the rights and responsibilities of each person in share houses is outlined by the Queensland Rental Tenancy Authority. Boarding houses and hostels consist of four or more renters sharing a dorm-style room or having their own rooms but sharing a communal bathroom, kitchen, laundry and lounge room. Some boarding houses provide meals, however, places with meals tend to cost more. This type of accommodation is a good way to meet other students. Problems associated with this type of accommodation are privacy, noise and sharing facilities. Homestay is a popular accommodation option for international students, providing excellent support when first arriving in Australia. Homestay involves living with a local family and learning about the Australian way of life. Students have their own furnished room and are provided with meals. Washing, ironing, telephone and transport costs are the students responsibility. For more information please contact Griffith Homestay directly.

What is a Boarding House ?

Boarding houses and hostels consist of four or more renters sharing a dorm-style room or having their own rooms but sharing a communal bathroom, kitchen, laundry and lounge room. Some boarding houses provide meals, however, places with meals tend to cost more. This type of accommodation is a good way to meet other students. Problems associated with this type of accommodation are privacy, noise and sharing facilities. 

What is Homestay ?

Homestay is a popular accommodation option for international students, providing excellent support when first arriving in Australia. Homestay involves living with a local family and learning about the Australian way of life. Students have their own furnished room and are provided with meals. Washing, ironing, telephone and transport costs are the students responsibility. For more information please contact Griffith Homestay directly.

How do I protect myself against Rental Scams?

Warning signs

  • Too good to be true offers.
  • Ongoing excuses as to why the property cannot be viewed, such as the owner is overseas.  
  • Securing the property requires an up front fee via money transfer.
  • The prospective landlord lives overseas.

How to protect yourself

  • Insist on inspecting the property- a drive-by is not enough. With these types of scams, the property may genuinely exist, but it is owned by someone else.
  • If it is overseas, ask someone you can trust to make inquiries. If there is a real estate agent or similar in the area they may be able to assist.
  • Do not rely on any information provided to you from anyone recommended by the person advertising the property.
  • An internet search on the name of the person offering the property and their email address may provide useful information.
  • Where possible, avoid paying via money transfer. It is rare to recover money sent this way.
  • There are many share accommodation websites, consider choosing the ones with clear warnings about scams or which offer added protection.
  • If you are satisfied that the offer is legitimate and decide to accept it, keep copies of all correspondence, banking details and the listing itself.

What is a Rental Property Inspection Checklist

This is a useful checklist  that will assist you when looking for Rental Accommodation .

  • Real Estate Agent: Tel No.
  • Property Address:
  • Rent: Bond (Security Deposit):
  • Is the property close to transport, shops and campus?
  • Is the area noisy? Is the property on a busy road?
  • Do the oven and stove operate correctly?
  • Do the toilet and shower operate correctly?
  • Are there laundry facilities?
  • Do the light fittings work?
  • Are there enough electrical power points to plug in your electrical appliances without overloading electrical powerboards?
  • Is there a telephone line already connected?
  • Is the place furnished? What kind of furniture?
  • Is there good security? Where locks are fitted on doors? Can they be opened from the inside without a key?
  • Do front and back doors open easily from the inside to allow escape in case of fire?
  • Is a smoke alarm fitted outside your bedroom?(This is a legal requirement)
  • If you are living in campus accommodation or a rooming house, are there smoke alarms in your room? (This is a legal requirement).
  • Test the smoke alarm by pressing the test button.
  • Did the smoke alarm operate correctly?
  • Is there damp or mould on the walls? 
  • Is there an insect / pest problem?
  • Will the landlord carry out any repairs before you move in?

Comments:


What do I need to do when I have found accommodation ?

When you have found the accommodation you want to rent, the landlord/real estate agent will have you sign a tenancy agreement. This agreement will outline  the length of your tenancy and your rights and responsibilities. When applying for accommodation it is important to be aware of your rights and responsibilities as a tenant as outlined by the Residential Tenancy Authority. It is important to read documents carefully and to understand the terms and conditions involved when signing a tenancy agreement or lease.

Documents

Below are a list of document you may need when applying for accommodation.
  • Personal reference (in English)
  • Copy of you passport with visa information
  • Banking information
  • Copy of your Griffith University enrolment
  • Identification documents (drivers license, Medicare card)

What do I do to end my tenancy arrangements?

Contact the Residential Tenancy Authority, check the website for important information about ending your tenancy and applying for your refund of the bond.

Return of Bonds: http://www.rta.qld.gov.au/

Important information about Bonds:

As of 1 October, International Money Transfers (IMTs) will be processed fortnightly. Look out for bond refund posters which will be sent in the mail and can be put up on notice boards. The quickest and easiest way to receive a bond refund is through direct deposit into an Australian bank account.
Direct deposit refunds are safe and secure, and take less than a week to process.

Students are encouraged to keep their Australian bank account open until they have received their bond refund from the RTA.

If a student does not have an Australian bank account there are two other options:

  1. International Money Transfer (IMT) ($13.20 fee) or a bank draft ($20 fee), using the international bond refund options form. Due to new RTA processes, bond refunds via IMTs may take up to four weeks.
  2. Australian cheques can be posted to international addresses, if a forwarding address is provided. Delivery time varies, depending on postal services.
For more information please contact the RTA
Phone: 1300 366 311
rta.qld.gov.au

What resources or information is available once I have settled into my new accommodation ?

To help you settle into your new home, below are a few resources that you might find helpful.

Tenancy support and mediation

If you have questions or disputes in regards to your tenancy, organizations such as the Residential Tenancy Authority andQueensland Department of Housing may be able to help.

Furniture rental

To rent furniture for you stay Abel furniture rentals has packages starting from $55 a week and Rentals to go also have packages available.

Services

Energex electricity and gas company.
Mobile or landline phones can be setup by either Optus or Telstra.
Centrelink is helpful for financial assistance and Legal aid can help in  providing legal information.

Studying and living in Brisbane

For support and information about studying in Brisbane and studying and living in Queensland.

Safety

Personal safety is your responsibility and Think Before offers advice on how to protect yourself. Queensland Police also offer support and advice on safety issues.


What will be my weekly expenses?Please note the prices below are an estimate

Cost of living

Average costs for weekly expenses

ExpenseAU$
Rent$180
Transport$40
Mobile/cell and Internet$20
Food$140
Electricity$30
Other (eg. Entertainment, photocopying, stationery)$25
TOTAL$435

Providers back to top

What if there is a dispute or complaint ?

Guidelines/Procedures on administering complaints about advertisers through Griffith Accommodation operated by Campus Life and decisions to remove advertisements. 

Introduction

The following paragraphs set out the procedures to be followed when receiving complaints from students about Privately advertised properties,displayed on the University Website  

The general principles are that:

  •  contemporaneous written records should be kept of all complaints received from students or agents;
  •  a decision should not be made as to whether to continue placing students until the family has been notified that a decision is being considered and is given details of the nature of the complaints and an opportunity to provide submissions in response to the complaints;
  •  the owner of the property should be advised as soon as possible after receiving the complaint/s that CLF is considering whether or not to refuse to continue to place students or move a student and should be advised as soon as possible of the decision once the decision has been made.

Procedures

1. If a complaint is received from a student concerning a Private Advertiser  the person who receives the complaint must:

1.1 At the time of receiving the complaint, make a written file note of the details of the complaint, the date of the complaint and the name of the student complaining;

1.2 Ask the student whether they have any objection to the complaint being notified to the landlord or property owner and keep a written note of the student's response to that question.  If the student advises that they do not want the complaint notified to the family the student should be advised that their confidentiality will be respected;

1.3 Request that the student put the complaint in writing and, if they have no objection to the complaint being notified to the owner, confirm that in writing also;

2. Within 24 hours of the complaint being received CLF must consider the complaint and decide whether the complaint is sufficiently serious to warrant consideration of a decision

3. If CLF decides that a complaint is not sufficiently serious to warrant consideration of a decision to CLF need not take any further action at that stage other than keeping the record of the complaint on file.

4. If CLF decides that a complaint (either alone or in conjunction with previous complaints) is sufficiently serious to warrant consideration of a decision as to whether to refuse to advertise the owner's property/ies CLF:

(a) may undertake further enquiries itself in relation to the complaint/s for example, following up the students who have complained (where practicable) for further details of the complaint, including the outcome of any referral of the complaint to the Residential Tenancy Authority or Small Claims Tribunal;

(b) must, after obtaining sign off on the notice from the Legal Services Unit, provide the owner of the property with written notice stating:

(i) that CLF is considering making a decision not to continue advertising/not to re-advertise the owner's property;

(ii) that CLF has received complaints from a student(s) concerning rental of the property and provide details of each complaint received from students who have advised that they have no objections to notifying the owner of the complaint;

(iii) any other reason for which CLF is considering a decision not to continue to advertise/re-advertise the property including a negative finding from the Retail Tenancy Authority;

(iv) that the owner should provide any response it wishes to make to the notice in writing and within the date specified in the notice.  The date specified in the notice is to be calculated as the date which is 16 days after the date of posting the notice to the owner;

(v) that CLF will make a decision in relation to advertising the property/ies after the end of the period specified in the notice.

(c) must refer the notice referred to in paragraph 7(b) above to the Legal Services Unit for sign off before sending the notice to the owner of the property.  CLF must advise the Legal Services Unit of any issues raised by the student as to treating the complaint on a confidential basis so that the Legal Services Unit can ensure that the notice is appropriately framed to maintain confidentiality in those circumstances.

5. CLF must make a decision as to whether to continue to advertise or re-advertise the owner's property/ies within 14 days of receiving the owner's response, or if no response is received, within 7 days of the expiry of the period specified in the notice as the time within which the owner was to provide their response.

6. CLF must notify the owner in writing of its decision with 7 days after making the decision.  There is no requirement to give reasons for the decision.

7. If a request for reasons for the decision is made by the owner refer the matter to the Legal Services Unit.

Define a Boarding House

Accommodation for four or more students in room style accommodation 

What are my rights and responsibilties when renting ?

All tenants and lessors/agents must comply with the law .It is important to understand your rights and responsibilities  from the start of the tenancy 

Do I need to install Smoke Alarms?


As a landlord, you are responsible for installing smoke alarms in your property.

The Queensland Fire and Rescue Service provides detailed information on smoke alarm legislation.


How do I resolve tenancy disputes ?


To resolve serious problems during a tenancy, you can:


What is a residential service? e.g Boarding House


A residential service is either a private boarding house, supported accommodation hostel or aged rental accommodation.

Residential services are accommodation types where:

  • at least 4 residents (other than the owner) live in 1 or more rooms and pay rent
  • each resident has a right to occupy 1 or more rooms, but not the whole premises
  • rooms are not self-contained
  • residents share facilities like a bathroom or kitchen which is outside of their room.

A residential service may also provide a food service and/or a personal care service. Please note that a residential service can be a self-contained unit complex where a food service is provided to the residents.

Your responsibilities

As a residential service provider, you need to:

You can contact the Residential Services Unit by:

Exemptions

Services exempt from being a residential service include:

  • accommodation specifically for tourists or travellers, such as backpackers, motels, and bed and breakfasts
  • student accommodation
  • retirement villages registered under the Retirement Villages Act 1999.
  • accommodation to employees in connection with their work, or contractors in connection with their service contracts
  • services regulated under other legislation, including   
    • aged care service under the Aged Care Act 1997 (Commonwealth)
    • an authorised mental health service under the Mental Health Act 2000
    • private hospitals under the Private Health Facilities Act 1999
    • licensed premises under the Liquor Act 1992  
  • services that have funding agreements with a government agency, including those
    • under funding or in premises owned by Aboriginal Hostels Limited
    • conducted by the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services and the Department of Housing and Public Works
    • funded under the Housing Act 2003 or the Disability Services Act 1992.

More information

For more information on residential services, you can:

For further information regarding rooming accommodation agreements, contact theResidential Tenancies Authority on 1300 366 311.


What if I have 5 or more rooms in my property

If you wish to advertise 5 or more rooms then you must comply with the Brisbane City Council regulations .More information can be found at the following website.

Advertisers wishing to place an advertisement on the Griffith Website must provide evidence of their certificate and registration for renting accommodation in Queensland .

  • Condition Report (Form 1a) - Residential Tenancies Authority
  • Premise is fit to live in and in good state of repair
  • Premise meets all laws that deal with health and safety
  • Fire and Safety evacuation plans
  • Premise is secure
  • All charges, rates and taxes for the place are paid
  • Aware of the Anti-Discrimination Act
  • Read Residential Tenancy Authority Legislation
  • Rooms meet Standard Brisbane City Council Building Code
  • Fire Blanket or/ Fire Extinguisher

Do I need to pay for the monthly advertisement

Yes from 1st July 2015 a minimal fee of $30 was introduced for payment for up to 3 individual advertisements for 1 month.