Off-campus accommodation for AUT students

There are a number of accommodation options available to you if you prefer to live off campus while you're studying at AUT. While AUT doesn’t endorse any of these off-campus accommodation options, this page has useful information to help you find the most suitable accommodation in Auckland.


If you choose to rent a room, an apartment or a house, you must sign a tenancy agreement. Before you sign a tenancy contract, make sure that you understand your rights and obligations and that these are clearly indicated on the tenancy agreement. They must include:

  • The landlord or agent details
  • The tenant details
  • The rent amount as well as the frequency of payment (weekly or fortnightly) - in most cases, your rent will have to be paid in advance (for the coming week or coming fortnight)
  • The bond amount (a bond is a set amount you're paying as a warranty in case you default on rent or cause damage to the property)*
  • The day the tenancy agreement comes into effect and the day it ends if it is a fixed-term agreement
  • The required notice period for each party to end the tenancy agreement
  • Whether your rent includes any utility (water, electricity, internet access, landline etc) - sometimes your rent may include a provision for utilities and the amount is revised once your landlord receives the utility bill. Always ask to see the utility bill you're asked to pay.
  • Other terms of agreement like the frequency of property inspections, whether pets are allowed or the maximum number of occupants
  • Your landlord can only increase rent once every 12 months. You must be given at least 60 days’ notice

*Your landlord must transfer your bond to Tenancy Services. It will be paid back to you when your tenancy ends, unless it has been used to cover unpaid expenses. Your bond must not exceed 4 weeks rent.

Safe practices when you're looking for a place to live

  • Check the property yourself, walk around the neighbourhood, go there at different times of the day, ask questions, check the property management company’s website to make sure you're dealing with the right person
  • If you feel unsure about the process of securing accommodation, talk to someone or seek advice from:
  • Never pay money into an overseas account. Even if the owner is living overseas, they would use a New Zealand property management agency to collect rent
  • Avoid paying in cash - organise for funds to go from your account directly to the property management company or to the landlord. If you pay in cash, you must be given a receipt immediately.

These websites are popular options in New Zealand:

You may need help with finding rental opportunities in outer suburbs. Real estate agents may be a better service for students who are studying at the North and South Campus, or who want to rent accommodation together with their family.

Using a real estate agency to find accommodation

Only use the services of a reputable real estate agency. You should only use an agent who is registered with the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ). These agents are bound by the REINZ Codes of Practice.

If the agent representing a rental agency is not a member of REINZ do not use them.

Accommodation options close to the AUT City Campus

The options below are not endorsed by AUT but housing options you can consider if you wish to live off-campus and stay in the city centre. If you're interested in living in any of these, Google the apartment and you will find listings by real estate agents and flats available in that building.

  • Aura Apartments*
    53-59 Cook Street, Auckland Central
  • Columbia Apartments
    15 Whitaker Place, Auckland Central
  • Empire Apartments
    21 Whitaker Place, Auckland Central
  • Kiwi International Hotel
    411 Queen Street, Auckland Central
  • Princeton Apartments
    30 Symonds Street, Auckland Central
  • Sapphire Apartments*
    76 Wakefield St, Auckland Central
  • St Paul St Apartments*
    4 St Paul Street, Auckland Central
  • UniLodge
    5 Whitaker Place, Auckland Central
  • Volt Apartments*
    430 Queen Street, Auckland Central
  • YMCA hostel & YMCA city lodge
    149-157 Greys Avenue, Auckland Central
  • Zest Apartments*
    72-78 Nelson Street, Auckland Central

* Where there is no link, do a Google search as some apartment buildings advertise rentals through other accommodation provider networks. Some of the website addresses above will show a number of options available and not just for the accommodation listed.

Finding a suitable long-term accommodation can be difficult. If you're not from Auckland, we suggest that you book into a short-term option first, for up to 2 to 4 weeks, so that you have housing on arrival. This will allow you to get your study plans sorted and give you time to search for suitable accommodation.

Finding short-term accommodation if you're new to Auckland

Backpackers and hostels

Backpackers and hostels are suitable accommodation for travellers but they're not recommended as a long-term solution for a student. However, it may be the only option available when you need something in a hurry. Most backpackers offer dormitory-style living.

Some students may be interested in living with a Kiwi family. This is a good option if you're not familiar with the country or not an experienced traveller. Sometimes apartment living can be lonely.

International students under the age of 18 who aren't living with their parents, or a designated caregiver should be living in a homestay. Host Families NZ carries out house inspections and police vetting for everyone in the household over 18 years of age.

This a private organisation and that you need to communicate with them directly about how to apply to stay in a homestay. We recommend that you book early as this service is popular.


You may prefer living with flatmates to share expenses. It's more affordable, and a great way to make friends and feel less homesick. We recommend you meet with all potential flatmates first and be clear about all shared expenses rent, bond, utility bills, repairs, cleaning products, appliances or food), and expected behaviour.

There's a difference between a tenant and a flatmate. If your name isn’t on the tenancy agreement, you're a flatmate, not a tenant. Tenants are jointly responsible for all the rent and any damage, not just their own share. As a flatmate your responsibilities are to the person(s) whose name(s) is/(are) on the tenancy agreement or utility account.

The Residential Tenancies Act 1986, which protects tenants’ rights, doesn't apply to flatmates. It is good to have a flatting agreement in writing to avoid disputes.

Moving in

When you’re moving in you should:

  • Update your address with your bank, IRD, your local council, the electoral roll, your doctor, your dentist, NZ Post
  • Figure out public transport routes from your new home to important places (uni, GP, dentist, supermarkets)
  • Set up automatic payments for rent and utilities

If you need to furnish your new home, consider places where you can buy second hand items. It's cheaper and more sustainable.

Getting tenancy advice

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has helpful information about starting a tenancy

AUTSA’s advocacy team can also help with tenancy advice if you're a student at AUT. When you contact them make sure you include:

  • Your name
  • AUT faculty you're studying in
  • A brief description of the issue you're having
  • The best way to contact you


Tenancy Services website

The Tenancy Services website has government legal and best practice advice for tenants and landlords in New Zealand.

Find out more