Learn more about the support available for accommodation costs.

Living in a hall of residence

Different halls of residence have different costs. Some upfront costs will need to be paid before you start studying.

Studylink does not pay for halls of residence costs directly. Some students choose to put their weekly student loan living costs or student allowance payments towards their hall of residence rent. But this will not cover the full cost of your hall on its own.

Review our halls of residence payment schedule examples for a more detailed breakdown of costs based on individual halls.

Hall of residence payments are made in monthly instalments. Every month you will be notified when your instalments are charged, and what date they are due for payment. If you find you can’t afford your monthly instalments, reach out for support from a Student Finance Adviser.

Student Finance works closely with the Accommodation team to support students. They can help you set up a payment plan if necessary.

Living in a flat

Flatting is not as expensive as living in a hall of residence. However, the average rent per room, per person in Wellington is $250 per week, plus utilities (e.g. power, internet) and food. Different suburbs have different average rent prices. The cost of public transport will also vary depending on how far out of town you live.

Flatting has upfront costs to pay before you move in. Landlords and property managers will charge a bond, which can cost up to four weeks of rent. Depending on how much your rent is this could be around $1,000.

Some places will also charge up to 2 weeks rent in advance, which be around $500. In total that’s $1,500 you may need to have available to pay before you can secure a flat. Much like for a hall of residence, StudyLink alone will not be enough to cover your flatting costs.

Going flatting for the first time will be exciting and new, but it comes with lots of responsibilities; for yourself, your flatmates, and your landlord or property manager. Knowing your rights and responsibilities can be difficult if you haven’t been flatting before, but it is important to be aware of them and prepared to handle your obligations.

If you or your flatmates feel you need additional support or someone to advocate for you, visiting the team at VUWSA may be a good place to start. The VUWSA office is located on the Kelburn campus in the Student Union building, and you can also contact the advocacy team via their website. If you're having trouble with an unhealthy flat or dodgy landlord, remember that VUWSA's advocates are there to talk through your options. Fill out this form on VUWSA's website to make an appointment.

Our Manage Your Money guide also contains an introduction to flat-hunting, signing a lease and flat set-up.

If you want to get into the nitty-gritty of flatting rights, the Tenancy Services website has the most up-to-date information.

Looking for a flat

Whether you’re looking for a flat as a group, a place all to yourself, or to join an established flat, there are lots of places you can look to see what's available. Here are just a few:

Finding and securing a flat in Wellington is very competitive and you will often turn up to viewings with multiple other groups of people who are also house-hunting. Make sure that you don’t leave things to the last minute (AKA the week before Uni starts) as you may have less options and struggle to find a flat that is suitable.

Some students prepare a flatting CV to share with landlords or property management companies to give their application a boost. Be mindful of your privacy rights and know what information landlords are not allowed to ask for during a tenancy application. You may wish to share some of this information voluntarily, but you are not obliged to.