We know that you may have lots of questions about living off-campus whilst studying at Monash. Our service is here to help you and we want to share some of our student's stories to help you make an informed decision.
I contacted Monash Residential Services to receive assistance in how to best proceed with breaking the lease for the off-campus apartment that me and my fellow roommates had to leave early as a result of the outbreak of COVID-19. After successfully breaking the lease, we reconnected with MRS after experiencing difficulties receiving the refund of our rental bond.
MRS contacted our rental agency on our behalf, to make clear for them that we wanted to ensure our tenancy rights were respected . The refund of our rental bond was at this point already delayed by one and a half months and we were starting to have troubles getting in touch with the rental agency. Despite several promises from the rental agents that the bond transaction would occur, it ended up becoming drawn out and complicated. MRS and I stayed in contact throughout this whole process. The support from MRS was of great help for us, especially the way that they gave us an insider’s view of how apartment rentals work in Melbourne that we would have never gotten otherwise. They were very factual and clear in their arguments to, and demands for, our rental agency which I most definitely think was the reason why we finally received our full payment in the end.
The process of being in Sweden and trying to solve a matter of great financial inconvenience on the other side of the world is something that I never want to experience again. To others coming after me I would therefore suggest to always check your rental agency up one extra time before signing your contract. Our rental agency seemed very serious and proper but after digging a bit deeper when we started having problems, we found that several other exchange students had experienced the same thing before us. So be careful and also take help from MRS at an earlier stage than I did! Their services exist to keep you away from these kinds of situations.
Julia Persson, Monash Abroad student, Arts Program
I contacted MRS because I was experiencing financial difficulties as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and I wanted to know if there were any ways in which I could reduce that financial burden. I needed guidance on what my rights were, and how I can exercise my rights to protect myself and communicate with my landlord and Victorian government departments during this distressing time.
The off-campus team listened to my problems very attentively, and were empathetic. Despite there being several people working there each member of staff was updated on my matter and trained well enough to provide continuous assistance and prompt correspondence. MRS off-campus provided me with concise explanations of what my rights were during this time, what my possible legal options were (I didn't even know there was more than one!) and suggested what the best course of action would be.
I spent a lot of time trying to figure things out myself, and soon realised that there were too many legalities involved that I found difficult to manoeuvre myself around. The one thing I would do differently, and would also suggest to others coming after me is to call MRS and ask questions!
The team at MRS prioritises student safety and well-being, and as such they will be more than happy to answer any questions, big or small. I would encourage those seeking help from MRS to initiate honest, open conversations, ask questions and clarify their doubts whenever needed. The advice and support that MRS provided made me feel confident in taking steps to make serious decisions that would empower me financially and as an off-campus tenant.
Krisha Thakor, Bachelor of Biomedical Science
The support offered by the MRS off campus team has been phenomenal, to say the least. Arriving at Australia and living off campus can seem daunting, but the support and advocacy provided to me by MRS genuinely made me feel cared for and secure in all my dealings with the landlords here.
I would highly recommend them to all off-campus students as your only regret would be why didn’t you contact them sooner.
I contacted MRS Off-campus Accommodation Services to find accommodation when I first arrived to commence my studies. I learned about the service through the International Student Engagement Team.
I contacted them again when my lease ended and I was looking for more affordable accommodation due to the COVID-19 crisis. They helped me identify options and provided professional references for me.
They also supported me through virtual property inspections, which I found invaluable as the videos weren’t adequately supportive of people with visual impairment.
Now I’m settled as I was able to find appropriate accommodation within my budget and very close to campus. Therefore, I recommend that any Monash student needing assistance should not hesitate to contact the staff for their accommodating and inclusive service!
Mapitso Raswoko, PhD Candidate Law Faculty
As an international student in Melbourne, I had little knowledge of my rights as a tenant as well as the responsibilities my landlord or agent needed to fulfil. My landlord took advantage of this and tried to exploit me by demanding extra money and advance payments illegally.
For months, I underwent immense mental stress and turmoil, and would have continued so if not for MRS. The MRS Off-Campus Accommodation team made me aware about my rights and guided me at every step, in order to resolve the situation in a timely manner.
Because of them I was able to get out of a situation which seemed impossible at that time.
They were also perfectly up to date with the new tenancy laws established in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. I would encourage every student to consult MRS at all stages of their tenancy, to understand and exercise their rights appropriately so that no landlord/agent can unjustly intimidate us students.
Vedikaa Padia, Master of Communications and Media Studies