International students, be aware of your rental rights



NSW Fair Trading Commissioner Rod Stowe is encouraging students and young people to use Youth Week (10-19 April) as an opportunity to become familiar with their tenancy rights.

“Students, particularly international students who may be less aware of their rights, can be very vulnerable in NSW’s competitive rental market” Mr Stowe said.

“Students rights are the same as any other tenant ”“ they have legal rights regarding repairs, privacy and rent increases.

“In 2014 Fair Trading received over 3,000 complaints about tenancy and bonds, making it one of our most complained about issues.

“Fair Trading is aware of a scam that has caught a number of international students where they have paid a deposit in response to a rental advertisement only to find the property did not exist.

“Unscrupulous landlords can take advantage of international students who could be more reluctant to approach Fair Trading or other tenancy advice services.

“Fair Trading has a range of materials on tenancy information, including Youtube videos, which have been translated into different languages such as Arabic, Mandarin and Vietnamese.

“We also have a free online tenancy complaint service that we encourage tenants and landlords to use,” said Mr Stowe.

“Anyone with a tenancy complaint should call Fair Trading on 13 32 20 or visit our website.”

Some tips for students:

1.  You should not be asked to pay for the cost of preparing your tenancy agreement, or for the initial supply of keys and security devices to each tenant named on the agreement.

2. You should not be required to pay more than two weeks rent in advance, or more than four weeks rent as a rental bond.

“Fair Trading also has an international student consumer guide which has information and resources across topics like scams, travel, education, mobile phones and buying a car,” added Mr Stowe.

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