Some students choose to live off-campus in privately rented houses or 'flats' in the surrounding suburbs to UC or other areas of Christchurch.
A 'flat' may have one bedroom, or may be a house with as many as five or six bedrooms. In a larger flat you will have your own bedroom and share the living, kitchen, bathroom, laundry and outside areas with other flatmates. Larger appliances such as the TV, washing machine, dryer, fridge/freezer etc will also be shared.
When you rent a property or a room in a property that you share with other students (as a 'flatmate') you will be responsible for providing your own furniture, paying your rent and your share of the monthly bills (for example electricity, gas, phone, internet), cooking your own meals and doing your own laundry.
Sharing your living space with other people can be difficult at times:
- Be careful to clearly establish terms and conditions with your landlord and other flatmates before moving in.
- Know what type of tenancy you are signing into - periodic or fixed term
- Know your rights and responsibilities as a tenant and those of your landlord.
- Decide whether one or all of you are going to sign the tenancy agreement and what this means - all tenants named on a tenancy agreement are joint and severally liable.
Private rental properties may be available close to the University but can often be in high demand. Rent can cost upwards from $120.00 per room a week, plus monthly expenses (power, telephone/internet) and food.
If you choose this type of accommodation for your stay in Christchurch – you will need to find your own flat or house. Be prepared to stay in temporary accommodation in Christchurch when you first arrive (for example a motel or backpackers) for at least two weeks so you have time to find suitable accommodation.
There are several ways you can search for a suitable property to rent. One of the best options is to check out the Student Rent flatting database of ‘Flatmates Wanted' and ‘Properties Available'. There are also other resources you can use to search for a house. Be advised that you should view the property personally before signing up anywhere.
It is important to note that most flats in the university area have 52 week leases and many properties come unfurnished so you will need to factor this in to your budget.
Please Note: The rental market is tight at the moment and it is difficult to get rental accommodation in most areas. With a combination of displaced people looking for accommodation and some properties not able to be rented due to damage, there has been a shortage of rental properties. Student should be prepared that it may take longer to find a property than they might expect.