Sharing with friends

If you plan to share accommodation with friends, it’s a good idea to discuss costs and house rules before you leave home. It’s much easier for everyone involved if you all agree on the house rules and costs, and collect everyone's contributions towards accommodation and food before you arrive.

Don’t assume you can just crash at a friend’s place when you arrive! You may find yourself stranded at Schoolies without a bed. Book your accommodation either on your own or with friends. Unfortunately some accommodation providers can take advantage of Schoolies. Make sure you are aware of your rights and also your responsibilities when renting accommodation to avoid getting caught.

Shop around

  • Do the sums — figure out the cost of the advertised accommodation on a per person rate.
  • Ask yourself — are any extras included in an accommodation package offer worth the total room price? Do you need a spa bath in your apartment if it costs more?
  • Don’t be misled if someone tells you there is only one way you can book or one booking agency you can use. Contact travel agents and accommodation providers to identify other options.

Your booking

  • Get a copy of the accommodation contract from the accommodation provider and check that the terms and conditions are OK before you book and pay. This will help to avoid any issues later.
  • Read through the accommodation 'house rules'. Many buildings have specific rules, such as noise, balcony access and visitor restrictions that may not suit your needs.
  • Read the fine print. Check your booking terms and conditions. If you change or cancel your booking, you may be charged a fee, lose your deposit or be required to pay for the entire booking. Check the terms and conditions of the accommodation provider when you make the booking to see which scenario applies to you.
  • If the agent or accommodation provider cancels your booking, you are entitled to get back all your money because they have failed to fulfil your accommodation contract. If you're transferred to lesser accommodation, you should receive compensation equivalent to the difference in accommodation standard. If you experience issues call the Office of Fair Trading for advice on 13 QGOV (13 74 68).

Security bonds

  • A security bond is money you pay (in addition to your accommodation costs) as a type of insurance against any damage caused to the accommodation (room, furniture or fittings). If there is no damage, the bond is returned to you after your stay.
  • When booking your accommodation, check to see if a bond is required and factor this into your budget.
  • People renting holiday apartments for short periods are not usually asked to pay a security bond. You should not have to pay this on your own — an agent or property owner can only ask for a bond if every other prospective guest is also asked for one.
  • If you were asked to pay a bond, get a receipt and ask the accommodation provider when it will be returned to you, and how any disputes will be resolved.
  • Take the time to read and understand your responsibilities under the booking terms and conditions, house rules and accommodation agreement. When you sign them you are signing a contract to say you agree to what has been written and agree with the consequences if you don't comply. Know what you can lose your bond for and avoid doing it! If you damage your accommodation, your bond can be used to pay for repair or replacement costs and you will not get the full amount back. If the cost to repair the damage costs more than your bond you may have to pay extra.
  • It’s a good idea to inspect the accommodation carefully when you arrive and report any damage immediately so that you can't be blamed for it later. Take photos of any damage so you have proof as to what state the items/accommodation were in before your stay.
  • During your stay, make an appointment with the accommodation provider to perform the check-out inspection together just before you leave.

Damage control

Remember that courtesy and good manners go a long way to resolving a situation. There’s a lot to remember but you can follow these handy steps to help resolve any problems.

Step 1

Check responsibilities under the booking terms and conditions, house rules and/or accommodation agreement.

Step 2

Try to talk to the accommodation manager or booking agent to reach an agreement that suits everyone. Accommodation managers are required to have a complaint handling process in place, and you should lodge a written complaint with them immediately if you think your treatment has been unfair. You could also lodge a formal written complaint online at the Office of Fair Trading or by calling 13 QGOV (13 74 68).

Step 3

Call the Office of Fair Trading for advice on 13 QGOV (13 74 68).

Step 4

If an agreement cannot be reached, contact the Department of Justice and Attorney-General's Alternative Dispute Resolution Branch on 1800 017 288.


Don’t let theft ruin your holiday! Keep the door to your unit locked to ensure your valuables and money are safe.


Ensure that noise (including music) is kept to an acceptable level to respect your neighbours and to avoid getting into trouble. ‘Noise abatement' allows police to enter your accommodation without warrant, request names and addresses, and seize/remove equipment or make it inoperable.