University students Kristin Clarke (left), Tamara Hamshaw and Boden Yates in their rental home in Lismore.
University students Kristin Clarke (left), Tamara Hamshaw and Boden Yates in their rental home in Lismore. Jay Cronan

SCU students in house hunt

WITH first-round offers released yesterday, university students are hunting for houses in Lismore.

Luckily Kristin Clarke has already found a rental home in Goonellabah as college places and other rentals close to Southern Cross University are snapped up fast.

Ms Clarke is in her final year of Primary Education at SCU and has moved in with friends she met through school and netball and now shares a house with another two girls and two guys.

“I used to rent down in East Lismore, and I always walked to uni,” she said.

Daniel Brown, Portfolio Manager of Investment Properties at Wal Murray and Co. Lismore, said they had just hit their busiest rental period thanks to incoming university students.

He said the market for uni students was competitive.

“We’ve been doing a lot of inspections. Usually the place goes after that,” he said.

Ms Clarke agreed it was hard for university students to find accommodation.

“It is pretty difficult, and girls I lived with before had a lot of trouble,” she said.

Mr Brown said there were ways students, especially if they were first-time renters, could boost their chances of securing a place.

“We tend to get a lot of uni students whose parents go guarantor, which satisfies landlords,” he said.

“They should also have all their information together for application forms, because if they haven’t got it they will miss out.”

SCU Village director Warwick Tomlinson said the colleges at SCU Lismore were already over 78 per cent full.

“There’s a lot of applications flowing into our office, and we’re sending out a lot of contracts,” he said.

“International students make up 20 per cent, and the majority of these are American and Canadian.”

While people are able to rent whole houses or take in a lodger, a Lismore City Council spokesman said that due to safety and security regulations governing boarding houses, they needed a DA approved by council before they rented multiple rooms to multiple people.

SCU annual output, including student expenditure, direct employment and construction, is projected to be worth over $291 million to the Northern Rivers in 2010.



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