Houseme User Guide
About the Houseme Database
- How does the Houseme database work?
- How long do properties remain active on the Houseme database?
- Who can advertise on the Houseme database?
- Do you screen students for me and match them to my property?
- What are students looking for in shared accommodation?
- Can I put flyers up on notice boards around campus?
- How much rent should I charge?
- Should bills be included in the rent or charged individually?
- Can I charge a bond?
- Do I need to enter into a lease agreement with the tenant?
- Does my property come under the rules and regulations for rooming houses?
- What about subletting?
- Where do I find out about my rights and responsibilities as an accommodation provider?
How to use the Houseme Database
- How to advertise a vacancy
- What to do if you forget your password
- How to write an advertisement
- Including photos
- How to use the property badging system
- Making changes to your listing
- Closing your listing
About the Houseme Database
How does the Houseme database work?
The Houseme database offers accommodation providers a free place to advertise their vacant room/property to Deakin students. Providers can register and sign into the site to add, edit or close a listing. Students can contact providers directly for more property information and to arrange an inspection. Accommodation providers are responsible for adding, editing and closing their listings themselves.
How long do properties remain active on the Houseme database?
Properties will remain on the Houseme database for 6 weeks. You can edit, or close it at any time during this period. If you have not leased your property at the end of the 6 week period, you will be sent an email and given the option to re-list your property for another 6 weeks.
Who can advertise on the Houseme database?
All accommodation providers are welcome to use our site to advertise a property, including students, private accommodation providers, real estate agents and other housing services. You will need to register and sign into the site to add or review a listing.
Do you screen students for me and match them to my property?
We do not screen or match students to any listing or accommodation provider. The database assists the student by allowing them to search for suitable listings based on their individual needs. It is then up to the accommodation provider to screen the student and decide if they are a suitable tenant for the property.
What are students looking for in shared accommodation?
Students have varying needs when it comes to their accommodation, but generally, students look for accommodation that is:
- Single occupancy (one person per room)
- Safe and clean
- Within their individual budget
- Relatively close to campus, or with good access to public transport
- Utilities (gas, electricity, water, and internet) included in the weekly rent
- Rooms furnished with bed, desk, chair, wardrobe, at a minimum.
Can I put flyers up on notice boards around campus?
No. The only, and best, place to advertise your student accommodation is on the Houseme database. Advertisements found elsewhere around the University campus will be removed.
How much rent should I charge?
Check out what the market is doing. Try realestate.com.au, or you can also do a search on the Houseme database to see what similar properties are advertised at.
Should bills be included in the rent or charged individually?
The Residential Tenancies Act states that you can only charge individual tenants separately for electricity and gas if the facilities are separately metered.
Can I charge a bond?
Yes. If you take a bond from your tenant you are required by law to provide them with a 'Bond Lodgement' form to sign. You are required to lodge the bond with the Residential Tenancies Bond Authority (RTBA) within 10 working days of the tenancy start date.
A 'Condition Report' should accompany any bond and is used to prove the condition of the property/room prior to, and at the completion of, a tenancy. Both the accommodation provider and tenant must complete and sign the form. It can be helpful to take photos of the property/room to be used as additional evidence of the current condition at the commencement of the tenancy. Free Room Condition Reports and Bond Lodgement forms are online from Consumer Affairs Victoria.
Do I need to enter into a lease agreement with the tenant?
A tenancy agreement, also called a lease, can be in writing or verbal. If a tenancy agreement is in writing it should be in proper legal form. Free Residential Tenancy Agreements are available online from Consumer Affairs Victoria.
Does my property come under the rules and regulations for rooming houses?
You are a rooming house operator if you have a property that has one or more rooms rented to four or more people, who each have a separate agreement. Have a read of rooming house information for everything you need to know.
What about subletting?
Subletting arrangements are illegal without the written consent of the property owner. As we are unable to verify if consent has been given, we do not allow subletting arrangements to be listed on the Houseme database.
Where do I find out about my rights and responsibilities as an accommodation provider?
You can find out about what is required of you as an accommodation provider at Consumer Affairs Victoria. Additionally, you can find some more helpful information in our forms and publications section.
How to use the houseme database
How to advertise a vacancy
The first time you use the site you will be required to complete an accommodation provider registration. If you are already registered, you will simply need to log back into your Houseme account. Then:
- From your Dashboard, click on 'Add a listing'
- Select 'an entire property to rent' if you will be leasing out a vacant property with one agreement
- Select 'one or more rooms in a shared property' if you are renting out a room(s) with individual agreements
- Follow the prompts, and complete all the drop down box fields
- Enter additional details about your property, or vacancy in the 'Details' section
- Upload photos if you have them available
- There will be a few requirements depending on the type of property you are wanting to advertise on Houseme that need to met in order to complete your listing
- Preview your listing, then make additional changes if needed, and submit for review.
- Listings are reviewed and approved within three business days.
Please note: We do not provide accommodation providers with advice on current rental market rates. If you would like some guidance with what to charge, please visit the Houseme site or other real estate web pages for comparable property prices.
What to do if you forget your password
If you have forgotten your password, simply click the ‘Forgot your Password’ link where you sign into the site.
How to write an advertisement
The advertisement that the students see on the database is the first impression they will have of your property. It is important to provide as much information and detail as possible. Include anything you feel will make your property more appealing to students seeking accommodation. Keeping it simple, but informative is best, and clear dot point’s work very well, as international students will also be viewing your property on the database.
Describing your property
After you have populated a number of pre-defined fields, you will need to include some text in the ‘Details’ section of your listing. You could consider:
- Adding information showing how to get to Campus (e.g. Bus 736 stops at the corner and goes straight to Deakin).
- Outline the culture of the house.
- Is it a quiet or noisy house?
- Are there young people, students, a family or older people currently living in the house?
- Are there any pets currently living at the property?
- If there is something special or unique about the property that the potential tenant will want, like a private bathroom or fast internet, highlight it here.
- Is the size of the room particularly big? Or unique?
- Are there any other special features worth mentioning?
There is an option for you to upload photos with your advertisement and it is well worth it. Many students will disregard listings that don’t include photos, plus, adding photos to your listing will make it display before listings that don’t include photos in the search results. We would strongly recommend including photos, preferable showing the bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen and living areas. Including photos allows the student get a better idea of the accommodation you are providing.
How to use the property badging system
To assist students with their property search, you can have badges added to your listings. This will allow you to target specific students and allow them to find your property more efficiently, plus badges move your listing closer to the top of the search results. You can nominate badges when you create your listing.
Students can search by the following badges-
- CAMPUS - Property is located within 3kms of the closest Deakin Campus
- SHOPPING - The property is located within 3kms of a local shopping centre
- PUBLIC TRANSPORT - Property is located within 1 km of public transport access point
- JUST FOR STUDENTS – Accommodation provider has specified that only students are residing in the property.
- MEAL PROVIDED - The accommodation provider has stated that at least 1 meal per week will be included in the rent charge
- RTA COMPLIANT - Accommodation provider has specified that they provide all tenants with an official Residential Tenancy Lease Agreement; that 'bond' monies paid by the tenant will be lodged with the Residential Tenancies Bond Authority, as per Victorian law, within the prescribed period; that the accommodation is fitted with hard wired smoke alarms and complies with Victorian fire safety requirements; that the Residential Tenancy Act is complied with and that no student complaints have been received by Deakin's Off-Campus Housing Service within the past 12 months
- COUNCIL REGISTERED - The Rooming House is registered under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act
- WHEEL CHAIR ACCESSIBLE - The property is wheel chair accessible, including access to all amenities.
Making changes to your listing
You can only edit or make changes to your listing once it has been approved to go live on the site. To make changes (including adding photos) you will need to log into your Houseme account. From your dashboard, click on the address of the current listing you wish to change. Click on 'make changes' on the right hand side of the screen. Make the changes you wish and submit them for review. Changes can take up to 3 business days to be approved.
Closing your listing
The Houseme site allows each accommodation provider to maintain their own listing/s. Once your vacancy has been filled you are required to login to the Houseme site and close your listing. The listing will stay on your dashboard, allowing you to re-list the property again in the future.