Deciding between Renting vs College takes some serious thought.
Here is a comprehensive list of many of the financial and other considerations to factor into your decision (and budget).

Renting   College
Usually paid fortnightly in advance.

See payment schedules for options.


A maximum of 4 weeks rent.

The bond is the tenant’s money and must be lodged with the Bond Administrator (Department of Commerce) until the end of the tenancy.  If more than one person has paid the bond (such as in a shared house), it is important the names of all the parties appear on the lodgement form, to protect everyone’s share.

If you are permitted to keep a pet, a pet bond may also be required.

Bond/Contingency Fee

No bond or contingency fee is required for domestic students.

No pets are permitted beyond a fish in a small fish tank.  There is no bond required.

Lease Period

Usually 6 months or 12 months.

Consider whether you will be happy to move in 6 months if that is the longest lease that you can secure.



Lease Period

A range of contract/lease periods are available depending upon the style of accommodation you have applied for.

In the NRAS accommodation: 44, 46, 48, and 52 week leases are available.  (The 52 week lease attracts a three week bonus over the Christmas and New Year period to allow students to visit family at this important time.  Effectively the resident pays for 49 weeks of the 52 week lease).



Renting   College

You can only live on noodles for so long!

Think about what you like to cook/eat and do some rough budgetary calculations.


Standard Rooms: 21 or 14 meal options.

Studios: 7 meals provided.

One-Bedroom Apartments: 2 meals factored in.

Studio and One-Bedroom Apartment residents have the option of taking up an extra meals package.

Utilities (Electricity, Gas, Water)

Budget for ongoing charges.

Usually involve initial connection fees.

Utilities (Electricity, Gas, Water)

All-inclusive within the fees.

No connection fees.

Some upfront fees apply for standard rooms: see fees schedule.

Electrical Safety

Lessors must have RCDs installed on the switchboard at their rental premise before it can be leased.

Electrical Safety

RCDs are fitted throughout the College.



Fire Safety

In the case of a fire, toxic smoke, rather than heat and flames, is the most immediate threat to life.

From 1 July 1997, the installation of mains powered smoke alarms became mandatory for all new residential buildings (or residential building extensions) within Western Australia. Since 1 October 2009, mains powered smoke alarms are required to be fitted in all existing residential buildings prior to sale and before a new tenancy agreement is signed. These requirements are now prescribed in the Building Regulations 2012.

Local Government agencies are responsible for investigating and enforcing the mandatory requirement to fit and maintain smoke alarms under the Building Regulations 2012, so non-compliance can be directed to the local council. .

Fire Safety

The smoke detectors are all hard wired and are linked back to FESA.

Resident Advisors and other staff undertake Fire and Emergency training including the use of firefighting equipment.  They act as Fire Wardens in case of emergency.

Evacuation drills are conducted each semester.



Telephone / Internet

If there are services you wish to connect at the property during your tenancy, such as a telephone line or internet, you should ask the lessor whether there are any known issues connecting the service, before signing the tenancy agreement. You may also wish to check with your desired provider whether they can open an account at the rental address.

Check what connection fees apply for budgeting purposes.

Consider line rental costs and the cost of data packages.

  Telephone / Internet

There are no telephones in resident rooms as mobiles have made land lines redundant.

Internet is included in the fees and gives each resident 250GB/month in data during their contract/lease.

There are no connection fees.

Pay TV

Consider Installation costs if infrastructure is not already installed.

Consider ongoing contractual costs.

Pay TV

Covered by College fees/rent.  Foxtel is in the recreation centres and Graduate Association Lounge.

Parking and Public Transport

Consider parking carefully, especially if you are sharing accommodation.

Check the insurance implications if you do not have off-street parking and the risks you are prepared to accept.

Parking and Public Transport

First year residents will rarely get a car park on campus.  They would usually bring a bicycle to College.

For older students who do get a parking permit, it is free of charge.

The College has an affordable car share program to assist students.

The College is directly over the road from UWA.

Being only 4km from the CBD, there is an excellent public transport provision.

Students find that the travel time saved is invaluable when the pressure is on.


You will generally need to provide your furniture and white goods.

Factor in any removalist costs that may apply.


Your room is fully furnished.  Move in and make it your own.



Travel CostsTo Uni, sport, social events.


Travel Costs

Uni is directly across the road.

Inter-College sport is usually on-campus or someone can give you a lift.

You live with your mates reducing travel to social events.

Contents (coverage against fire, theft etc)This is very important, phone aroundto find coverage that suits you.

Your belongings are covered to $10,000.  Terms and conditions apply.

Health Club Membership

Include in your budgeting.

Health Club Membership

All College residents are automatically members of the Tommy Gym which is at the College and operates 24 hours a day 365 days a year.

Some students choose to join the UWA Sport and Recreation Centre which is a short 2 minute walk from College.

The Gardens

Make sure you understand what is expected of you in terms of external maintenance of gardens and lawns and what this will cost in terms of time commitment and financial outlay.

The Gardens

The College employs grounds staff so you can simply enjoy the beautiful campus and living adjacent to stunning King’s Park.


All repairs go through the landlord or agent.  This can be time consuming and inconvenient.


The College employs maintenance staff and endeavours to do repairs in a timely manner.

End of Lease Clean

There is often the requirement to have the premises professionally cleaned and the carpets steam cleaned.  This needs to be considered carefully especially in the context of a six month lease.

End of Lease Clean

Ensure you leave your room in a tidy state and the College Housekeepers will do the final clean.

Regular cleaning is also included: fortnightly in standard rooms and monthly in the studios and one bedroom apartments.

Safety and Security

Ensure door and window locks are secure and functioning well.

Check what the street and entry lighting is like.


Safety and Security

Head and Deputy and 17 Resident Advisors on site.

Entry into buildings and individual rooms are key card controlled.

Extensive CCTV.

Collegians watching out for one another’s welfare.

Academic Support

Extra tuition could cost you upwards of $50/hr.

Academic Support

Tutoring is included in the fees.  No further charges apply regardless of the level of support required.


The Department of Commerce advises:

It’s important to shop around to avoid making rash decisions about renting. There can be significant up-front costs, so think carefully about what you can afford.  To rent a house at $380 per week could cost you about $2,500 to move in. You could have to find the money to pay for:

  1. rent in advance (two weeks): $760;
  2. a security bond (equivalent to a maximum of four weeks’ rent): $1520;
  3. a bond for a cat or dog or any pet capable of carrying parasites that can affect humans (except guide dogs) (if you have one and are allowed to keep one under the tenancy agreement): a maximum amount of $260; and
  4. other costs associated with changing house, such as moving furniture, connection fees, insurance etc.

The below table shows the approximate cost of living out of home:

Living Expenses
 Per month Per week
Meals 3 meals per day (21 meals per week)
$5.00 breakfast
$10.00 lunch
$15.00 dinner
 $        882.00  $     210.00
Internet Shared between three people  $          20.00  $          4.76
Housekeeping 2 hours per week, shared between three people  $        277.20  $        66.00
Water Shared between three people  $          20.00  $          4.76
Electricity Shared between three people  $          30.00  $          7.14
Gas Shared between three people  $          20.00  $          4.76
Rent 3 bedroom townhouse in Como (shared between three people)

1 bedroom apartment in Crawley = average $250 – $320 per week, 2×1 = $350 per week ($175 per person)

 $        125.00  $        29.76
Lawnmowing Fortnightly, shared between three people  $          40.00  $          9.52
Contents Insurance  $          25.00  $          5.95
 $    1,439.20  $     342.67
 $  17,270.40

Other costs and considerations

  • Furniture
  • Transport
  • Location
  • Academic Support
  • Fitness Membership
  • Social and Sporting Activities
  • Safety and Security
  • End of lease cleaning
  • University Parking Permits
  • Time (cooking, cleaning, maintaining services)
  • Bond
  • Rent Inspections
  • The mental load of needing to organise your own food, connections etc
  • Pastoral Care and assistance during hard times


STMC recognises that different students have different desires and needs concerning where and with whom they will reside during their university years.  We wish you all the very best in your decision making and we hope that this document gives you some assistance.

Contact our Admissions team to arrange a tour, or submit a query here.