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Students Accommodation Guide

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What is the Significance of this Guide?

Countless students travel abroad to pursue their higher education. In a recent survey, USA, UK, Australia, Canada and Singapore have emerged as the most preferred destinations for international students. The students, in their quest for higher education in these countries, face their first hurdle in the form of finding a decent accommodation. It is not an easy task as it involves quite a tedious process, right from making tenancy agreement with the landlord to adjust to living with other international students from different culture and background. This detailed guide seeks to provide a comprehensive solution to all the aspiring students who need practical advices to find and secure an accommodation in these educational hubs of the world.

Who can Consult this Guide?

This guide can be a real companion for all those international students who intent to study in USA, UK, Australia, Canada or Singapore. You can be a freshman in college or a doctorate level student – this guide will be immensely helpful and beneficial to all. A chosen team of experts is behind the making of this guide. It has been prepared based on practical experiences of the international students in the respective countries with first hand information collected from reliable and authentic sources.

How to use this Guide?

The guide is segregated into different sections according to the need of the students. It follows a sequential pattern discussing every aspect in details, the expected problems that the students can face in each of the countries and provides a potential roadmap with the possible solutions. You will find the answer to all your queries in this detailed survival guide for accommodation abroad.

In all the countries, you get a wide variety of choices from which you can select the suitable form of accommodation. Every student needs a calm and supportive ambience where they intend to stay. It is essential to focus on their studies. Generally, there are six types of accommodation available in the first world countries.

University Residence Halls

It is the on-campus housing managed by the concerned university. Known as University residence halls in USA and Canada, it is referred to as student’s hostel in the countries of UK, Australia and Singapore. For the first year students, it is the best form of accommodation to get acquainted with the new place and to make new friends. By living in the residence halls, you can access all the campus facilities and opportunities conveniently. Most of the universities provide campus residence hall for at least the first two years of the respective course. Girls and boys live in separate wings. These hostels function as traditional dormitory. The students share the same lounge and common washrooms. But it is always fun to stay with the students belonging to the same institution.

There is a Residential Advisor or a Warden who is authorized to maintain the discipline in the dormitory and responsible for your safety and other social facilities.

Expected Cost:
  • In USA and Canada: $6,000 per semester
  • In UK: £200 per week
  • In Australia: $135 per week
  • In Singapore: SG $1800 per semester

Private Student Housing

It is a common type of private off-campus accommodation. If you prefer to stay in an independent environment but want to experience the fun of staying together, then the shared student housing will be appropriate for you. Some universities do not have their own residential halls and hostels while sometimes the students miss the deadline of booking accommodation. In these circumstances, the students opt for student housing complexes where they share the rent among themselves.

You are always advised to rent an accommodation in the vicinity of your college or university. Sometimes the institutions itself endorse some complexes while sometimes you may need to find out on your own by consulting different websites, classifieds or managing agencies. Here you get the opportunity to cook your own food according to your wish anytime. But you also need to furnish other costs like electricity, water, housekeeping etc.

Expected Cost:
  • In USA and Canada: $400 - 800 a month
  • In UK: £150 - 200 per week
  • In Australia: $70 - 250 per week
  • In Singapore: SG $1000 per month

Homestay Accommodation

In case you are below 18 years of age, you will not be allowed to stay in the hostels. You will have to stay with a host family. If you are too attached to your family then homestay can reduce your home sickness to quite an extent. Here, you will get a caring environment and feel like home in the foreign land. By staying with the local people, you will get to know about their culture, etiquette and lifestyle. They can be your ideal guide and guardian in times of distress and need.

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You can either be the only student to stay with them or your host may accommodate 2 to 5 more people along with you as well. According to the number of residents, you may get a private room or share it with another person. In the homestay accommodation, you will be privileged with a completely furnished bedroom and other utilities. But be sure that your residence is located within the 30-45 minutes of your campus.

Expected Cost:
  • In USA and Canada: $400 - 800 a month
  • In UK: £150 - 200 per week
  • In Australia: $70 - $250 per week
  • In Singapore: SG $1000 per month

Private Flat

Completely private flats can be an enticing option if you prefer to stay alone. Though expensive from other form of dwellings, it promises you complete peace of mind where you can concentrate on your studies without any disruption. Some students have bad experiences staying in dormitories or they are introvert by nature. They prefer these private apartments rather than staying together with other students.

The expense of renting a flat is highest among all the forms of accommodation. Above all, the charges are quite high in countries like USA, Singapore and UK. In a personal flat, you need to arrange all the utilities by yourself. But getting a flat in the vicinity of the college and according to preferences is quite tough. Therefore, you should start planning way ahead before you land in the country.

Expected Cost of Renting:

  • In USA and Canada: Around $1200 per month (one BHK)
  • In UK: Around £1000 in London and other important cities
  • In Australia: $300 - 500 per week (Melbourne and Sydney)
  • In Singapore: SG $4000 per month

Private Halls of Residence

These are special forms of accommodation properties which are privately owned but provide similar utilities like the University Residence Halls. The main advantage of these private housings is that it remains open throughout the year and any international student is eligible to stay in it.

There are several private residence halls in the educational cities. You will never find it hard to locate one such residence. Being owned by private entities, it is slightly expensive compared to the university dormitories and hostels. But if you are an extrovert and love to meet new people from different countries, your stay in these private residences will be delightful.

Expected Cost:
  • In USA and Canada: $400 - 800 a month
  • In UK: £150 - 200 per week
  • In Australia: $70 - 250 per week
  • In Singapore: SG $1000 per month

Government-funded Housing

To encourage the educational sector in their country, Singapore and Australian governments provide subsidized apartments to the international students. In the present age of high expenses, this noble initiative entices the students to choose these countries over other nations. With all the basic amenities, it is the most economical form of accommodation compared to the others.
To stay in these apartments, you need to provide a valid student pass. Most of these complexes erected by the Housing Development Board of the respective countries are situated near the most eminent colleges and other basic facilities.

Expected Cost:
  • In Australia: $100 - 200 per week
  • In Singapore: SG $1000 - 2000 per month
  • The cost of living in these accommodations varies across the countries and according to the city and its vicinity to the respective college or university. The prices mentioned are suggestive and indicative that may change. You are suggested to check it yourself.

Now that you are aware of the options in front of you, the actual pursuit for the perfect and appropriate accommodation begins. There are four main sources that can get you to the destination you are looking for:

University Office

All the universities and colleges have a professional team in their administrative department. The team is assigned to allocate rooms in the residence halls and provide information about the vacancies in the recommended properties. As the number of rooms and dormitories are limited in every institution, they tend to get booked very fast. You should contact the team early so that you don’t miss out on the opportunity.

Student Accommodation Websites

There are quite a number of dedicated websites that provide rented accommodations to the students. Different landlords and private entities post their advertisement on these websites. While some of them are absolutely free, the students can register themselves by paying a nominal charge in the rest. Accordingly, they will remain updated with the latest developments and spare rooms. Different eminent universities and colleges also post on these online portals.

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Residential Agents

There are authorized agents who match the students with their prospective landlords against a percentage tip. These brokers have profound knowledge and updated information about the current status of the accommodations in the different localities near the colleges and universities. But do not believe the agent blindly rather keep a track of all the developments on your own. Regularly negotiate with them with a robust attitude so that they don’t charge exorbitant prices.

Classifieds

Many landlords and other people looking for possible tenants advertise in the different websites on their own. This is a nice strategy to avoid the middlemen and directly contact the students. In these classifieds, the renter states all the requirements along with the pictures of the accommodation. Accordingly, the students can decide and contact the people. So, check the respective websites regularly as these properties get booked very fast.

Tips to aid your accommodation search

Searching for an accommodation can be very tedious at times. You may feel a little dejected when you don’t get what you actually need. So do remember the following tips:

1. As on-campus accommodation is very limited, off-campus residences are the most popular option. We advise you to start early. In the first step, contact your college or university’s International Student Office and put forward all your queries. They can provide the best information like where to go and how to search.

2. Do not feel shy or afraid to ask for assistance. When people will understand that you are a novice in the field, they would certainly extend their helping hand. But people with illicit intentions are also not rare. Always verify the information from at least two sources to avoid being the victim of fraudulent activities.

3. Follow only credible websites and be careful about all forms of scammers. Craigslist provides the most helpful property information of about 50 countries including the five concerned nations. There are other websites too. For your benefit, here we provide you some options:

For USA and Canada

Uloop, Zillow, Trulia

For UK

Gumtree, Locanto, UKClassifieds

For Australia

GumtreeAu, Homesales, Ninemsn

For Singapore

STproperty, Propertyhub, Singaporeexpats

4. Do not panic if you are not successful in the first attempt. Keep in touch with your university and keep them informed about your position. The Chief Liaison Officer of the institution will provide a way out so that you manage to get decent off-campus housing.
From the above-mentioned sources, you will get a proper accommodation according to your need and specifications. But remember once again that as soon as your abroad trip is confirmed, do not delay and start your quest for accommodation immediately.

After determining the accommodation, you need to decide the budget. Most of the students pursue their studies abroad by taking educational loans. It is very important to find out precisely the expenses so that you do not suffer from financial crunch in the middle of the month. The most important aspects which decide the accommodation budget are as follows:

Rent

The most significant part of the budget, rent varies extensively across cities and countries. The most prominent educational cities like London, New York, Boston, Toronto, Melbourne, Sydney have the costliest rates of rent. While if your college is located in other cities, you can expect much lower prices of accommodation. The rent will also depend on the form of your accommodation. Staying in residential halls will cost much less than staying in private apartments.

Utilities

In your new residence, you need all the basic amenities like water, electricity, gas and nowadays internet and Wi-Fi facilities. If you choose homestay accommodation probably all these charges will be included in the monthly rent. But if you are staying in off-campus apartments then you need to pay for these utilities separately. As you gradually get acquainted with the new place, choose the best as well as the affordable tariffs to ease off the burden.

Insurance

Health Insurance is mandatory for all the international students. Many students unable to adjust with the changing environment get ill in the foreign country. The charges of medical treatment are quite high in countries like USA, UK and Australia. The health insurance will be the most effective solution in these uncertain situations. Work on different insurance plans available for you. Choose wisely and select the best and the most appropriate health plan. Along with health, you can get all other important and valuable things like laptop, smart phone, two-wheelers insured.

Grocery

It is really advantageous to have a grocery store near your residence. It provides you the opportunity to buy fresh food regularly. The cost will escalate if you don’t have a store near your new home. The students are, therefore, advised to choose such housing which is close to the supermarket.

Furnishing

Sometimes in the foreign land, the students seem to be a ‘fish out of the water’. From this intense yearning, they decorate their rooms or apartments as their own rooms back home. You too can feel the same while staying alone in this new country. Refurbishing your room with similar furniture, bed and other belongings will definitely make you feel more comfortable. If you have the same plan, allocate sufficient funds to this apartment furnishing Section.
In some countries like UK and Australia, the international students may be asked to pay a tax while renting any form of housing. You can hedge it out if your university issues a Tax Exemption Certificate.

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These are the main essentials which will cover your final accommodation budget. While making the final draft of the estimation, do not forget to allocate sufficient funds for tuition fees, books and course work fees and other personal need. Though they are not a part of the accommodation budget still it will influence all the decisions substantially.

As the number of rooms in the college residence halls and hostels are very limited, most of the students have to accommodate themselves in private residences. When you are going to spend the next three to four years of your life in these private apartments, then you need to go through the following sections of the guide. If you are fortunate to procure a room in the student hotel then you can directly move to Section 7.

Every student feels a little apprehensive while confirming the accommodation. It is a new country, new city with a completely new environment about which they have no idea. They do have some definite questions which can be answered only by the current tenants and the prospective landlord. You can develop considerable knowledge by talking to the people residing in that country. But what should be the potential queries. Let’s find out.

To the current tenants

The current tenants with their first hand experiences can provide you valuable information about the concerned property. You should ask them:

About safety

It is important that the place is safe so that walking around in the evening or in the night do not make you feel insecure. The students are vulnerable to burglary. Hence, safety should be your prime concern.

About Transport

Your eventual residence should be near the bus stop. The main street close to it should be well-connected with different forms of public transport. Reliable public transport facilities will help to reach your college and universities quickly and smoothly.

About the landlord

During your stay in the new residence you may face various problems. Definitely, you would expect your landlord to address them efficiently. The rooms should be properly maintained with an uninterrupted supply of electricity, gas and other basic amenities.

About neighbors

All the students desire a calm and peaceful ambience. Noisy neighbors can be very disturbing for your academic life. The residence may be equally distressing if you have unfriendly co-tenants. In future, you too need to restrain yourself from throwing frequent parties with your friends to avoid annoying the family next door.

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To the landlord

Before making the formal agreement, you are entitled to the nitty-gritty of the house and the deal. What should be your queries?

Is the property accredited?

Remember properties with formal accreditation can only negotiate with the students and provide them necessary accommodation. A set of well-defined laws guarantees the protection of the tenants. The landlords and renters must provide accommodation abiding the law of the country. Ask the landlord and confirm it through other mediums that if the desired residence has the necessary permissions.

What should be the deposit amount?

In UK, Australia and Singapore:  The renters take an advance of two months’ rent plus additional charges.
In USA and Canada:  Though it varies from state to state, the tenant needs to pay two months’ rent for the first year and one month rent for subsequent years. Furnished houses obviously will charge more.

What is the length of contract?

Generally you would be asked to make a contract of one year in every country which may be extended later. During the holidays, some housing offers half-rent facilities. If the city do not fall among the elite educational hubs, you can have the opportunity to make a shorter contract or according to your need.

What will be the obligations?

When you make a contract, obviously you need to follow some obligations. It is always better to know them before you sign the formal document. Most of the students need flexibility in the contract so that they can move out in emergencies before the contract expires. It is known as break clause. Ask the landlord if your parents, relatives or friends can stay with you if they come for a holiday. Find it out if there are other obligations too. Then take your final decision.
After you have clarified all your queries, you become ready for the final agreement.

Now that you have decided your residence, it is the time to have the final word. Remember that the rent, no matter what they say, is always negotiable. So, you can always bargain or haggle with the stated amount. The lease or contract is the concluding stage of the agreement which is crucial and involves a series of steps.

Securing the property

In the first step, you need to reserve your residence by paying a deposit amount. As these properties tend to get booked very fast, you need to secure it by providing this money to the prospective landlord. It is a sort of commitment between the two parties for the future final deal. The holding deposit is not refundable. After the transaction if you change your mind, then you lose your money completely.
Even after securing the apartment, you should not delay the agreement. Get the accommodation agreement done as quickly as possible even if you have to do it through the post.

The agreement

To make it legally verified in the respective country, the rental contract is signed by the two parties. The contract includes all the details including the rights and the obligations of the tenant as well as the landlord. Formally, it is known as a lease in USA and Tenancy in UK. The tenure of the lease varies from six months to three years. But most of the times, the parties agree on a one-year contract. The essential aspects of every rental lease are:

Security Deposit Amount

It is the refundable deposit money that the students need to pay during the agreement. When the international student moves out of the residence, they get back the full amount. But if the student is responsible for any form of damage or violation of contract, the landlord reserves the right to deduct the equivalent amount of compensation as decided by the parties or the court.

Rents and Utilities

Rent is the amount payable to the landlord by the student every month. The contract will include all the details about the rent and utilities. As the rent increases every financial year, it is important to have a separate clause over it. Some of the landlords charge gross rent from the students which include the prices of other facilities like electricity, water, gas and garbage disposal along with the basic rent. It is advised by several legal advisors that the transaction should be completed in cheques (check in USA).

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Term

Most leases are for one-year term. Both the parties on a mutual agreement can extend the contract in future. As they can extend the contract, any party can terminate the lease too. If any side so decides, a 30-day to 60-day notice (varies from country to country) must be provided to the other party. But to safeguard the interest of the students, the landlords do not have the authority to discontinue the contract without any valid reason.

Rules and Obligations

After the lease becomes effective, the students need to follow some general and special rules. The obligations depend on the residential country and the city as well. Rather than stating them as rules, they are a set of guidelines which help you to reside and co-exist peacefully and harmoniously. It includes the directives for moral conduct, having pets, directives for sharing the common facilities etc.

Liability

When the student opts for a furnished flat or an apartment, a separate clause is inserted in the contract paper. It includes the details of the condition and the state of the furniture, bed, utensils and others. It is the mandatory obligation of the student to leave all those furnishings in the same condition without any damage or distortion. It is regarded as the most complicated part of the contract and hence, should be dealt carefully. If you do not feel confident yourself, then take the assistance of some seniors or acquaintances to avoid any mishap.

Retainer

All the international students visit their homes during the summer vacation and the winter holidays. During this time, the students need to pay a specific amount (generally half of the monthly rent) to hold the property in their name. It is known as retainer which is an important clause in every contract. The landlord receives this non-refundable payment as the student retains the property in her/ his name.
These are the essential features of every rental contract. It can cover other aspects as well following the legal purview of the country, state and the specific university or college. As you get ready to sign the legal document, make sure that you know the answers of the following checklist

Checklist before you sign the agreement

Type of Contract

There are generally four types of contract, namely short hold (for 6 months to one year duration), long hold (more than one year duration), joint (when a group will live together) and individual (single person). Make sure that you sign the right form of the document.

Read the contract thoroughly

Do not sign the lease contract without reading it. Read the legal document with complete attention and check these key points:

1. Effectiveness of the contract (start date and end date)

2. Make sure that you name is spelt correctly and includes the name of the landlord as well

3. Check whether the rental figures are accurate

4. All your obligations are mentioned without any ambiguity. If you find any mistake, get it rectified before you sign it.

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Security Deposit Protection

Check the clauses related to refund of the security deposit. Most of the students overlook it but it is very important. It is the compulsory duty of the landlord to reimburse the deposit within 30 days after leaving the residence.

Guarantor

Sometimes, the contracts require a guarantor from the student’s side. It may be your parents, friends, acquaintances and even your lawyer. The guarantor will be the person who can pay the rent if for some reason you fail to make the payments. But for all the international students, it is not mandatory to have a guarantor.

Agency Fee

If you got the contact of your prospective landlord from any certified agency, the respective agency is entitled for a pre-determined fee. Make sure that the payable amount to them is incorporated in the contract. The amount should be mutually compliant.

Inventory

Check that the list of inventories is correct and completely accurate. Both the parties should agree to the conditions of the house and other useful utilities. These days, it has become easier as you can take photographs which will be a proof of authenticity for future.
In case you face any issue or dispute in the future, you can take the assistance of the city tenant union or the customer advocates. They can provide you legal help and the necessary guidance in these undesirable circumstances.

All the countries have a distinct set of landlord-tenant law which formulates and sets out definite legal provisions to decide any dispute arising between the concerned parties. As the countries USA, UK, Australia, Canada and Singapore follow ‘common law jurisdiction’, the legal provisions under the landlord-tenant law are more or less similar.
In all the countries, there are different legal provisions which safeguard the interest of the tenants. It is important to have a clear idea about these segments of law which will be your shield in case you are victimized.

Rights

The tenants are guarded by some definite rights which protect him/her from every illicit and unlawful measure.

Duty to Deliver Possession

It is the obligatory duty of every landlord to handover the possession of the property to the prospective tenant after the contract is signed or at the beginning when the lease becomes effective. In case of any dispute or any wrongful holdover, the landlord will hold the responsibility.

Constructive Eviction

The tenant in any situation is entitled for constructive eviction rather than forceful expulsion. If the tenant fails to pay the rent according to the contract, the landlord has the right to cancel the lease. But the landlord needs to issue a notice to the tenant other than evicting him or her by the use of force.

Breach of Covenant

The landlord is expected to keep the residence habitable with regular repairing and maintenance. If the landlord fails to discharge the duties according to the contract then the tenant can ask for compensation. Exemption from paying the rent, proper compensation or additional benefits can be used as penalty for the breach of covenant.

Money Damages

Sometimes the tenants are themselves compelled to repair the house due to the ineffectiveness of the landlord. In return, they can ask for compensation from the landlord according to the cost of refurbishing the home. The tenant needs to prove that the renter owes money before the legal proceedings and that the consumer rights and protection have been violated. Then the landlord is entitled to pay for the damages.

Retaliatory Cause of Action

If the person complains against the landlord for not discharging her/his duties according to the contract, then in retaliation the landlord cannot evict the tenant. Even the landlord cannot expel any student citing health or safety code violations. But in return the students can lodge a case as an affirmative defense against the landlord.

Duties

The students as the tenants also have certain obligations which they need to follow.

Duty to Pay Rent on Time

It is the primary duty of the tenant to pay the rent without any delay. It is advised that the students should continue paying the rent even if the landlord is found to breach the contract. It would make the case stronger in favor of the tenant in any form of dispute in future. Only the court or the similar entities have the authority to exempt the tenant from paying the rent.

Duty to Preserve the Residence

If the tenant wishes to leave the house after the termination of the contract, he/she must do so in the keeping all the inventories in the exact condition as it were received during the beginning of the lease. They will get back the complete amount of the security deposit (sometimes with the interest, if mentioned in the contract) within 30 days. But if any inventory (furniture, bed, utensil etc) is found to be damaged because of the tenant, the landlord has the right to charge the compensating amount from the security deposit.

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Duty to Adhere to Social Norms

The tenant needs to follow all the obligations stated in the agreement contract. Along with that, they need to adhere to the other social norms. Playing music late in the night to breaking traffic rules, all of them can go against student-tenants in case of any dispute or argument. The tenants should abide by the social and cultural norms of the country and no neighbor should get disturbed or upset for their presence.

Duty to Maintain the Utility Permissions

The students need to pay the electricity bills, gas bills, internet charges regularly. Sometimes, the gross rent includes the fees of these utilities but in most of the situations the tenant needs to pay them separately to the respective authorities. Sometimes the tenants need an authorization certificate to use certain utilities in their residence. Make sure that you as an international student have all the necessary permissions before using the utilities.
In UK, the students need to have their names registered to get gas connection while in Australia the tenants need to get a permission to receive water in their home. In the USA, the tenant needs to have a clearance from the fire and safety department. These rules tend to change overtime. Therefore, it will be better if you can get the details after reaching the country. The residential agents can also provide you the updated information.

It is definitely a challenge to socialize with new people especially if you are an introvert by nature. You may also find it difficult to live a life all by yourself. To manage all the academic tasks along with the personal work can be very tedious especially when you don’t have the guidance and care of your parents and dear ones. But what can be your eventual challenges in the new phase of your life?

Feeling like an outsider

Regardless of the country you belong to, you will feel like being isolated in an unknown civilization. While you used to reign in your own home, now you have to share your room with strangers. You will feel a little uncomfortable and unwanted among others. But all international students will also feel the same like you. Hence, you are not alone.

Trying to be compatible

All the international students come from different cultures, backgrounds and ethnicity. It is absolutely normal to have different views and perspectives. But within this diverse ambience, you will gradually develop a friendship with your roommates. A little adjustment according to the personal preferences can encourage the process.

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Language barrier

English is the official and the most commonly used language in countries like UK, USA, Australia, Canada and Singapore (Mandarin is the official language in Singapore). But there are significant differences in accent, usage and style. Even the pronunciation of American English differs from state to state. To communicate clearly with your roommates, warden, landlord and other people, you need to refine and improve your English skills.

Understanding currency differences

Understanding the currency differences is significantly challenging as you are habituated with the currency of your country. It is better to start following and therefore analyzing the conversions before you board the flight. Do not spend the money according to its denominations. Try to figure out mentally the normal price of the items and then spend wisely. You need to learn it quickly as soon as you can because you are going to stay abroad for few coming years. Do not spend pounds as if they are dollars or vice versa!

Give yourself time

Nobody gets acquainted with the surroundings in a single day. Most of the students just recovered from the acute anxieties of getting a proper accommodation. Now it is the time to provide yourself and others sufficient time to know each other. But if you fail to adjust with the room and your housemates, do not panic. There is always a spare room where you can shift any time. Before shifting from your room, by having a word with the respective authorities and landlord, you can advertise your own room for other students. But don’t rush to any decisions.

Roommates will be an integral part of your life for the next three to four years. They would be your companions in the moments of distress and anxiety. All the international students come from different parts of the world where a little friction is not abnormal. But a little understanding and adjustments can make you a good roommate and live harmoniously with others.

1. When multiple students stay together, all of them should have a firm knowledge about the terms of tenancy. You too should know the capabilities of the other students and how you all are going to contribute to monthly rent and other utility bills.

2. Discuss with your roommates what kind of household do you all want. Some of the students will be early risers while some will be night owls! You may prefer cooking for yourself while your roommate loves pizzas and burgers from outside. Discuss all these major concerns to avoid future complications.

3. Make sure that the bills are in joint names but provide a clause of individual standing order. While making the joint bills ensure all of you have equal responsibility; the individual standing makes you non-accountable even if one of your roommates fails to provide the monthly rent to the landlord.

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4. A nice way to avoid future muddles is to overestimate the monthly bills including all the forms of utility. Ensure that all the students contribute in the fund equally (if someone has some relevant financial issue, he/ she can be exempted). With the leftover money at the end of the month, all of you can have a small party. It will help to enhance the bonding with the co-tenants.

5. Your roommate may have the habit of watching TV or hearing music aloud. Be a little considerate if it is not intolerable. All the roommates will have their own religious and political views. People from these different social strata will not be an issue when all of you will be a little liberal and compassionate to each other.

6. Divide the duties and the daily chores between you and your roommate. While you may take the responsibility of washing clothes, your friend can anoint himself to prepare the lunch. This precise break up will keep all of you engaged as well as it teaches you to live in co-ordination and without any form of dissent.

7. Organize an occasional get-together with your housemates and other friends. It would be a nice relief from the regular monotonous life. But do not spend lavishly in these parties or you can find yourself penniless in the middle of the month. While the parties are very helpful to strengthen the attachment, you should equally respect the private and personal space of other roommates.

Now, when you have a firm and comprehensive knowledge about all the nitty-gritty of accommodation in abroad, it is the time for a final checklist.

Country

1. Are you completely aware of the rules and regulations for the tenants in the respective country?

2. Have you booked the accommodation from a reliable residential agent or through the authorized channels?

3. Is the respective college or university aware of your whereabouts?

4. Have you compared the costs of rent available in the city?

5. Are you comfortable in the official language of the country (British English, American English, Australian English or Singapore English/ Mandarin)?

Source

1. Is the residential agent from whom you are seeking assistance authorized?

2. Did you contact the international student office within the time limit?

3. Did you verify all the information received from at least two sources?

4. Have you registered (some websites need it) in the accommodation websites?

Location

1. Is it conveniently located from the college?

2. Is the place safe at night?

3. Is it well connected with transport facilities?

4. Do the basic amenities (grocery and other things) located near to it?

About the Home

1. Is the property well maintained?

2. Does the renter have the necessary permission from the authority for student tenancy?

3. Is the room space enough according to your expectations?

4. Is the room furnished with temperature controls (heating and cooling)?

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5. Are the utilities provided by the landlord enough?

6. Is the security features sufficient to make all the students safe?

7. Is the landlord professional and efficient enough to resolve the problems and get the repairs done on time (current tenants will resolve it)?

Contract

1. Do you have clear knowledge about the details of the contract?

2. Do you have the detailed information of the landlord with whom you are making the contract?

3. Do you have all the details about the security money and where it is deposited?

4. Are the obligations stated in the document considerable?

5. Are all the costs and the rents mentioned in the paper are accurate without any ambiguity?

6. Is the rent including the other charges within your budget?

7. Is the contract paper checked by any legal expert from your side?

8. Have you received all the requisite permissions for the utilities?

Be sure that you have the affirmative answers for every question. This will ensure you a peaceful stay in the new country and new environment.

This accommodation guide is written in the best of efforts to include all the aspects related to accommodation abroad. You can consult this guide before you board the airplane to your destination. While you reach the new country, you will be much more prepared and organized to handle any situation abroad.

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