COVID-19 update: If you are having difficulty paying your rent, because you have lost work due to COVID-19, or need to end your contract early to return overseas, contact an SRC caseworker for information on what your options are. Call 9660 5222.

Help paying your bond

Housing NSW has a scheme to help low income earners1 afford to live in a rental property. Rentstart Bond Loan will give you up to 75% of your rental bond as an interest free loan. Of course there are conditions. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Be an Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • Be 18 years and over
  • Be a low income earner
  • Have a regular income, e.g., part time job, Centrelink payment
  • Have less than $3000 in cash assets
  • Have the prospective property rent not more than 50% of the household’s income plus 100% of rent assistance.

As at 1 June, 2020 a low income for a single adult is $640 gross per week.

For more information go to the housing pathways website:

Fleeing domestic and family violence

If you are fleeing domestic and family violence you may have access to additional supports (like a rent subsidy) from Housing NSW: Consider also the RSPCA Safe Beds Program: if you have pets. For medium term housing options contact Address Housing:

Emergency or temporary accommodation

If you are in need of emergency accommodation talk to an SRC caseworker. You can call 9660 5222 to make an appointment or email

After hours call the Homelessness NSW (24/7) on 1800 152 152

Rent Assistance

If you are currently receiving a Centrelink payment you may be eligible for Rent Assistance2. Applying for rent assistance should be part of applying for your Centrelink payment. Talk to an SRC Caseworker if you need help to apply.

Free furniture etc.

Op Shops can provide cheap or sometimes free furniture and household appliances. Talk to your local op shop to see if you qualify for any of their programs. Visit affluent suburbs on their council clean up days. Often you can find furniture on the side of the road for you to pick up. Some students use milk crates to make things like bed bases, coffee tables, dinner tables, etc. This is an illegal use of milk crates, so the SRC would definitely not tell you to try that.

Student accommodation help is available from the university

Google: Usyd Student Accommodation Services

Use their “Tips for starting a search”

Look at their database and check the On Campus Options

Know your rights

Google: ‘Tenants NSW’, click on and read the factsheets and publicaitons for various issues like: Bond.

The Sharehousing Survival Guide (NSW) is also very helpful.

Need advice

If you need advice on understanding, negotiating or ending a contract, contact an SRC Caseworker.
You can also contact a specialist Tenants Advice and Advocacy Service. Google: Tenants NSW