So you got yourself a good job and are keen to get out of your backpackers. Most people in this situation will end up moving into a sharehouse- for roughly the same price you can get your own room. Single rooms go for $100 up and twin/double rooms for $150 +. There is usually a minimum of a week or more but in the quiet season (Nov-April) you may be able to negotiate a shorter stay and/or cheaper rate. Places get cheaper the further you are out of town and remember that in general if you are going to be walking home late at night it is safer the closer you are to the city. The following are the best places to find a room:•Gumtree.com.au•Airbnb•Cairns Post Newspaper- especially on a Saturday.•Orchid plaza - located on lake street between Spence and Shield street- go upstairs and you will see the ads on the windows. •Cairns-sharehouse.comSharehouses can be a great alternative to backpackers but there are things to be aware of:•Theft is common- make sure your door has a lock on it. •Male owners can sometimes apply a lot of pressure on female tenants to have sex. Be prepared for it. Most of course are fine. •Make sure you have met some of the other tenants first- some of the sharehouses are notorious for being full of locals of somewhat dubious character.•Make sure you know of the bond refund rules (ie minimum stay, minimum notice etc). You will have to pay a bond and the owner will not be keen on refunding it if you leaver ealier than you said. •If you are in a sharehouse with many other tenants and there is no approval certificate from the Cairns City Council displayed then the sharehouse may be running as an illegal hostel and is in all likelihood not compliant with Qld Fire Safety Legislation. You need to satisfy yourself there are adequate working smoke detectors throughout the building and in your room, and adequately marked exit points.If you are in doubt go somewhere else. •If your sharehouse is a long way from the city centre it could be dangerous getting back home late at night by yourself. Closer to the city is generally better.
What if you end up in a bad sharehouse and the owner won’t refund your bond?
Don’t worry- you hold the upper hand. By law,in nearly all circumstances the bond you give to the owner needs to be then lodged by the owner with the Residential Tenancies Authority of Qldand most owners don’t bother. If you find yourself in a sharehouse that is not as advertised or different to what was promised or shown you, then the mere threat of going to the RTA should be enough to get your bond back as otherwise the owner can receive a large fine. If that doesn’t work then the phone number to call the RTA is 07-3046 5400