Frequently Asked Questions

"We have thought of everything to make your stay easy"

I am looking for a room sharing house with

Do you have a question?

the most frequently asked questions

 We have tried to include answers to the most common questions.  

If you cannot find an answer to your question, please feel free to contact us direct

Choosing A Room

What is the difference between a 'Cairns Share house' & a hostel?


The share houses are designed as a place to relax, unpack your stuff and call home for a few weeks. In our share houses you have your own private room (or you can share a room with one other person upon request), and you share the kitchen, bathroom and lounge facilities with 5-6 other bedrooms. The other housemates have all committed to staying with us for several weeks so you get to make friends quickly and easily. Most of our guests choose to stay with us so that they can chill out during the day, and head into town to enjoy the nightlife.

In a hostel you are usually sharing kitchen, bathroom and dining facilities with a larger number of people. There is more of a 'party' atmosphere due to the large number of young people coming and going each day and a constant change in faces. Hostels are a great way of meeting lots of new faces each day and having a lot of fun, and when you have finished partying hard the sharehouse is a great place to come to make new friends, save some money whilst you work and chill out for a while.  

What are the differences between the apartments available?


Each house has a different price as it depends on what facilities are available. For example, The Martyn is a large apartment block that features a resort pool and BBQ facilities. The lower priced apartments may be in houses with a garden spa instead of a pool, or do not have television/DVD's in the individual rooms. All apartments are furnished in a similar style and colour scheme. Different properties attract a different style of guests so if you are a backpacker and we know this we will try to offer you accommodation with other backpackers, and the same if you are a student, working professional or more mature guest. We recommend you view each property for a better understanding of the different rooms, or ask us for a personal recommendation based on your needs as we are more than happy to help.

What types of people stay at Cairns Share house?


Cairns Share house attracts students, working professionals, working travellers, apprentices, divers, students, couples and travellers who are interested in living in Cairns like a local person. We are also a popular place to stay for Australians relocating to Cairns or people working/studying on short term placements. We are not a backpacker hostel and offer a home away from home experience in quality accommodation at an affordable price. As we have 10 different properties, each property is targetted towards a certain type of guests.  So if you are a student looking for somewhere quiet, we won't recommend you stay at our backpacker property and vice versa.  We have such a diverse range of properties that we are able to accommodate all budgets and tastes. All guests must be a minimum of 18 years old, and there is no maximum age as long as you are young at heart and enjoy meeting people of all ages and from all cultures!

Does every room have air conditioning or ceiling fans?


Every room in our share houses has either a ceiling or wall fan, and are designed to be as cool as possible (with blinds in the rooms and tiled floors). Air-conditioning is available at most of our properties at an additional charge of $30.00 per week (single rooms) or $40.00 per week (double/twin rooms). Our air-conditioning is key activated so you pay only if you use the air conditioning in your room. When you return the key to our office then we will no longer charge you for air-conditioning. This helps you save money by not paying for air conditioning during the winter months. It is important that you book a room with air conditioning in advance.

Do you allow pets or children?


Unfortunately we are unable to accept bookings for tenants with pets or children in the sharehouses.

What is the difference between the more expensive properties and budget options?


  • Generally the bedrooms are larger and more spacious.
  • Generally bedrooms have air conditioning, study desks and TV/DVD players.
  • The properties are large and spacious with more lounge & relaxation areas (e.g lounge rooms, dining room and outdoor decks)
  • Share with a smaller number of people.
  • The type of guests you share with.

What kind of Internet access is available?


At Cairns Sharehouse we offer FREE basic wifi in all of our properties. This is 2 mbps download/1 mbps upload and is fine for basic browsing and emails.  There is the option to upgrade to Superfast Wifi at 20 mbps download/10 mbps upload for $10/week (1 device) or $15/week (2 devices) at The Martyn, Lady Loeven, The Grand Draper, The Lumley, Scotts Place.

Why do working travellers choose to stay in Cairns so long and not go to a bigger city?


Cairns is a very popular destination for working travellers. Most travellers have usually travelled up the coast from Sydney or spent some time in Asia and Cairns is their first stop in Australia. Cairns is highly attractive to the weary traveller for several reasons: the weather, the scenery, you can walk easily around the main town and our share houses offer the chance to take a few weeks to 'recharge the batteries' before putting the backpack on and continuing their exciting travels (without the stress of finding accommodation in larger cities and the commute times). The Cairns Esplanade also offers a huge free swimming pool/lagoon, free music, exercise classes and tropical palm trees to sit under and relax so you can feel like you are on a holiday without spending a fortune each day. We often find that our guests commit to staying only one month and before we know it they have found jobs and end up staying for several months.

Payments

What do I have to pay to book a room?


All guests are required to pay a deposit of $50.00 to hold a room. This is to secure your booking and ensure that we hold a room and do not sell it to anyone else.   One week prior to arrival you will then be asked to pay an arrival balance which consists of your first 2 weeks rent, your last 2 weeks rent, and a security deposit of $200 which is refundable upon departure. We deduct the $50.00 off your arrival balance so you are refunded the $50.00.  If you do cancel your booking, we charge a $50.00 cancellation fee, or $75.00 cancellation fee if you have already paid your arrival balance (and therefore arriving within 7 days).

How do I get my $50.00 booking deposit back?


The $50.00 is deducted from your arrival balance.  If you do cancel your booking then a $50.00 cancellation fee will apply, or $75.00 if you have paid your arrival balance and are arriving within 7 days.  So if your arrival balance is $700, we will ask you to pay only $650 as you have already paid us $50.00 towards your stay.

What if I want to cancel my booking after I have paid my deposit?


All guests are required to pay a minimum of a $50.00 booking deposit per person to hold a room. This means that we will not sell your room to anyone else and also means that we may not be able to offer accommodation to another guest because we do not expect to have any rooms available. If you pay a deposit, or any monies to Cairns Sharehouse for accommodation and cancel your booking, you will be charged a $50.00 cancellation fee per person. We are very popular and we highly recommend that you prebook to avoid disappointment. Prior to arrival you will be asked to prepay your arrival balance at least 1 week before your check in date, and once this is paid a $75.00 cancellation fee will be charged.

Can I change the date of my arrival once I have booked a room?


We understand that your plans may change and we try to be as flexible as possible.  However due to our limited availability it is not always possible to change your date if your room is booked to someone else, or the person in your room is moving out so you can move in.  Any changes are subject to the room availability and cannot be guaranteed.  Generally from Dec-March it is not a problem to move your arrival date by a a day without incurring any fees.  However if you require a major change to your arrival date , you may need to decide to pay for the room from the date you originally booked, or cancel your booking and lose the $50.00 cancellation fee.  Please do speak to us and we can review your request individually.

If I wish to leave early can I find another person to take over my room?


Unfortunately it is not legal to sub-let your room to another person.  When you arrive at Cairns Sharehouse you have signed a residential contract between you and Cairns Sharehouse, your landlord.  If you decide to leave early and are not able to provide 2 weeks notice as required, we are not able to refund the loss of rent and you cannot substitute another guest in your place.  Any rent is forwarded in advance to the owners of the property and it is unusual for them to agree to refund prepaid rent. 

What happens if I wish to leave early and obtain a refund?


All guests are obligated to provide us with 2 weeks notice to a change of their departure date. This provides us with 2 weeks to find another person to go into your room.   If you decide to leave early and not provide the sufficient notice, unfortunately we do not refund any unused rent. 

Can I pay my rent in advance?


We are happy to accept prepayment of rent.  However it is important to understand that your 2 weeks notice period is calculated from the day your next rent is due (and not the day you tell us you wish to leave).  For example, if you decide to pay 4 weeks rent in advance, and then the next day change your mind and wish to give us 2 weeks notice to leave, you will be departing us in 6 weeks time without losing any prepaid rent.  We are not able to refund any prepaid rent, which is why we encourage all guests to pay weekly to ensure you have flexibility with your departure date.

What is the security deposit for?


When you move in we provide you with keys and access to our fully furnished property.  In exchange we ask that you follow the terms and conditions of living at Cairns Sharehouse, which is essentially to care for the property as you would your own, and ensure that you bedroom and it’s contents are left clean and undamaged.  Unfortunately sometimes accidents can happen and a guest can damage the property.  The security deposit is held until your departure so the cost for any damages/breakages can be deducted to cover any replacement/repair costs. Each guest is charged an exit clean of $30.00 per single bed or $40 per double bed and this is deducted from your security deposit on check out.

How do I get my security deposit back?


It is very easy to get your security deposit back.  Simply ensure that when you check out the room looks exactly like you received it, with clean bedding and your kitchen and fridge cupboard spaces clear.  One week before you leave we will send you an email explaining how to check out, and ask that you give us your credit card details so that we can refund the $200 security deposit back into the nominated account provided.  In this email you will also have a copy of the room inventory that you received when you arrived so you can make sure that the room and it’s contents are left in the same way you received them. 

Why wouldn’t I get my security deposit back?


The only reason you would not get your security deposit back is if you have damaged/broken any items on the property, or from your bedroom. There would also be deductions for any outstanding amounts due such as any fees/penalties (e.g late rent fee) etc.  Our goal is to return your security deposit in full, which is why we emphasise the importance of the room inventory.  Each guest is charged an exit clean of $30.00 per single bed or $40 per double bed automatically from their security deposit to cover the exit clean and linen hire/laundering on check out.

Planning Your Arrival

What time can I arrive and what time must I check out?


Arrival check in is from 3.00 pm and check is at 10.00 am. Once you have made a booking and paid your deposit full instructions are emailed to you about how to pay your arrival balance and collect your keys. Remember if you wish to check into your room before 3.00 pm you will need to book your room from the day before to guarantee that it is vacant. Also if you wish to check out later than 10.00 am then you will need to book your room for a further night (especially if you have booked a cheap flight departing Cairns late at night). If you are arriving on an early flight and would like to wait until check in, you are welcome to leave your bags at our office during office hours.

What if I want to stay for less than 4 weeks or extend my stay?


We prefer a minimum commitment of a few weeks so that your share house is more like a home than a hostel. However chat to the team and we will do our best to offer you options to suit your needs. Often we find due to our low rates we have residents who are happy to pay for the full 4 weeks (even if they stay for less time) as we are still more comfortable than staying in a hostel and we provide you with a touch more luxury at a budget price.

Often we find when our guests arrive in Cairns they are keen to extend their stay. We are more than happy to extend your stay with us however we do remind guests that this is only subject to availability and cannot be guaranteed. The reason is that your room may have already been pre-booked to another guest who has booked in advance based on the departure date you originally provided. We do recommend that you do book a realistic departure date to avoid disappointment. If we are unable to extend your booking in your room, we will try to offer you accommodation in another property/room to suit your requirements.

Can I change rooms once I have checked in?


You are required to stay in any one room with Cairns Share house for a minimum stay of 3-4 weeks. If later you wish to change rooms, we are able to organise a 'room change' for you and a small administration fee applies. Please note in some houses it is not possible to change rooms until all rent paid has been used up in that specific house, so please ask us for further details.

What do I need to bring?


Just yourself, your clothes, towel for swimming and some toilet paper! We provide pretty much everything else that you will need for comfortable stay including bed linen.

Once You Have Arrived

How do I pay my rent each week?


You can come pay by cash directly into our bank at Commonwealth Bank branches, or jump online where you can make a payment online by direct deposit or credit card (2% credit card fee applies). Then two weeks before you are leaving you will stop paying rent and we will start using the two week’s rent you paid in advance when you checked in. 

How will I keep my food separate from the other residents?


Each housemate is allocated a shelf in the fridge and area in the cupboard which is for the use of their specific room. Each shelf and cupboard is labelled to ensure that all tenants have equal space to store their food.

Do the housemates clean the share apartment?


All housemates are responsible for cleaning and looking after their own room, to clean up after themselves, to put things away and to leave the bathroom clean after they have used it. We will provide you with linen at the beginning of your stay and you are responsible for washing this each week using the laundry onsite at the house. Once a week our cleaners will clean the bathrooms and every second week they will do a full clean of the apartment (not the bedroom). We visit the houses several mornings a week to ensure that the apartments are being kept clean and that all guests are washing up their dishes, emptying the bins and keeping the houses generally clean and tidy. We do this to ensure that everyone in the apartment is happy and to ensure we can record and repair and maintenance issues.

Are there safety boxes in each room?


We do not provide safety boxes in each room. All of our rooms are lockable, however we do ask housemates to always lock their doors, purchase travel insurance and never keep large amounts of cash in their room for peace of mind.

Living in the Sharehouse

What is the maximum time I can stay at the share house for?


You are welcome to stay for up to 12 months (and sometimes longer if everything is going well) as long as you continue to enjoy sharing the apartment with new people and following the 'house rules'. We often have some students stay with us on and off throughout their 2-3 years study so it is flexible.

If you are planning to stay in Cairns more long term we recommend that you consider staying with Cairns Sharehouse for the first 1-2 months so that you can get to know the areas better before finding your own private rental and we would be happy to provide you with a rental reference.

Do you allow smoking in the bedrooms or apartments?


Smoking is not permitted in any bedroom or apartment at Cairns Share house. Smoking is permitted in outside balcony areas only and ashtrays are provided. If you are a strict non-smoker then please let us know and we will try to allocate you a room away from the outdoor patio area.

Please be aware that smoking is banned in all enclosed public places in Australia, particularly workplaces, restaurants, pubs, clubs and often commercial outdoor eating and drinking places such as patrolled beaches, children's playground equipment, major sport stadiums etc.

Are there house rules to follow?


Yes - like any well run accommodation we need to set guidelines in place to look after the homes and ensure that all our housemates are happy with the service we provide. These guidelines are common sense and easy to follow – the three golden rules for happy sharing is:

  1. Clean up after yourself (wash your own dishes, put them away, put food away and keep your belongings in your room)
  2. Visitors welcome but they must go home by 10.30 pm.
  3. Noise is kept reasonable as some people are working late or starting early.

At your welcome meeting we will go through our guidelines to ensure that you are happy with how things work and feel comfortable in your new home.

What happens if I don’t like my housemates or room?


If you have any problems with your housemates, firstly we ask you to come and chat to our team so we can help you. However we do have a large number of properties and if we have another room available which you like then we will happily help you move to another room.

Am I allowed to have visitors to the house?


You are welcome to have friends visit occasionally in the home between the hours of 10.30 am - 10.30 pm, as long as they do not disturb the other housemates. Your friends are welcome to come over and hang out, watch a DVD, have a barbecue/dinner with you etc. However they are not permitted to use the facilities (e.g have a shower, sleep over, cook dinner) and must be with you at all times. If you wish to have a friend actually come and stay for a few nights then please let us know and we would be happy to arrange fresh bed linen, mattress, pillows etc to ensure that they are more comfortable and charge a small fee.