A Sunshine Coast university accommodation provider is offering free rent to entice local students.
A Sunshine Coast university accommodation provider is offering free rent to entice local students.

How you can get free rent at Coast uni housing

A Coast university accommodation provider is offering free rent to students in an attempt to rebuild after COVID-19 restrictions decimated its international student market.

University of the Sunshine Coast's Varsity Apartments is offering discounted rent and the first four weeks rent free to local students to entice them to move out of home and enjoy the "complete university experience".

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The free rental campaign is a bid to turn around a huge drop in student accommodation, which saw occupancy rates plummet from 90 per cent pre-COVID to just 47 per cent for Semester 2.

"It certainly is a testing time at the moment and if it wasn't for the governmental assistance we would be in a right pickle," director of Varsity Apartments Alan Netherwood said.

Varsity Apartments is offering discounted rent and the first four weeks rent free to local students to entice them to move out of home and enjoy the “complete university experience”.
Varsity Apartments is offering discounted rent and the first four weeks rent free to local students to entice them to move out of home and enjoy the “complete university experience”.

While the interstate border closures had a significant impact on occupancy rates, Varsity Apartments was hardest hit by the loss of the international student market.

Historically, international students make up close to half of Varsity's tenants, mainly from Sweden, Norway, Germany, France, Canada and the United States.

"None of these countries appear to have their pandemic in order so I suspect international travel maybe some way off," Mr Netherwood said.

The university has advised Varsity Apartments of their predicted enrolments for 2021, and the news isn't good for the student accommodation provider.

"We know from our figures that we are significantly lower, probably about half," Mr Netherwood said.

Mr Netherwood said the free rent offer was all part of a campaign to encourage local residents who are studying at USC to move out of home for the full university experience.

"It is something you just don't get when you go home to mum and dad at the end of each day," he said.


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